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Tips for Online Classes: Tips for Online Classes

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Keep Learning at Taft College

Welcome to the Taft College Library's guide for online courses.

As an online student you will have access to ebooks, online journal articles, streaming video, online newspapers, and databases.


The Librarian and Library Staff are here to assist you while your finish you online courses. We are available by phone and email.

Call: 661-763-7707

Email: Ask the Library

Distance Learning Tips


  • Do: Take care of your physical and mental health. Get exercise, eat well, practice good hygiene. 

Additionally, please note that “social distancing” should really be understood as “physical distancing” since you should remotely talk with people through Skype, Facebook, etc.

  • Do: Check your official college email!

This is the official communication mode for the college. You must check your email to avoid missing any critical information. 

  • Do: Check in on all of your classes. 

Faculty should be contacting you or posting on Canvas before your classes resume to share their new syllabuses (with new deadlines) and explain how your course will operate in a remote environment.

  • Do: Organize your schedule.  

Plan to dedicate 6-7 hours per week per course to learning. (So, if you're a full-time student taking 15 credits, you'll still be studying full time – roughly 30-35 hours per week.)

  • What will this "learning" include? Depending on the mode of instruction your professor selects, it may mean:
    • real-time participation in online activities 
    • participation in online activities on your own time 
    • Reading 
    • Preparing assignments 
    • Reviewing course content 
    • Responding to discussion boards 
    • Working on group and individual projects 
  • Do: Make good use of academic support resources.

These include advising, distance learning, and tutoring resources

  • Online Counseling Appointments
  • Distance Learning
  • Learning Center/Tutoring
  • Do: Manage Your Environment.

    • Determine a productive process to work - you might need to have a full morning routine to get focused for school or you might find that sitting at the right table with a notebook can get you focused.

    • Find a comfortable space that allows you to focus. If you have the option, set up a workspace at home. If not, do something that means "I am at school now" - put up a sign, set up a pencil holder, or something else that physically signals you are "in school." 

    • Consider the "Do Not Disturb" function on your devices or a lockdown browser on your computer when you are trying to manage distraction. 

Accessing Library Databases

Library databases are accessible 24/7 wherever internet is available. 

Select the Library Databases link under the search bar on the library home page. 

Choose the database that will work best for your assignment. Databases can be sorted by database subjects, database types, or database provider. The page also lists the most popular database in a box on the right side of the page. 

Want to see it in action? Check out the video tutorial below:

 A how to on Accessing eBooks through the Library Catalog slideshow is below:

Taft College Library Instructions for Downloading eBooks

To view your downloaded eBook offline, you need to first download the right app for your device:

PC Computer: Adobe Digital Edition

Apple or Android: Bluefire Reader

Kindle: Send to Kindle

*Adobe Digital Edition is downloaded through the iTunes store. If you do not have iTunes installed on your device you will be prompted to install iTunes before you can download Adobe Digital Edition.

The first time you open a protected book, Adobe Digital Edition will ask you to authorize your computer. The best way to do this is to supply an Adobe ID or Vendor ID, associating the book with your ID. If you later wish to open the book on another computer, you can simply supply the same ID to open the book. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, click the “Create an Adobe ID” link. After creating the ID on the Adobe website, you can close that browser window, return to Adobe Digital Edition, and enter the newly-created Adobe ID.

If you choose to authorize without an ID, Adobe Digital Edition will enable reading of the book only on your computer. You will not be able to read it on other eReader devices or computers.


  1. From your search results click on the title of the book you wish to download.
  2. Click the “Download (Offline)” link located on the left side of the page.
  3. You will be prompted to sign in to your EBSCOHost account, or if you do not have an account you can choose “Create New Account.”
  4. Once you have signed in to your EBSCOHost account, you must choose the checkout period, either one day or two days. Then click “Checkout & Download.”
  5. The book will be automatically downloaded to your computer. If you use Firefox, double click on the green arrow at the top right of your browser to retrieve the downloaded file. The file will then be downloaded to Adobe Digital Edition on your computer.
  6. The eBook is now checked out to your account. You can view the book offline on your device using Adobe Digital Edition, or you can view the book online by going to your EBSCOHost folder.
  7. The book will expire in one or two days depending on your selection and you will not be able to open it offline. Once it has expired you will be prompted to remove the eBook from the Adobe Digital Edition program.

*You may check out and download only one book at a time.

Returning an eBook before it has Expired

  1. In Adobe Digital Edition, highlight the eBook you wish to return.
  2. Under the “File” menu, click on “Item Info.”
  3. Click on “Return.”

Transferring eBooks to a Portable Device

To transfer an eBook from Adobe Digital Edition to your portable device:

  1. Open your downloaded eBook in Adobe Digital Edition. If you have not authorized Adobe Digital Edition with your Adobe ID on your computer, you will need to complete that step first. You will be prompted to enter your Adobe ID and password the first time you try to open an EBSCOHost eBook with Adobe Digital Edition on your computer.
  2. Connect your portable device to your computer with a USB cable.
  3. Turn on the device. Adobe Digital Edition will automatically detect the presence of your device and offer to authorize it with your Adobe ID. Just as the Adobe Digital Edition software must be authorized with your Adobe ID on your computer, the portable device must also be authorized to be able to transfer protected content to and from the device.
  4. Click “Authorize Device.” Click “Finished” after your device is authorized.
  5. After authorization, the device appears as a new bookshelf in your library. Transfer items to and from the device bookshelf by clicking on the book title, then dragging and dropping the title into the device bookshelf. Note: Do not disconnect the device while you are in the process of transferring a title to the device.

Taft College offers comprehensive online student services.

Taft College will continue delivering services online to help our students succeed in their academic and career goals. Please click on the following links below:

For distance learning help:

To obtain technology support, please call the helpdesk (763-7737) or send an e-mail to ITS will return your call/message as quickly as possible!

Additional Information

Quick Links

Connect with a Librarian

The Librarian and Library Staff are here to assist you during regularly scheduled library hours. There are several ways to contact a librarian with any research, library, or other questions you may have. You can:

telephone icon

Call: 661-763-7707


email icon Email: Ask the Library

Study Environment

Example of a study environment.


This page was adapted from a similar page created by librarians at E.H. Butler Library at Buffalo State: State University of New York.