Online Learning

All of Cerro Coso’s degrees and certificates can be obtained entirely online. The online environment is an effective way to learn web design and related software. As a web design professional, this will be the environment in which you collaborate with clients and work, so completing your education online is excellent preparation for that.


  • Develops skills for working remotely and collaboratively—essential skills for working with clients, vendors, and colleagues in the workplace.
  • No commuting—an important benefit with rising gas prices!
  • No parking hassles
  • No need to get a sitter for kids.
  • Schedule flexibility—you can work during hours of the day or night that are optimal for you.
  • Greater variety of interactive learning activities.
  • The sense of community in online classes is often much stronger than in on-ground classes.
  • Shy or quiet students will find it much easier to be assertive and engage in the class community.

Learning Management System

Cerro Coso uses the Canvas learning management system for its courses. Canvas is designed to accommodate learning activities that are cognitively engaging and collaborative. The site architecture consists of a home page that contains weekly modules, which include all the relevant assignments and activities for the week. Everything that is needed for the week is 1-click away on the course home page. Students don’t need to navigate through layers of content to find what they need, as is the case with learning management systems that other colleges use.

Skills for Successful Online Learning

To be successful, online learners should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • They purchase their textbook(s) and software before the semester begins.
  • They are organized, disciplined, and self-regulated and can meet deadlines.
  • They are able to log into class several times a week to participate in activities.
  • They are comfortable communicating in asynchronous discussion forums.
  • They are able to read at college level.
  • They have basic computer competency skills including:
    • Perform computer start up and shut down procedures correctly.
    • Use computer input and output devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, stylus, trackball, assistive devices, or printer with proficiency.
    • Access and manage login accounts and documents effectively, including downloading, creating, naming, retrieving, and decompressing files and folders with an awareness of file size, location of saved files and folders, and available space on storage media and a clear distinction between various campus, email, and course login accounts.
    • Perform editing tasks, such as copying, cutting, and pasting of content and applying spell checking.
    • Send an outgoing e-mail with an attachment, and open an incoming e-mail and its attachment.
    • Search and navigate the Internet and other types of media and environments easily.
    • Be aware of the need to evaluate Internet content for relevance, authenticity, authority, and currency.
  • Students should also NOT have the expectation that online classes are easier than traditional on-ground classes. Online classes are every bit as rigorous and time consuming as traditional classes.

Nationwide averages indicate that there is a 10-20% higher rate of attrition (drops or withdrawals) in online courses in general. This is because many students are not prepared for the discipline needed to participate regularly and manage their time well in order to meet deadlines. They also may lack a basic level of computer competency. Students who have little experience using computers should consider taking CSCI C070 Computer Literacy, to obtain this foundation.


Required software applications are:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud — $19.99/month
  • Microsoft Office — free with Cerro Coso email address
  • Plain Text Editor — free
  • FTP program — free