Preparing to Learn Online

Instructor sitting at a desk smiling
Online Learning at SCTCC

Instructors discuss what to expect and how to be successful in SCTCC's online courses.  

We've put together some resources and instructions on how to prepare for your learning experience in a remote or online learning environment.

3 Steps to Get Started with your Online Class

  1. Check your SCTCC email. Get into a habit of checking it every day. In addition to important school-wide communication, your instructors will use your email to send you information about your classes and to answer any questions you have.
  2. Log into D2L Brightspace on the first day of class. Some classes may open earlier, so you can look around, but all classes officially open and start on the first day of the semester. 
  3. Locate your syllabus in D2L Brightspace and follow any instructions given by your instructor to start your learning.  Remember to ask questions if anything is confusing to you or if you need help. Have fun!


Remember: Email is SCTCC's official form of communication. Login using your StarID and password.Check it regularly to make sure you know how your classes and on-campus offerings will be affected.

Login to D2L Brightspace with your StarID and password.

D2L Brightspace Video Tutorials

Check Announcements in D2L Brightspace for Each of Your Courses

Announcements are found on the home page for each individual course, check often for course and college updates.

Participate in D2L Brightspace Class Discussion

Discussions allow you to participate with your peers and your instructor to stay connected in your course; share ideas, ask questions, offer feedback and work together.

Assignments and Grading in D2L Brightspace

Check on assignment due dates and make sure you understand how you are supposed to submit assignments.

Questions about D2L?

IT is offering online Zoom drop-ins to answer your questions about D2L and other Helpdesk questions. Join anytime between 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 

  • Online via Zoom at Click "Join Meeting as an Attendee" if asked. You may need to download and install the Zoom software to activate it.
  • You can also call 1-929-205-6099 or 1-669-900-6833 and entering the meeting ID: 644 047 3821.
  • If you don't see or hear the host after joining the meeting, please try again in a couple minutes, as he is also managing the SCTCC computer lab and may be away.
  • If you need help outside office hours, email, and he will respond as soon as possible.

For many online classes, virtual class meetings may be held through Zoom Video Conferencing. This link also contains links to tutorials and support information.

For the best experience, use a headset/microphone unless you have them built into your laptop.

You will need reliable computer access. 
If you do not have access to a computer, SCTCC has laptops for checkout. Please call 320-308-6445 or email to request a laptop. If you need to print, there is a printer and computer outside the 1-405 lab.

Some programs exist to assist individuals who need a computer. 

  • Minnesota Computers for Schools– Lifelong Learners Program: Do you needed a computer but had no way of getting one? This may be a program to help. There is an application process, and the student would need a portion filled out by a Learning Partner/Counselor/Social Worker/Job Coach, etc.
  • PCs for People- This option provides the ability to provide low cost internet and computers to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. The internet access is provided with mobile hot-spots, which would allow students to take it wherever it is needed.
  • Refurble – Provides low cost refurbished machines to students. 
  • MIDCO Lifeline - Lifeline is a federal program intended to put home phone and internet service within the reach of qualifying families – giving low-income households affordable home phone or internet access.
  • Minnesota Office of Broadband Development -  Digital Inclusion

You will need reliable internet access

  • Computers on campus will have access to the internet.
  • The SCTCC wi-fi password is cyclones
  • Check this page for information on how to get free and low-cost internet.

One Phone Number = Many People Ready to Help: Students can call 1-844-456-3876 for direct support during the days and times listed for each technology.

  • Need help with: StarID, D2L Brightspace, Kaltura MediaSpace, Zoom, or Office365? You can get phone support during the following days and times:
    • Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
    • Friday-Saturday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    • Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

You will receive immediate assistance or be guided through the process to submit a ticket for more complex issues

How to log in to D2L

Learn how to log into D2L.

Teri from the CAS

D2L Assessments

Explore all the ways you'll use the D2L Assessments tab.

D2L Communications

Learn about the communications tab on D2L: The home of discussion posts.

Student Success Tips for Online Learning

Ask questions: Be sure to ask for clarification or discuss any course issues you may have, especially if you are new to online learning. Contact resources provided for assistance as well - we are here to support you.

Study environment: Find or create a space where you study best and create a routine so you have the time set aside and items you need to stay organized - internet connection, books, headphones, etc.

Create a schedule: Set aside enough time for each week’s work. Setting reminders on your phone or other devices, using post-it notes, or keeping a calendar can help you stay on task. Downloading the Pulse app can help you stay on task and will let you access D2L Brightspace from your phone.

Participate often: Participate with your peers and your instructor to stay connected in your course; share ideas and ask questions - offering feedback and working together are ways to maintain a supportive and active class environment.

Whenever possible, contact your instructor for individual course plans and details. You can use the SCTCC Directory search to find individual Instructors.

How to Find Help

  • The Center for Academic Success (CAS) is ready to help you! Visit the CAS page to find out how to make virtual appointments with the tutors and for video tutorials on how to be successful at online learning.
  • Access via D2L Brightspace - is a free online tutoring and academic support tool available to all SCTCC students

If campus is open, contact the IT Solutions center directly:
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Campus Location: Northway Building 1-215
Phone: (320) 308-6445

or visit Technology Services

Learning how to access your online classroom to find the course syllabus, course requirements, textbooks, and other equipment will be time well spent.

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious? SCTCC has support options if you need someone to chat with or provide resources. Please visit the Wellness Resource Services page to learn more.