Start Here

The instructions given below are to be followed step by step, one step at a time.  Ample time is provided at the beginning of the term to resolve any problems you might have with the instructions.

You will not be able to locate the information you are looking for until you encounter it in the instructions.  This is to ensure that you don't skip around and miss essential information, which most students would do if they were immediately turned loose on the course homepage.

The time required for students to complete these instructions varies.  On the average, within a couple of hours the typical student will have the information required to navigate the homepage and understand the information provided there.  You can then expect to spend at least a couple of additional hours to complete a number of review assignments before you get into the actual content assignments for your course, which start the second week of classes.

If you find that you need help with the instructions:

These instructions are clear to most students, and most have no trouble following them.  However no single set of instructions is likely to work well for all students, and there are always a few students who have trouble with the instructions.  If you have any difficulty with any of the following instructions, your instructor will be glad to help.  If you need help with a specific instruction, click on the link below and submit the form according to instructions at that link, providing the requested information and being sure to provide your correct VCCS email access:

You may also send the instructor a copy of the form confirmation page using your VCCS email, starting your subject line with the words 'Question Form'.  Your instructor's email address is

Unfortunately it is not possible for you instructor to give 100 different students a face-to-face walk-through of the instructions.  However it is unnecessary to do so.  If you use the form, you will find that you get the help you need in a timely manner.

Some students have inappropriately asked other VHCC personnel for help with these instructions.  So be sure you understand that unless the instructor is unresponsive, it is completely inappropriate to approach the Dean or the Vice President, or any other faculty or administrator at VHCC, for help with these instructions.  This is your instructor's job, not theirs.  The form, backed up by an email, will typically get you a response within 24 hours, and very likely much sooner. 

To get started, do the following:

You should complete Steps 1 and 2, which take only a few minutes, as soon as possible.  Step 3 takes you to the Initial Activities part of the course.  You are welcome to begin those activities at any time, but are not required to do so until the first week of the course.

1.  Request an access code and copy the form confirmation.  Just follow the links below:

These steps are essential, so you will probably be prompted to complete these two steps again later.  If you complete them now, as you should, you can ignore any them when they are repeated.

2.  Email the instructor from your VCCS email address, using the following convention for the subject line of your message:

For example, then, if your username was abc1234 and you were in Mth 174, your subject line would start with the 9-character sequence "DSCabc174".

If you're not sure you're doing this right, don't worry about it.  Just send the email with your best attempt.  If it isn't right, it will take only a minute to help you correct it.

3.  Proceed to the Initial Links page and do as instructed.  The Initial Links document takes you to the Initial Activities part of your course, for which you will be given a full week at the beginning of the term.

You probably have questions.  Almost all of them will be answered by the time you get to get to step A7 of Part 3, which will probably take you at least a couple of hours.  By that point you will have had a good introduction to the course and a tour of the homepage. 

The additional steps, starting with B1 of Part 3, will begin the actual learning process with some review topics and, for most courses, an initial assignment on the content of the course.