Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) is used for fully online, hybrid and classroom CCSNH courses. It provides students and faculty the ability to fulfill all course goals and objectives within an online environment. Canvas offers tools and features that will enhance the capabilities of student/faculty engagement and interaction. Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

Online students may access library resources at each of the seven community colleges through links on the college web sites. Experienced library staff are available to assist students with online research, use of the Internet and obtaining materials through Interlibrary Loan.

“Netiquette” or “network etiquette” is a set of standards that have evolved pertaining to appropriate Internet behavior, including the ways that users communicate and interact with one another. Incorporate these guidelines, in conjunction with expectations outlined in the Code of Conduct, in any form of written communication that uses technology to transmit the message, including but not limited to, email, Canvas discussion forums, chat rooms, websites, blogs, wikis, virtual meetings, text messages and instant messaging.

General Netiquette Guidelines

  1. Be mindful, and respectful toward, the person who will see or receive your communication. Communicate only those things that you would say face-to-face, though it is important to remember that communicating feelings in an electronic format often leads to miscommunication.
  2. Always assume the message-sender's intentions were good. If you notice that she or he used incorrect spelling, grammar, etc., and wish to let her or him know, do so privately and tactfully.

Netiquette in Written Communication

  1. Make sure your classmates, students and colleagues need to know the information you are sharing.
  2. Explain your ideas clearly and concisely. Nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, are absent; there is greater potential for misunderstanding.
  3. Forward email messages or files only with the author or owner's permission. Asking for permission demonstrates your integrity in personal and business communications.
  4. Take care in framing questions so as not to put a classmate, student or colleague "on the spot."
  5. Use bold fonts as prescribed in APA and MLA style guides (paper titles, paragraph headings, etc.). The use of bold fonts, ALL UPPER CASE, and the color red often convey a tone of anger to your reader.
  6. Use colored fonts only when it is adds to the clarity of the specific message or is pedagogically appropriate. Remember, classmates, students, instructors and colleagues who may use assistive technologies may encounter hurdles as a result of colored fonts.  If colored fonts are critical to your learning or lesson, know that the colors red or light green often cannot be seen by people with color blindness and that light colored fonts do not photocopy, or print well.
  7. Avoid the use of Italics as it makes the text more difficult to read.
  8. Avoid emoticons, e.g., :-), text-speak, e.g. 'u' for you, acronyms or abbreviations unless the class is expected to use them.
  9. Use ellipsis (...) for purposes related to proper formatting, such as those required of APA and MLA.
  10. Reread everything you write before sending, or submitting, it. Use spell check.

Netiquette in Discussion Boards

  1. Review the discussion board rubric, outlining the expectations for participation and contributions.
  2. Actively participate in icebreaker/introduction discussion forums.
  3. Label your discussion post so it can be located easily within the discussion board.
  4. Identify to whom you are responding, whether it is another student or the entire class. This also helps to keep the post in context.
  5. Limit your response to one screen length.
  6. Stay on topic in your responses.

Netiquette Specific to Email

  1. Use your email account for all college-related matters. It is the only way to guarantee that the recipient will receive your message and that you are seeing all email messages sent to you.
  2. Make sure the person listed in the “To” field is your intended recipient.
  3. State briefly the purpose of your email in the subject line, so the recipient immediately knows the purpose of your message and the course to which your message relates.
  4. Start your email with an appropriate greeting. Address the recipient with their proper title, e.g., Dr.; Professor; Mr./Mrs./Ms., etc., if that is how they refer to themselves.
  5. Present each of your main points in separate clear, concise paragraphs.
  6. Reply within 48 hours to an email, excluding weekends or holidays. If you need more time to compose a proper reply, send a brief email to inform your recipient. They will appreciate it!
  7. Use the Bcc and Cc field in an email in the following ways:
    • Use the Bcc field when you are sending an email to a large number of recipients and do not wish to share the email addresses of other recipients of that message.
    • Use the Cc field when you are sending an email to a person and you wish the copied person to be informed.
    • Add more than one recipient to the To field when you wish to collaborate or to share with a group of people who know each other.
    • It is important to consider that a recipient who was blind copied on a message has the potential to reply to all.

Netiquette Specific to Live Chat and Virtual Meetings

  1. Live chat and virtual meetings provide synchronous communication, i.e., communication that takes place between people in different locations at the same time.
  2. Log in early to the chat room so you can familiarize yourself with the live chat environment.
  3. Mute your microphone when not speaking to avoid audio feedback.

Original April 2008, Revised May 2014, CCSNH Distance Learning Committee

Smarthinking (Pearson) is an online tutoring service that is available at no cost to all CCSNH students. Smarthinking provides anytime, anywhere 24x7 live personalized tutoring in a variety of subjects.

Accessing Smarthinking is simple:

  • Log in to Canvas and access your course.
  • Click the Smarthinking link on your Course Menu (if the link is not showing in your course menu, ask your instructor to enable it).

Technology Requirements and Troubleshooting Tips

  • Cookies/Java script should be enabled.
  • Please disable all popup blockers for
  • Make sure that your browser is set up to allow cookies and pop-up windows (Smarthinking uses both of these).
  • Make sure that you have Java installed. If you need to install Java, go to Java's website and follow the instructions for the free download.

Need Help?

Contact Smarthinking (Pearson) customer support.

New to Online Learning?

  • Online courses consist entirely of online interactions: with content, the instructor and other students.
  • Online classes are mostly asynchronous (students and instructors are not required to be online at the same time). However, students may be asked to meet for a class session online.
  • Online classes are not self-paced, have regular (weekly) due dates and require as much work each week as face-to-face classes.
  • Self-directed learning behaviors and good time management skills are mandatory for successful online learning.
  • Many courses rely heavily on students' ability to learn and use new technologies.
  • Occasionally, students may be required to record audio and/or video of themselves when participating in online discussions.
  • Students may be required to work together at a distance on group projects.
  • CCSNH online courses are delivered through Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).

Did you know some classes may require you to download the following free software?

Already taking an online course and need help accessing Canvas, SIS and Email and/or resetting your EasyLogin password?

Online learning is not for everyone. Will it fit with your lifestyle, circumstances and learning style? Here are some basic questions to ask yourself in deciding if online learning is right for you:

  • Do you have access to a computer and an Internet connection? Online learning requires that you have a computer with a reliable Internet connection. The use of laptops and large tablets is satisfactory, but use of smaller devices is not recommended.
  • Do you feel like you can obtain quality education without a face-to-face instructor? Some people prefer interacting face-to-face.
  • Can you devote 5 to 9 hours a week in a 15-week course and 10-12 hours a week for an 8-10 week course? One advantage to online learning is the flexibility it provides in doing coursework, but expect to dedicate 5 to 9 hours a week.
  • Do you consider yourself to be a self-motivated and self-disciplined person? You will need to motivate yourself to meet the course schedule and assignment expectations.
  • When it comes to doing coursework and meeting deadlines, do you tend to procrastinate? Successful online learners log in to their courses regularly and participate often.  Waiting until the last minute to submit assignments can cause increased stress and frustration.
  • Do you feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing? Communication within online learning usually occurs electronically, so being able to write effectively is very helpful. Online courses can be very heavily writing-intensive because the online discussions are often written with multiple replies.
  • Do you enjoy reading? Online learning will require that you spend a considerable amount of time reading.
  • Do you feel you benefit from class discussions? While class discussions take place in online learning, it is not the same environment as a classroom.
  • Do you think the learning experience is enhanced through the sharing of experiences in life, work and education? Will you be willing to participate in open discussions with others?
  • Are you comfortable in the current technologies of computers, email and the Internet? You should be sure you can function and learn effectively using the latest technologies.

To succeed in the online environment, a student must:

  1. Have access to a computer and have minimum technology skills and requirements.
    Online courses require students to have daily access to a computer and be comfortable communicating online.
  2. Commit approximately five to nine hours each week for a 15-week course and 10-12 hours each week for an 8-week course (based on a 3-credit course)
    Online courses are not "easier" than those held on campus. Some of the time may be spent online in a discussion board, reading texts, completing written assignments, performing research or interacting with classmates in a chat room. Students who login to their course every day often find a rewarding, interactive and rich learning environment. Many students note that while online learning may require more time and commitment than a course held on campus, their learning experiences are positive and worth the investment.
  3. Motivate themselves and be self-disciplined.
    Online courses offer convenience and flexibility. Successful online students are responsible, self-motivated, committed to their learning. Time management skills and self-discipline are also essential.
  4. Think ideas through before responding.
    Meaningful and quality input into an online course is an essential part of the learning process. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; faculty do not expect students to be right all the time, but they do want to see that the student has thought about the content in a meaningful way.
  5. Communicate clearly and effectively through writing. In online courses, most of the communication is written; therefore, it is critical that students feel comfortable expressing their ideas in writing. Using spell check, proper grammar, proofreading, correct citations and clear sentences are essential skills in an online course.
  6. Interact with classmates and faculty.
    Many online faculty use the discussion board or chat to replicate a traditional classroom discussion. Students who engage in an online discussion with classmates and their faculty tend to learn more than those who do not. Students are encouraged to interact with classmates as much as possible.
  7. "Speak up" if problems arise.
    Online faculty may not know when students are having a difficult time with the course. Faculty expect the student to contact them as soon as problems arise so that necessary help can be provided. Students must reach out to faculty as early as possible if they need help.

Your home college is the college where you are formally accepted into a degree, diploma or certificate program. The grade and credits for an online course taken at your home college will be reflected on your college transcript.

If you take an online course at a college that is not your home college and you are currently enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program (a matriculated student):

  • Please discuss your course selection with your academic advisor to ensure the course will meet graduation requirements for your program.
  • If you earn a C or better in the online course, you may transfer the credits to your home college by submitting a transcript request at the Registrar's office.
  • The grade you receive in the course will not be reflected in your home college cumulative grade point average or transcript.

  • Are you interested in earning a bachelor's degree but prefer to begin at one of the NH Community Colleges?
  • Are you uncertain about financing your education for four years?
  • Would you benefit from starting college close to home, with time to better define your educational goals?

Many students attend a CCSNH College with an eventual goal of transferring to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor's degree, while others make the decision once they have already enrolled. The CCSNH Colleges have numerous transfer agreements – generally called "articulation agreements" – with four-year institutions, providing pathways between associate degree-level courses and baccalaureate-level courses.

You should discuss your plans with an admissions or academic counselor as early as possible to ensure you take the courses that will best support your transfer goals.

Please visit for information about transferring between CCSNH and the institutions within the University System of NH.