Online Education

Online Education Center

Orientation Details

Online Orientation for BIOL-D054G-63Z
(It is highly recommended that you print out this page for future reference.)
Instructor Contact Information
Instructor Judy Cuff-Alvarado
Office Hours Tuesday in KC215: 2:15-3:15/ Wednesdays 8:30am -11:00am in SC3/Thursdays: 8:00-9:00am in KC215 or by appointment
Office Location KC215
Office Phone 408-864-8640
A Message from your Instructor

Welcome to the series BIO54G,H, I and J. You are taking this orientation prior to a 6 week course offered through Distance Learning at De Anza College. Distance education may be a new experience for you and you may have many questions. This orientation is intended to answer many common questions so that you can reduce stress and maximize your chances for a successful, positive experience. I also hope that by the end of this orientation if you have any other questions you will know where and how to find answers. Students who are successful in distance education have initiative, organization and time management skills.

Because we don't get to meet face to face for lectures each week it is important that you know how to reach me. You can reach me in person during my office hours and during my scheduled hours in the Lab. You can also make appointments to meet with me at other times during the week. Leave me an email or voicemail message and be sure to include your phone number if you'd like me to return your call. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Be sure to check the catalyst site or my webpage for updated office hours (they change each quarter) and other class news that may come about.

What is the BIO54G,H,I,J Series about and how are these courses formatted?

The subject matter of this course is the fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology. We will survey the entire body, starting with the common characteristics of all life forms and progressing to the wonder of a single human cell. We will explore each system of the body, focusing on the major principles of structure and function interrelating interdependently.

There are four separate six-week courses to complete the study of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Each course has its own registration, syllabus, final exam, and course grade. It is preferable to take the four courses in sequence, 54G, H, I, and J, but it is not required. The same textbook and the same laboratory manual are utilized for all four courses.

How do I get access to the video lectures?

1. The course videostream lessons are accessed through Catalyst, the online course management system. For technical requirements to use Catalyst, refer to the Distance Learning home page: or refer to the last section of this orientation.

2. To get access to the DVD copies of the lecture at the Library West Computer Lab in the basement of Learning Center West, you will be asked to show a current DASB card (obtained on the ground floor of the campus center) AND a card from distance learning that says you are currently enrolled in a distance learning course.

3. If you do not ever use the Library West Computer Lab you will not need a DASB card or Distance Learning Card. You will simply access the lectures using the Catalyst login instructions found on the Distance Learning Center website.

Each week of the course you will

1. Read/study one chapter in the textbook in the comfort of your own home or on campus

2. Watch a video lecture on that text chapter via videostream on any computer of your choice (home, at De Anza College, library etc) OR by coming to the Library West Computer lab at DeAnza and getting a DVD or VHS copy of the lecture which can be viewed at the computers there or taken out overnight.

3. Doing the related lab work in the Science Pavilion (SC 3101) or in the Allied Health Resource Lab (Room S82)

How does lab time work? Are the lab hours counted? Is the instructor ever available in lab?

Each week students use time in lab to view lectures via video stream, study or work on lab assignments. Some students like to work together and can do so in a private room in the back of both the Allied Health Skills lab and the Science Pavilion. Please check with the lab personnel about scheduling the room.

Please be sure to sign in and out of lab each time you go. This helps us measure lab use. Because students are able to watch video lectures, study and do many lab assignments from home, there is no required amount of lab hours. However, many students find using the lab resources here on campus to be very instrumental to their success in the course since there are models, diagrams, books, computers and knowledgeable lab personnel who can assist you.

I will be available to you during the scheduled lab time to answer questions and review material. I will also review weekly tests with you during the scheduled lab time. You may decide to complete your lab assignments any time that the lab is open. Some lab assignments can be done easily at home which is also OK. When using the lab however whether to study, take a test or work on lab assignments, please be sure to sign. The lab personnel will help you get started with this.

What if I can't make it to lab when the instructor is there?

You can make appointments to meet with me during my office hours, and other times during the week. I will send emails to all enrolled students whenever group announcements are necessary. It is the students responsibility to know my office phone number and email.

Each week I will lecture on the current chapter you are studying. I will emphasize the important concepts and clarify details. I encourage you to ask questions during the lab time or by phone. You may take the chapter test the following week in one of 2 locations: the Science Pavilion or the Allied Health Resource lab.

When is the Lab Open? Where is it on campus?

The operating hours for the Science Pavilion varies a little each quarter. For updated hours of operation, I recommend that you phone the lab at 408-864-8921.

The Allied Health Resource lab is located in building S8. This lab is open Monday - Friday. Please phone Marge Sainten there for this quarter's hours of operation. 408-864-8687.

Please note that if the lab closes at 4pm you should start your test no later than 3:00 pm so that you are not rushed.

You can find a map of De Anza College by going to This is the campus webpage. There you will find a link that includes a map of the campus. Make sure you have a parking permit when parking on campus.

Can I use the text book from a previous edition?

We are currently using the 11th edition of Holes Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology with the accompanying lab manual (see greensheet for ISBN number). Students are welcome to use the 10th edition provided they understand that page numbers and the numbers assigned to lab exercises will probably be different and therefore require the students to be patient and ask lab personnel for help in identifying the correct numbers of assignments. In most cases, the numbers are off by one. PLEASE BE SURE TO PRINT THE CORRECT SCHEDULE OF LAB ASSIGNMENTS DUE according to your correct text edition. On the catalyst site you will find a link to lab assignments for the 11th edition as well as the 10the edition. Do not confuse yourself by printing or referring to both of these. If you have any questions regarding the schedule of lab assignments you may ask Bonnie in the Science Resource Center before doing the lab report.

Hours of Study: The time required for students to succeed in this course can vary dramatically. As a rule of thumb, I encourage students to be prepared to spend 4.5 hours per week between lecture, reading and studying the course materials as well as completing lab exercises.

Finally, some other reassurances.

Do I need to know a lot about using a computer?

No. You will need to be able to turn on the computer, access the distance learning webpage so you can access the lectures and be able to access my webpage for updates and to down load the greensheet/class schedule/class notes.

Do I need to own a computer? No. Computers are available on campus at the open media lab, the Science Pavilion and the Allied Health Skills lab. You do need an email address so that an access code can be emailed to you AND so you can communicate with me if necessary. Email is free.

I take notes very slowly and can't get all that I'm listening to down on paper. On my web page you will find class notes from each lecture. Print those out BEFORE each lecture so you can add to them as you follow along in lecture. You can listen to each lecture as many times as you need.

What if I'm not able to come to campus one week and take a test? Ultimately, by the final week of the course, all tests, lab work, extra credit assignment and final exam must be done. No exceptions. It is a 6 week course. The schedule you see on my web page is a strong recommendation for students to follow so that they don't fall behind however, students are able to move at a slower or faster pace if that works best for them. The only temporal restriction is the final end date for the course. Additionally, no extra credit or lab exercises can be handed in after the final exam. Make sure when you take your final that you are really done with the course.

Commonly Used Numbers for BIO54 Students

  • Allied Health Resource Lab: Marge Sainten in room S82 408-864-8687
  • Science Pavillion Resource Center: Bonnie Mell at 408-864-8921
  • Distance Learning Center: 408-864-8969
Hours of Study
Be prepared to spend a minimum of 4 hours per week using and studying the course materials.
Video programs for this course are shown weekly on cable TV in Silicon Valley. Below are channel listings by community.

Comcast Cable
Channel 27 Channel 75
Los Altos
Los Gatos
Mountain View
San José
Santa Clara
East Palo Alto
Menlo Park
Palo Alto
Stanford University
The channel numbers listed are subject to change. Consult your local cable guide for the most current information.

For problems or questions concerning the De Anza College cable TV broadcasts, please contact the Broadcast Media Center at 408-864-8300.

Check your syllabus for specific broadcast information or visit our Technology web page for general information on days and times.

Most courses with video content are also available via streaming media. Please check the course syllabus and/or instructions within the Catalyst shell for additional information on access to streaming media.


Webcasts and Videostreaming

The video lessons for this course are also available as videostreams. If you would like to access your video lessons from a computer you will need:

  • RealPlayer installed on the computer.
  • A high speed Internet connection.

To access the videostreams go to and follow the logon instructions on this page. You will not be able to logon until the first day of instruction.

If you do not already have RealPlayer you may download it for free. Some courses use Quicktime instead of RealPlayer. Instructions for downloading are in your Catalyst course.

Keep in mind that network congestion either at De Anza College or with your ISP can affect the smooth delivery of the videostream.

How to get started in your course
Apply for admission to De Anza College and for this class, if you have not already done so. Completing this orientation DOES NOT enroll you in the course. THERE IS NO ON-CAMPUS ORIENTATION FOR THIS COURSE. Complete the Online Orientation and submit the Student Information Form.
  • Read the complete course syllabus, greensheet and class schedule on my webpage.
  • Obtain the required course materials and determine your viewing schedule.
  • Consult the Course Calendar in the syllabus (add dates, drop dates, final exam week) Start your Weeks 1 and 2 readings, viewings, and assignments.
  • Financial Aid is available to qualifying students. It can't hurt to ask!

  • Online Education
    Building: MLC 210

    Phone: 408.864.8969
    M-Th: 9:00a-5:00p
    F: 9:00a-4:00p


    Last Updated: 1/27/16