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Online Learning FAQs

What do MECA&D Continuing Studies online classes look like? 

Our online CS classes take form in three main structures:

  1. Classes that are entirely through Zoom video conferencing 
  2. Classes that are a mix of Zoom and our online learning platform Canvas
  3. Classes that are completely on Canvas


I have never taken an online class before, what should I expect? 

We do our best to make our online classes as similar of an experience to our in person classes as we can. CS and your instructor will be there for you along the way to ensure you have the help that you need throughout the course. Our courses focus on building a community within the class and giving you a positive learning environment to expand your knowledge and skills. 


What is Canvas? 

Canvas is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create a personalized learning environment. Visit https://www.instructure.com/canvas to learn more. 

If you enroll in a class that uses Canvas, the Canvas site will be the home base for your class. Your instructor can share resources, videos, links, assignments and more with you through Canvas.  


I am having trouble logging into Canvas, what should I do? 

If you have signed up for an online class you will receive an account sign-up email from our classroom portal. The email will be sent from [email protected]

The email will be sent at least 24 hours before your online class begins. Please keep an eye out for the email as it may land in your Spam folder (look for: Canvas Instructure or [email protected])

You will need to login and make a password before the start of the class.


If you are still having trouble logging in to Canvas please email us at [email protected], we are happy to help you! 


I have never used Zoom before, how does it work? 

Zoom is an online video conferencing platform. It is free to make an account and is very easy to use. You will need to create a Zoom account to meet with your teacher and peers. Learn the ins and outs of making a Zoom account in this video: 


I am registered for an all Zoom class, where do I get the info about how to join the class? 

You will receive an email from your instructor a week or so before your class begins with details on how to access the zoom meetings and any other info you may need. 


Do I have to show my video or speak during class?

While we recommend you do show your video and speak when encouraged to by the instructor, video and audio participation are never mandatory. We find classes have more fun experiences when people are engaging with one another, but understand not everyone will want to do so and that's ok!


What are the system requirements for taking an online class? 

 Minimum system requirements: 

The computer must have speakers and microphone capabilities for Zoom video conferencing. 

Minimum OS: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.10 and higher. Windows 7 and higher.

Mac OS, Windows OS or Chrome OS computer with: 2.5 GHz Dual Core Intel Core i5 and higher desktop CPU.

Bandwidth Requirements: 2.0 Mbps or faster


The following browser recommendations and settings should improve your experience using Canvas and ensure access to the activities and tools in your Canvas course sites.


Browser Versions:

Canvas will operate using the browsers listed below, but typically runs best in the latest versions. Chrome or Firefox are the preferred browsers for use with Canvas. 

 Legacy browsers with known compatibility issues: Internet Explorer 10 and below, Safari 7 and below

You may find it helpful to have more than one browser installed on your computer. If you run into problems using Canvas, moving to another browser may resolve your issues.


Required Browser Settings:

 The following browser settings should be selected:

  • Enable Cookies

  • Enable Javascript

  • Do not block pop-up windows

Note: In some browsers, you can make an exception for Canvas if you don't want to use these settings for all websites.

Instructions for browser settings are available via the following links:

Recommended Browser Add-ons:

The following add-ons may need to be installed if your browser is not already configured with them:

  • Java may need to be installed and enabled in your browser for features used by some Canvas courses. You will typically see a warning if you need to install or upgrade Java. Download/Check Java.

  • Adobe PDF Reader and PDF browser plugin will let you view PDFs in a browser window without opening a separate program. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader. The download includes the browser plugin. To install this plugin, just follow prompts.

  • Adobe Flash Player plugin for your browser will allow you to access Flash video and rich interactive media. Download Adobe Flash Player. If the most recent version of Flash Player is not working well with your browser, you can revert to a previous version.

  • Apple Quicktime provides easy access to multiple audio and video formats your instructors may post. Macintosh computers come with Quicktime already installed. Windows users may also install Quicktime. Download Quicktime.


How do you define the different types of online classes that you offer?

Intensive: These rigorous, full-day experiences are typically one week with morning kick-off video meetings online with the Instructor to set the tone for the day, self-paced work mid-day with Instructor-demos and content, and an afternoon or evening video session to wrap up the day with the Instructor. Students should expect to spend between 6 and 8 hours daily doing self-paced work and in class meetings. 

Crash Course: These skill-building learning experiences compress weeks-long curricula into a short period of time, usually no more than 3 days. Students should expect to spend between 10 and 15 hours on content, meeting at least once a day through video meetings with the class and instructor for the duration of the course. Crash Courses typically occur over a weekend with work Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. 

Workshop: These courses focus on hands-on skill development with lots of demonstrations and opportunities to practice. They tend to be no more than 5 days long, and often run in a single day. Students can expect to spend between 2 to 6 hours each day on content, most of which will happen live in video-meetings meetings with the instructor. Meetings may be scattered throughout with a minimum of one meeting and no maximum requirement. 

Make-and-Take: This type of class is hyper-focused on developing the techniques to produce a single project. Students commit to 2 to 4 hours daily to complete a single project over 1 to 3 days, completing at least one artifact during the course. Live video-meetings are often a component of these courses.

Self-Guided Video-Based: These courses are pre-recorded, fully asynchronous courses that contain mixed media content with a heavy emphasis on video recordings of demos, instructions, and techniques. Students will receive access to their course site within 2 business days and  can work through this material at their own pace. 

Weekly: These courses typically meet for a live video-conference once weekly on the same night each week for an hour or more and run anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks long. Students use the time between weekly meetings to practice, research, process, and create, and then come together each week to discuss their work or learn a new skill. 

Weekend: These are manageably-paced courses that occur on the weekends, typically over just one weekend. These are skill-building workshops with grab-and-go skills offered at a more relaxed pace than our crash courses.

Self-Paced: A self-paced course differs from a Self-Guided Video-Based course in that it doesn’t necessarily include videos as part of the asynchronous (on your own time or “self-paced”) experience. Students will receive access to their course site within 2 business days and can complete the activities at their own speed. 

Webinar: Large-scale and live-streamed, webinars are one-stop, engaging lectures from one of MECA’s experts in an Art, Design, Documentary, or Art Education discipline. Registrants can join webinars in real-time to participate in the Q&A and interactive elements, and all who sign up receive a link to the recording after the webinar has taken place. 

Credit-Bearing: These are traditional, academic or studio-based MECA courses that bear credit toward a degree, certificate, or transfer to another institution. These courses are governed by the Academic Affairs office and taught by MECA professors.

Kits-for-Kids: Art kits are created by the instructor and are mailed to the students to complement a skill based video class. These are video-guided, self-paced experiences in a pretty package tied with bow. Kids of all ages (9 to 109) are invited to participate in these kits.

Scheduled Self-paced: (available for fixed time and can complete any time during the fixed period) Asynchronous content with facilitator available on request during a fixed of period of time. Possibly no live meetings 

Custom-Experience: Do you represent an organization, business, non-profit, or other type of team? Are you trying to create a unique experience for a group of people? We offer a variety of customizable experiences, such as storytelling workshops, studio socials, make-and-take, creative problem-solving, brainstorming, prototyping, “MECA comes to your school,” and teachers CEU workshops. Contact us for more information and a quote. 

Corporate Experiences: Courses for communities sold group-first (community can define the class content; we basically sell a course to a group of people with this model instead of to a single person). 

IP-Purchased Courses: We own the content developed by an expert. Any other expert can teach the content whenever and however we choose.





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