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Welcome to Distance Education

Sometimes you need the convenience and flexibility of online classes. We understand. Distance Education at Hartnell College is designed to be interactive, engaging, and best of all teaches you real life skills in addition to class content.

Use this information to get off to the right start, and to be successful in your online learning at Hartnell College. The links at the left will take you to some of the more frequently visited sites for online learning.

Having trouble logging into Etudes? Use the Log-In Help link to your left!

Get started with distance education at Hartnell College by following these steps!

  • 1. Is DE for Me?

  • 2. Enroll

  • 3. Prepare for Class

  • 4. Orientation

  • 5. Tips for Success

  • 6. Starting Class

Distance education requires strong computer and study skills. Use this self-assessment to assess your readiness to take online classes - don't worry - it's not graded!

Watch this video - by Hartnell students, for Hartnell students - to get an idea of what online learning is like.


1. Choose a class (select Distance Education for the location)
2. Apply and Register
3. Buy your textbook (School Bookstore) also Tips on Affordable Textbooks (OER)
4. Complete the Preparing for Class tutorial (in development)

Preparing for Class

1. Prepare your computer

2. Contact your Instructor

  • Send an email to make sure you know when class starts, any books or materials you need to buy, and anything you need to complete before the start of the semester.

3. Get familiar with Etudes

  • Your "classroom" is online in a course management system called "Etudes" (pronounced A-tudes).  Click the link above to get oriented with Etudes.  You will want to log-in at least once before the semester starts.  Having troubles logging in?  For first time log-in you will find answers here.  Still having problems?  Try resetting your password using your Hartnell email here.  Still no luck?  Etudes may have to reset your password: use this form.

4. Know where to get help.

  • Ask your instructor.
  • Visit the Tutorial Center: Library (Buliding A) Room 213
  • Stop by the Open Computer Lab (Building E) Room 211
  • View the FAQs

To set yourself up for success, you will need to complete the Etudes Student Tutorial and the Online Student Orientation (links below). In addition, please review the Hartnell Board policies regarding student conduct and acceptable use of technology.

Etudes Student Tutorial (if you already completed step 3 - you have done this)

Online Student Orientation

Board Policies for Review



Tips for Online Success

Familiarize yourself with the course requirements.

  • Read the syllabus
  • Make sure you understand course objectives, what will be covered, and when assignments are due.

Take Responsibility

  • Even though you don't see your fellow classmates and instructor - you are still in school.  You need to take online courses as seriously as you would any traditional class.
  • Communicate with your instructor.  If you are struggling, make sure they know right away so they can get you the help you need.

Set Goals

  • Set simple goals: logging in once a day to check message boards and announcements or starting assignments the day after they are posted or setting aside uninterrupted time to study.
  • Stick to your goals -- soon they will become part of your routine.


There is no face-to-face interaction in online classes.  You need to be proactive.  Join chat sessions, post messages in discussion boards, and email your teacher or other students.


"Studying" includes many different tasks -- print online reading so you can highlight and take notes on it, review lecture and reading material more than once, and complete all homework.

Apply what you've learned

  • You retain more of what you learned if you apply it in your real life right away - whether that is at home or at work.
  • Do this by talking to peers and supervisors about what you've learned, as well as actually using the skills.  Pretend you will have to teach someone else to apply the material and skills you are learning, you will look at the material in a new way.

Starting your Class

Etudes Tutorial (Please note: the look of the Etudes dashboard has changed!)

Before the semester starts, complete the tutorial above to get comfortable using Etudes.  This is where your class will take place.

Accessing your Class

Once you log-in to Etudes, you will see your classes listed as "tabs" across the top of the page.  Clicking on the tab will take you to the home page for that class.  Don't see the tab?  Contact your instructor to make sure they have published the course.