Laney College

Online Classes

Online Classes

What is an online class?

An online class is a class that you do on your computer. While the Laney campus is closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all Laney ESOL classes are online.

What if I don’t have a computer and internet at home?

There are several programs now helping students to get computers and internet access. You can borrow a Chromebook from Laney (details here) and there are grants for 6 months of internet that include a computer that you can keep (details here). Your teachers may also have access to resources, so please let us know how we can help you.  You may be able to do some of the work on your phone, but you will need a computer to do a lot of the homework.

Is there help at Laney to teach me to use my computer better?

Yes!  You can make an online appointment or call the tutors for help with using Canvas and Zoom.  Contact the Student Success Center.    If your password doesn’t work, send your name, student number, and birthdate to  They will help you reset the password.

What is Canvas?

All California Community College classes use a program called Canvas. You can get to Canvas at Click “students” and the sign in with your peralta email address and password. If you have trouble with the password, send an email to or you can contact the Welcome Center here.

You will not have a class on your Canvas course list until the day after you register in that class.

If you need access to materials before you are officially registered, contact your teacher. The list of teachers with email and other contact information is here

How to use Canvas

Do I need to use Zoom?

Most classes will hold sessions on Zoom so that you can see your teacher and practice with your classmates. You can do this on your phone, tablet, or computer. Your teacher will give you the weblink and Meeting ID to their Zoom room. Most Zoom classes will also be recorded so that you can watch the class later if you can’t go that day. Ask your teacher for their rules and expectations.

You will want to get the Zoom app (on iphone go to the App store, on Android phone/Chromebook go to Google Play Store, or on a computer, go to and install the app on your Apple or Windows computer.) You do not need a Zoom account to attend a meeting, but it works a lot better if the app is installed. If you do not have other access, you can also call in from a regular phone to listen to the Zoom meeting.

What is a hybrid class?

Hybrid is what we call a class that is ½ in person and ½ online.  All classes are going to be online for now. Each teacher will let you know what they plan to do with the schedule changes and how many times per week you will meet on Zoom.

When we are back to normal in-person classes on campus, hybrid will mean that you come to class one day a week and do the other day’s lesson on the computer on your own time.

What do synchronous/asynchronous mean?

Synchronous means you all are there at the same time, like a Zoom meeting. Asynchronous means each of you goes on whenever you can do that. With an online class, there will be scheduled “synchronous” meetings on Zoom and there will be “asynchronous” discussions and assignments that you’ll need to do before a deadline due date, but can do at any time of day.

How do I register for classes when I can’t go to Laney campus in person?

The steps are a little different depending on whether you’re a new student or continuing student and whether you want or have had only noncredit classes.

Will I have a book?

Some teachers will still require that you buy a book. Some will not. If you need to buy a book while Laney campus is closed, you can buy that book from any local or online bookstore. Be sure to get the “ISBN” number from your teacher so that you are sure you get the right version of that book.

EOPS students may still need to buy books through the Laney Bookstore to get reimbursed.  The Laney Bookstore will be doing online orders.

How can I contact a teacher?

You can contact a teacher to ask about classes.  We are here to help you!  See this ESOL teachers list with contact information