An overview of our Self-Paced software courses

  • Location: You may work in the CBE lab, building 19, room 216. You can also work from any internet-connected computer, if the course software is installed. The instructions and quizzes are all available online, using the Canvas learning system.

  • Hours: Arranged by you, to fit your schedule. You may work in our labs, the Library, or any computer equipped with the course software.

  • Materials: You need access to the software (in our lab or the Library), the internet, the textbook, and storage for your computer files. Our lab and the Library will check out books for your work session.

  • Instructors: There will be various instructors; available for assistance in the lab, as per posted schedules.

  • Grading: Grades are based on successful completion of project, and quizzes.

  • Turn-in due dates are posted on CANVAS

    The lab hours are 7:30am to 4:00pm, Monday thru Friday.

    The Instructors will be available during hours posted at the lab counter.

How to complete your Software Course

Begin by starting your web browser (preferably Firefox for Mac or Windows, or Internet Explorer for Windows) and log in to the SFCC Canvas System.

In Canvas, you will find a link to your course under the Courses menu.

Within the course page you will find the Assignments.

Each assignment will describe the required files and quizzes. The full instructions for each assignment is available on Canvas. These pages give you detailed notes on how to do the work, and will call out any problems with the book's text.

  • The Lesson Instructions for all the courses

    • Read the Instruction page for each project. It will alert you to any problems in the book and special changes in the projects.
    • These pages tell how to complete the lesson, do the assessments, and turn in your work
  • Take the Quizzes

    • You may take the quizzes two times; your highest score will be recorded.
  • Turn in the Completed Project

    • Each Project may have special instructions for submitting files, so check the Lesson Instructions for each project.
    • In many cases you will create a .zip archive of the lesson folder. The entire folder is usually required to properly review the project files, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
    • On a Macintosh, you can make a zip archive by selecting a folder (in the Finder) and choosing Create a Compressed File of "your filename". In Windows you can save as a compressed file or send to a compressed file (check your Windows help files for details).

Practical Issues

Always store your project files in a secure place, for the whole quarter.

USB drives and portable hard drives are convenient ways to store working files. CD and DVD disks are a secure archive solution. You have 8 gigabytes of storage in your Network Account. (On your Desktop it is the icon with your name and a dollar sign.) Your Network Account is safe and available from any machine connected to the campus network.

Classes will use a textbook, which you may check out for use in the CBE lab. You don't need to purchase a book unless you will be working on your own computer and software.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can use these courses to become familiar with professional graphic design software tools. They are a great way to experience the many features of the programs, to use really nice computers, and get an idea what can be done with these powerful programs. As you work through these lessons, you will be guided through complex and realistic projects. Beginners will gain a working knowldge; experienced software users discover overlooked features and rediscover useful concepts.

To get the most value from these courses, try to use the skills on your own projects. Inventing a very simple test project will help store these software skills in your long-term memory.

Are the Self-paced courses “online”?

These courses require the students to have access to the software applications and the course textbook. Due to the cost of the necessary software, we do not promote these courses as online. If students have the software off-campus, they can do all the work online. The answer is, they can function as online courses.

What is the last day to turn in my files?

Your last day to turn in your files is Midnight on the “Study Day”, the day after the last day of classes, prior to Finals Week. (In Summer quarter the date will be announced)

What does “arranged” mean? Are there any mandatory class meetings?

The term “arranged” you see in the catalog refers to you arranging your own schedule. You work around your schedule; there are no required meetings. Your instructor is available during the weekdays if you need help, but you aren't required to work at any specific times.

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What determines my grade?

Your grade will be determined your scores on the projects and quizzes. The final grade is 70% projects and 30% quizzes.

The quizzes can be taken TWO times and your highest score will be recorded. The projects will be scored on completeness and function, compared to the examples in the textbook.

Grading scale:

Course % Final grade
100%-90% 4.0
89%-75% 3.0
74%-55% 2.0
54%-30% 1.0
29%-0% 0.0

Note this change from previous quarters. In the past, the grading system gave either a 4.0 or a Z grade. With changes to academic progress and financial aid regulations our use of Z grades has been discontinued, except for extraordinary circumstances.

If you have made substantial progress, but are unable to finish, you may request an incomplete grade from your instructor. An incomplete course may be finished the following quarter and you will not need to register for the course a second time.

Must I work in the lab, or can I work from home?

See the first FAQ, above. You can do the work in the lab. You will check out a textbook in the lab and login to your Canvas account for instrucitons.

You can work outside the labs, if you have a computer, the software, and your own copy of the textbook. The disk included with the textbooks has lesson files but no actual software. Some software can be downloaded as a free short-term trial version.

How do I begin?

You will need to login to the Canvas website and connect to your course. You will find instructions on using your student registration information to login.

For most courses you will be using a textbook. The textbooks can be checked out, with your student ID card, at the counter in the CBE lab. Courses without textbooks use instructions found in the Canvas pages.

All coursework may bedone on the CBE lab's Macintosh or Windows computers.

In the SFCC Library

The Library has Adobe software on its stationary computers and on a limited number of Mac laptops.

Can I get started online?

Yes, see the answer above.

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Do I need to buy a textbook?

If you work in the lab, you can check out a textbook to use in the lab. If you own the software on your own computer, you can buy the textbook and work from home.

We are using the current year-to-date Adobe CC version of the textbooks for all applications. If you have older software, or older books, and wish to use them, contact your instructor and we will make accommodations.

GRDSN 156 & 164 Illustrator I & II Adobe Illustrator CC: The Professional Portfolio Author: Against The Clock Team Against The Clock See Canvas for specific  ISBN

GRDSN 158 & 166
PhotoShop I & II

Adobe Photoshop CC: The Professional Portfolio Author: Against The Clock Team Against The Clock
See Canvas for specific ISBN
GRDSN 163 & 168
InDesign I & II
Adobe InDesign CC 017: The Professional Portfolio Author: Erika Kendra Against The Clock See Canvas for specific ISBN
Adobe Animate CC
Adobe Animate CC: An Introduction To Animation Author: Against The Clock Team Against The Clock, Inc. See Canvas for specific ISBN
GRDSN 172 & 174
Dreamweaver I & II
Adobe Dreamweaver CC: The Professional Portfolio Author: Against The Clock Team Against The Clock, Inc. See Canvas for specific ISBN
After Effects
Adobe Classroom in a Book: After Effects CC (Current Version) Author: Adobe Team Adobe Inc. See Canvas for specific ISBN

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Do I need my own computer and software?

No, you may use the equipment in the CBE lab, building 19, room 216. You can use your own equipment; these classes are a good way to "try before you buy" if a computer purchase is in your plans. The Adobe software is available in other campus labs, but you will need to purchase the textbook to work outside the CBE lab, or you work at home.

When are the labs open?

The labs are normally open Monday through Friday, 7:30am til 4:00pm.

Summer hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 til 4:00.

What software courses are offered?

These courses are now available:

  • GRDSN 156 Adobe Illustrator I
  • GRDSN 164 Adobe Illustrator II
  • GRDSN 158 Adobe Photoshop I
  • GRDSN 166 Adobe Photoshop II
  • GRDSN 163 Adobe InDesign I
  • GRDSN 168 Adobe InDesign II
  • GRDSN 171 Adobe Flash I
  • GRDSN 172 Adobe Dreamweaver I
  • GRDSN 174 Adobe Dreamweaver II
  • GRDSN 175 Adobe After Effects

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Is help available when I work in the labs?

Yes, instructors are available to help you.

Instructor lab schedules are also posted at the front counter in the lab.

Is the software available as a cheaper educational version?

The cheapest solution is the free 30-day trial version, see below.

Adobe offers an educational price for the new Creative Cloud. It has gone on sale periodically, so watch the pricing if you plan to buy a subscription (a full year's committment.) The educational versions are identical to the commercial versions, and the graphic files are created in standard formats..

Can I do the course work using free Demo versions of software?

Yes, Adobe often offers a 30-day demo copy of the software through their Creative Cloud. These versions allows you to save your working files, and can be a great way to work at home (for 30 days).

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How long does it take to complete a course?

The courses are designed to be done in 44 hours. Your results may vary.

What computer experience is required to take a course?

You should possess basic computer skills. Using a mouse, navigating through the computer environment, create folders, save files, copy files.

Our labs use mostly Macintosh computers. If you are accustomed to the Windows operating system, you may want to try out the Macintosh. Most Windows users can adapt to Macs quickly and painlessly by reading the "Switching from Windows" topics in the Mac Help files.

Can I do the work on the Windows version of the software?

Yes, if you have a Windows machine and the software, the programs work nearly the same on Windows or Macintosh, and the files will transfer between platforms.

There are Windows computers with Adobe Software in the CBE lab and the Library. There are limited numbers of textbooks in the Library.

Can I take more than one course per quarter?

Yes, there are no limits or prerequisites. You may wish to meet with the instructor before signing up for multiple courses.

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Can I enroll in the courses during the quarter?

Are the software courses offered every quarter?

They are offered Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Where do I store my files?

You can use your student network 8-gig storage area to store lessons. You can also use your own storage device; USB drives, portable hard drives, network storage sites, or CD/DVD disks all work. You can even email lesson files to yourself if the files will are not too large for your email system.

What about USB storage devices?

A USB flash drive

They are a chip of flash memory in a little case with a USB plug on the end. They're called Flash Drives, USB Drives, Thumb Drives, etc. They have no moving parts and are quite dependable. When plugged in they look and act like a hard drive. It is recommended you copy your projects onto the computer and do your work off that file. When you are done, copy the work back to the USB drive.

Be sure to use the appropriate unmounting, ejecting or other disconnect procedure for the computer you are using before unplugging them. Data may be lost if you don't.

Rename your USB drive with your name or other unique term. It makes it easier to trace if you forget your USB drive in the computer.

The self-paced courses will not need large storage so you can buy the cheaper models. A good plan is to periodically copy the contents of the Flash Drive onto a CD or DVD disk and then clean off the unused files. The files you delete will remain in the Trash folder on the drive, taking up space, until you empty the trash. A DVD burner is available in the lab.

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I threw out my old files into the Trash but my USB Drive or hard drive still won't save new files???

When you throw files into the Trash, they are still there on your drive, taking up space, until you run the Empty Trash command (found in the Mac Desktop Finder pull-down menu).

Other Policies

Faith & Conscience Absence Policy

Community Colleges of Spokane will grant reasonable accommodation so that grades are not impacted for students who are absent for reasons of faith or conscience, or for an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Such absences must be requested in writing on the Class Absence Request form within two weeks of course start. There are no additional fees associated with this request.


Last Updated: 09/11/2019


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