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Distance Education

Institute for Distance Education Advancement and Excellence (IDEAE)

A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Institute for Distance Education Advancement and Excellence (IDEAE) at Merritt College. This is the place where faculty, students and staff collaborate to enhance online teaching and learning experiences. We are about to embark upon an exciting journey in the coming months which will involve supporting our faculty and students to reach new heights in distance education (DE) curriculum and pedagogy in order to achieve and surpass California’s Online Education Initiative (OEI) standards for distance learning and teaching. Our ultimate goal is to reach the highest rates of success, retention and persistence in the nation for Merritt’s students, with specific attention paid to equity and social justice for disproportionately impacted groups in our learning communities. We plan to reach these goals through an amalgam of methods including:

  • Professional development for our faculty and staff, student training on how to succeed in online courses;
  • Enhanced Critical Academic Support Services (CASS) for online courses;
  • Strengthened integration on instructional and student support services for DE;
  • Deployment of preemptive intervention through predictive analysis of trends in online learning;
  • Insuring highly responsive technical support for online faculty and students;
  • Investing in the right software and equipment;
  • Insisting on excellence from ourselves and our students while providing the necessary resources; and
  • Frequently investigating other benchmark practices in academe and emulating them at Merritt.

I also want to take this opportunity to welcome and introduce our new Distance Education Coordinator, Professor Monica Ambalal. Ms. Ambalal was selected to lead Merritt DE efforts and will begin working on campus in Fall 2018. She brings an amazing depth and breadth in knowledge and know-how to Merritt’s Distance Education, from online instructional design to online pedagogy, and everything in between. With her energetic lead and the Merritt team’s dedication to our faculty and students, we are heading toward unprecedented success for our community. Our contact information is listed to your right and please do not hesitate to contact us should you need help or would just like to talk about an idea or concern you may have. I hope you enjoy, learn, and feel supported as you participate in Merritt’s online courses and services.

Yours always,

Dr. Syed Khaled Hussain

Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.


All online and hybrid courses are now offered in Canvas.

More Canvas Resources Here

You can read about the Merritt Certificate for Online Teaching by clicking this link

Registration and Enrollment

How to register at the Peralta Community College District
Before you can add a class, first complete the Peralta College’s online application through Passport. Once you have completed the Application Instructions, you will be able to activate your account and start enrolling in classes.

How to enroll in courses

In the Online Classes page, find the courses that you would like to enroll in. Note the term and class number.

Then log in to your Passport account and click on the Student Center link. From here, you can Add a Class. Select the term and click continue. You can enter the class number in the second field.

If a class is full, you can add your name to a wait list (if available) or contact the instructor directly.

Problems registering for a class?

Some online courses have a prerequisite, which is usually completion of a prior course with a grade of C or better. If you have not completed a prerequisite or took it at another school, you may have difficulties registering for a class.

If you have taken the prerequisite and having trouble with the registration process, please contact a counselor at the school that offers the online class you are attempting to add:

Merritt College Counseling Dept: 510-436-2475

Tips for Success when Learning Online:

  •  Purchase Your Textbook – The first thing that you should do after enrolling in your class is to order your textbooks.  If you do not know which textbook to buy, email your instructor.
  • Access Your Course Website – You may access your course website  from the website.
  • Maintain Attendance/Participation – Access your course website often and regularly. Your instructors will often post announcements and updates to the course web sites. In addition, instructors may add useful information about future lessons. Lack of participation in your course will be considered as non-attendance and may result in the students being dropped from the course.
  • Know Due Dates For All Assignments and Assessments – Review lessons carefully and pay special attention to the due dates for assignments. Some Distance Learning instructors may provide flexibility related to the due dates for each assignment, but some instructors will post strict due dates and requirements for their courses. Be sure you have read through the syllabus and lesson information to know what your instructor expects from each student.
  • Check Your Email Often – Most of your instructors will use your District provided email account for communicating with you and your classmates. In addition, many instructors will expect you to communicate with them through the use of the District provided email. So, check your District email account often.
  • Provide Identification Information With All Assignments – Include your student ID, full name and course title on all assignments and correspondence. Many instructors teach more than one class and without appropriate ID information it may be difficult for the instructor to remember which course you are enrolled in.

If you have never taken an online class,  you might be interested in viewing some new modules on online readiness created by the State Chancellor’s office.

01-Introduction to Online Learning

02-Getting Tech Ready

03-Organizing for Online Success

04-Online Study Skills and Managing Time

05-Communication Skills for Online Learning

06-Online Reading Strategies

More help getting started as an online student

Step 1:

Take this Readiness self-assessment questionnaire now!

This questionnaire will give you an idea whether or not you have the personality traits, learning aptitude, technical knowledge, hardware and software, and study skills for online learning.

Step 2:

Complete the Online Student Readiness tutorials

Whether this is your first time taking online classes, or you have taken a few online courses in the past; you will find that these resources are tailored to your needs and are focused on enhancing the academic and technical skills needed for success in the online learning environment.

Additional Online Learning Resources