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Frequently Asked Questions

Click one of the links below to go directly to the related FAQs, or scroll down and browse all FAQs.

Enrollment and Course Access
Basics and Personalization
Course Activities and Resources

Enrollment and Course Access

Why can't I log on to Cougar Courses?

Important password security note: We will never ask for your password. Please don't provide it in an email. If you receive an email asking for your password, forward the email to and delete the message right away.

I don't see all of my courses in my Cougar Courses!

  • Your list of active courses can be found in two places in Cougar Courses. First, after you login to Cougar Courses there is a tab on the navigation that says My Courses. If you click on that tab a list of your active courses will drop down. Second, if you scroll down to nearly the bottom of the homepage of Cougar Courses your active courses should be listed under the heading My Courses. If you have quite a few courses this list may not show all of them. Click the link "My courses" at the bottom of the list to be taken to a full list of active courses. 
  • If you do not see a particular course in either of these places it might mean you have not yet been added. It can take up to 24 hours from the time you officially add a course in MyCSUSM until you are added to the Cougar Course container.
  • If it has been over 24 hours since you officially enrolled through MyCSUSM the course might not have been made visible by the instructor yet. There is a way you can check that yourself: Go to the search bar at the bottom of the homepage of Cougar Courses and search by the name and number of the course (for example, BIOL 104). If you see the course (and correct section) listed there it means the course is active/visible to students, but you have not been added yet. If you do not see the course (and correct section) that means the course is not yet active/visible to students.

I just added a course but it isn't listed under My Courses. Can you give me access?

It can take up to 24 hours for your add to be processed by the registrar and your name to be added to the course roster and Cougar Courses. If you require immediate access to the course materials, your Instructor can add you to the course using the instructions in the faculty help tab>start of semester tasks>Adding Course Users.

I was unenrolled from a course but have now cleared my financial hold. How do I get access to the course again?

You should be automatically re-enrolled within 24 hours, but probably much sooner. If you need immediate access, your instructor can add you to the class using the instructions in Faculty Help>Course Basics and Organization>Adding Course Users.

Why am I still seeing my classes from last semester listed on my dashboard? How can I get rid of these?

This is part of the default settings, but you can easily change this. Go to My Courses> Dashboard. Click the Customize this page button just below your name at the top right. Use the icon just in front of the course name to re-order your courses so that the current semester courses are at the top of the list. You can also use the Number of courses to display drop down to limit the number of courses displayed to those you are enrolled in the current semester.

How do I access a previous course to download my assignments or resources (like the Syllabus)?

Students do not have access to past courses.You need to contact the instructor to see if he/she will allow you to have access again.

Basics and Personalization

How can I add a picture to my profile?

 See How to edit your profile

I can't see my gradebook or certain grades.

You should contact your instructor. Instructors have the ability to hide the entire gradebook, or individual grade items. They can also hide assignments on the course page, thus hiding the grade in the gradebook. Turnitin assignments have a post date, set by the instructor, which determines when their feedback and your grade become visible.  We can not change any of these settings without the permission of your Instructor.

I can't find my ______ block.  How do I get it back?

Blocks can be accidentally "docked" or moved and collapsed along the left side of the Cougar Courses window.  If you see a black bar  running vertically along the left side of the CC window, the block is docked along the top.  Mouse over the block to expand it, then in the top right of the  expanded block, click the small arrow facing right to undock the block and return it back to its place in your course.

Course Activities and Resources

I'm having trouble submitting my Turnitin assignment.  What's wrong?

  • Use Firefox as your internet browser
  • Make sure your document file name has the .doc or .docx extension at the end, or is saved as a .pdf (especially important if you are using a Mac)
  • Your document must have more than 20 words. Images alone won't work.
  • Don't use any characters (/ & % -) in the document or submission title
  • Follow these directions to configure all of your browsers to allow popups

Why can't I view the lectures or films the instructor posted?

This can be caused by your computer settings, or the link may be bad and the instructor needs to update it.  To check your computer settings:

I can't open the PDFs my instructor posted in the course?

Do you have Adobe Acrobat Reader Installed?  You may need to change your antivirus software settings to allow software installs.  Get Adobe Acrobat Reader Free

Can you tell me if my assignment, quiz, Turnitin, etc was submitted?

Follow these steps to find the information:

  • Login to Cougar Courses and go to your course
  • On the toolbar at the top of the page click on "This course" and choose the activity from the drop down menu (Quiz, Assignment Turnitin)
  • View the lists of quizzes, assignments, Turnitin assignments
  • Click on the link for the quiz, assignment, or Turnitin assignment in question
  • For a quiz, look in the "Summary of your previous attempts" section under the "State"column
  • For an assignment, look under the last column "Submission"
  • For a Turnitin assignment, you should see a submission receipt after uploading your assignment. You can also click on the Turnitin assignment, then look for a number under the Submissions column to the right of your name. If you don't see a number, you didn't submit it. 
Another option for checking assignment submissions is to view your Activity Report.
  • Go to the course
  • In the Navigation block click on the Participants link then click on your name
  • On the right side of the page in the Reports section, click on the Complete Report link
  • Review the page to see what you have and have not reviewed or submitted