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CGHS Student Resources (Canvas)

Getting Started

Here are a few things you should do as you begin this course:

  1. Locate the Syllabus link on the course menu.  Download the syllabus and print it or store it somewhere you can access even when the internet is unavailable.  This way you will always have access to the course activities for each module.
  2. Course dates are listed on the syllabus with each module.  Although you may submit your assignments at any time prior, they are due at 11:59 pm (Mesa, Arizona time) on the Sunday that concludes each module (unless otherwise noted in the course).
  3. Locate the Faculty Information link on the course menu.  You may want to record this somewhere outside the course in case you need to contact your faculty member and Canvas is not accessible.
  4. Click on the Coffee Shop link on the course menu and post an introduction.  Let people know a little bit about yourself and include a photo if you like.  This will help build connections with your classmates and give you a place to ask questions.
  5. Finally, check the A.T. Still University Academic Calendar to view term start and end dates.

Dates Information

Course Dates:

CGHS has two semesters per year, Fall and Spring. Each semester is comprised of two 10-week blocks, Block 1 and Block 2. Fall Block 1 starts the academic year and begins in July.

There is usually one week between the end of  Fall Block 1 (FAB1) and the beginning of Fall Block 2 (FAB2) and between Spring Block 1 (SPB1) and Spring Block 2 (SPB2). There are longer breaks between the Spring and Fall semesters.

All CGHS terms start on a Monday and end on a Sunday; the 10 course modules also run Monday through Sunday. Courses are made available to students one week prior to the term start date. This will generally occur sometime prior to noon.

Verify the coming term courses appear on your dashboard. Instructors are not expected to be in the course during the week prior to the term start, and no student work should be submitted; any early work will not receive credit. Specific dates for each module appear on the syllabus.

To find the start dates of blocks, ATSU academic calendars can be found at

Assignment Due Dates:

With few exceptions (noted in the assignment instructions), CGHS assignments are due at 11:59 p.m. Arizona time on the Sunday that ends the module. Courses are set to that time by default.

 You may change the time zone to your local time (see CGHS Student Resources > Canvas) and the due date times will translate to your local time (e.g., the due date will become 12:59 a.m. Monday if you are in the Central time zone or 10:59 p.m. Sunday if you are in the Pacific time zone). Specific times appear in the Coming Up section of your courses with due dates for assessments. Remember Arizona does not observe daylight savings time, so the time zone difference will change depending upon the time of the year.

If you change the time zone in your user settings, you can always view the course time zone by hovering over any date and time in your course. The text will show both your local time and course time.

Discussion forums generally require the first post of the module by 11:59 pm Wednesday, with additional postings due by 11:59 pm Sunday. The number of posts, length of required posts, and number of days of participation required vary by forum and program. These requirements can be found in the course and in the syllabus.

What to Expect from Your Instructor

Following are CGHS expectations for all instructors.  As a student you can expect the instructor to: 

  • Support a quality online environment with frequent communication and interaction among online students and course instructors via email, phone, and video conferencing.
  • Ensure online students are supported with easily accessible and clear course information and expectations.
  • Use Canvas for all course materials and communication.

CGHS instructors will provide additional information throughout the course by:

  • Posting at least one informational announcement each module.
  • Actively participating in the discussion forums throughout the week.
  • Responding to all student emails within 48 hours.
  • Posting grades within 96 hours (excluding ARP assignments for which the requirement is 7 days).
    • Including comments designed to enhance learning.
    • Providing summative feedback on all papers and subjective learning assignments.
    • Providing summative feedback via email to students on discussions as the instructor deems necessary.


Communication is vital for success. It is important to immediately inform your instructor and your Academic Advisor of any issues that will affect course progress such as illness, unexpected travel, family emergencies, and so forth.

For communication with the instructor regarding questions or comments specific to the course, please use the Inbox (Conversations) tool in Canvas.  This is the preferred mode of communication for course-related issues. Do NOT use the email to correspond with your instructor.

It is also imperative that you check your ATSU student email for information from the university such as messages from the Controller's Office, Financial Aid, Student Services, and the Registrar's Office.  This is the email address that will be used by ATSU to communicate with  you. It is your responsibility to keep informed of your obligations as a student and remain up to date.

When communicating online with your instructor and classmates:

  • always treat others with respect, whether in a discussion forum, in an email, or providing feedback;
  • remember to use correct spelling and grammar;
  • avoid using slang terms;
  • don't use the caps lock feature, which can be misconstrued as yelling; and
  • avoid the use of sarcasm or humor as the tone of this is sometimes lost and your message may come across as offensive.

Make sure your online interactions are positive and professional.

Time Commitment

Just as in the traditional classroom setting, attending class in an online environment is important.  We are all busy with jobs, family, and other commitments, but you will find it easier to manage your time and meet expectations if you schedule specific days and times to attend class.  It is expected students will spend 15 to 20 hours per week on the course with a minimum of three hours per week spent in the discussions (reading and responding to peers' postings).

  • Commit to being in the course each day.  This is the most effective means of keeping up with course discussions, announcements, and changes.   Students are required to log into each course at least once per week.  Two unexcused absences during a course may result in being administratively withdrawn from that course.  Contact your instructor if you need an excused absence.
  • Plan your week early.  Initial posting to the discussion boards must occur by Wednesday at 11:59 pm (Mesa, AZ time) each week.
  • Specific course-level expectations for discussions are posted in the course.
  • Ask as many questions as you like.  You have several options, including the Coffee Shop, Ask Your Instructor, Inbox (Conversations), and the instructor's contact methods.
  • Recognize that your instructor is not the only source of information in your courses.  Your reading materials, classmates, and experience are also sources of information.
  • Acknowledge that the discussion forums are the heart of the course experience.  Expect to spend several hours engaged in professional and inquisitive dialog with your peers and instructor each module.
  • Expect to read a great deal.  Your assignments contain essential information.  Stay current on your reading assignments.
  • Interact, engage, and contribute to establishing and sustaining a learner-centered environment.

Office Hours

You may need to meet with your instructor one-on-one to discuss components of your learning experience.  These individual conference times can be scheduled at any time by sending a request to your instructor using the Inbox (Conversations) tool in Canvas. Conferences can be conducted via phone, chat, or using other tools (such as Skype, Oovoo, or Zoom) that allow video or voice conferencing for free.  The selection and use of conference tools is at the discretion of your instructor.