West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Fox Center at West Valley College

Best Practices for Students


At West Valley College most instructors use the ANGEL Learning Management system for their online and hybrid courses, but they also use it in their face-to-face courses, therefore, it is very important that students become familiar with ANGEL. Following is a list of "best ANGEL practices" that will help students get the most out of using the ANGEL LMS.

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Bookmark the WVC ANGEL website

Download the ANGEL Student Quickstart Guide

Start the Course with Realistic Expectations and a Willingness to Work Diligently

  • Online courses are not easier that face-to-face courses. In fact, online courses are often more difficult and time intensive.

  • Online courses provide a tremendous amount of flexibility, but they are not self-paced classes. 

  • Therefore, it is crucial that you be self-motivated, self-disciplined, self-directed and very organized.

  • You need to devote a minimum of 2 hours per week for each unit of credit. For example, if one class is 3 units, you should expect to dedicate at least 6 hours per week to that one class.

  • But, in order to account for the needs of specific learning styles, realistically, you should budget between 6 to 10 hours per week for each 3-unit online course.

  • Once the course begins, check ANGEL a minimum of twice a week, but preferably more often.  

  • Realize that interaction with your instructor and other students in an online class is different from interaction in a face-to-face class; therefore, you have to be highly aware of netiquette.

  • Determine to become an engaged participant in your online class, and to communicated with your instructor on a regular basis.

Become Familiar with Your ANGEL Courses

  • The best way to become comfortable in ANGEL is to log into each of your classes and familiarize yourself with the class format. The format for all ANGEL courses are basically the same, but each instructor usually customizes the look and feel of the class.

  • Make sure that you go through each of the tabs, and that you look inside each folder.

  • Review the instructor's policies and netiquette.

  • Review how the instructor has structured the course, where the lessons can be found, where tests can be found, etc.

  • Make sure that you know how to access your grade in the grade book, how to send and receive email, how to use the Discussion Forum, and any of the other tools that your instructor has set up.

  • Most importantly, find and review the syllabus, and find and review the calendar.

Technology Can Fail

  • There are no computer excuses in an online class.  Make a contingency plan in case something happens to your computer.

  • Use the computers in the campus Library

  • Check with your local library to see if they have computers available for use.

  • Ask friends or family members if you can use their computers, should it be necessary.

  • Avoid worries about technologies failures by taking tests and submitting assignments before their due date.

  • Communicate with Classmates and the Instructor

  • Use ANGEL’s email and online discussion to communicate with instructors and peers. Learn from your peers’ questions and your instructors’ responses.

  • Organize your life demands and school work load and budget your time so that you can complete assignments and submit them before they are due.

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last published: 6/17/13 • validate xhtml css 508