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Intro to Online Gavilan

Lesson 6
Technical Problems & Solutions

Technical Support Information & Policies

Since online courses rely primarily on the use of hardware and software, there may be times that you experience technical problems which will interfere with your ability to complete course assignments. Technology is no panacea. Hardware breaks down and software incompatibilities exist. We will work with you on technical problems that occur on YOUR end. Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to tell what the problem is without directly watching you and your screen. We will work diligently in resolving any problems that may arise on our end, such as network down-time, course access problems, passwords, etc.

If you cannot access your course site, contact your instructor or the Distance Education Coordinator (408 848 4885, or Be sure it is not a problem with your ISP or computer first.

We are NOT responsible for the following issues on YOUR end:

  • modem problems
  • hardware problems
  • local software problems
  • problems with your Internet Service Provider
  • setting up your email account on your home computer
  • problems downloading software

Please contact your Internet Service Provider for assistance with the above problems. Their technical support can walk you through installation and configuration of software. Locate their technical support phone number on your billing statement or their homepage.

When to Contact Your Instructor

Please notify your instructor immediately if you are having problems accessing course materials over the Internet or via email, depending on the course delivery method. These problems include, but are not limited to, accessing the course (inactive or wrong URL), inactive or incorrect password, returned email messages, etc.

Also, do not put off contacting your instructor if you are having problems understanding the material. Do not just quit logging on. If you don't "show up" for any length of time, you may be dropped from the course. Please refer to your instructor's syllabus for his/her "attendance & withdrawal" policy.

Please remember that your instructor is NOT responsible for: (Unless, of course, you are taking a course specifically designed to teach you these skills)

  • teaching you how to send attachments.
  • teaching you how to conduct web searches.
  • teaching you word processing commands.
  • teaching you how to download.
  • teaching you how to set up your hardware and software.
  • teaching you how to configure your email.

Be sure you have the necessary technical knowledge, equipment, and software to succeed in an online course. Lesson 2 offers an overview of what technology and equipment is needed.

Web Tutorials and Other Resources

Here are some useful web sites that offer help and guidance for web-based learning.


Browser & Plug-In Downloads

If you don't have one of these browsers, download a compatible browser now. They are free. Be sure to download the proper browser version for your Operating System.

Firefox with Google Toolbar

  • Works with PCs or MACs. Built-in Google search box, plus other handy tools.

Internet Explorer: 5.0 or higher
Microsoft downloads

  • For Windows
  • For the Mac: Mac OS 8.1 to 9.x or Mac OS X

Netscape Navigator
Netscape downloads

  • Choose Communicator or Navigator

The AOL browser is not compatible with our system. If AOL is your Internet Service Provider, you must take these steps in order to have everything working in your classroom area:

  1. Log onto the Internet using your AOL account.
  2. Minimize the AOL screen by clicking on the top right button that looks like a hyphen (-).
  3. If you're on a Mac, minimize by clicking on the yellow button on the top left corner.
  4. Open Netscape, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, or any other browser you have on your computer. See the browser list above to download another browser if you don't have one.
  5. Now go to the Gavilan Distance Education Page (, log into the site using that browser, and then find your class.

Remember, DO NOT USE THE AOL BROWSER to log into the classroom. Many of the graphics won't show up, text boxes, radio buttons and check boxes will be missing, and you will be very frustrated.


Address of this page:
Last updated on Sept. 1, 2008