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Academic Outreach and Innovation | Learning Innovations Student Guide for Completing Courses Remotely

Student Support

How/where do I find my instructor’s name?

The Instructor for the course is listed in the Schedule of Classes. If there is no name there it may be that the department is still working to make all teaching assignments.

If all classes are online why are some classes still wait-listing students?

WSU still wants all students to have a robust experience so there is a limit to how many students can be in a class, just like a physical campus experience.

Are classes going to still be at the same times as displayed on our schedules?

You should plan to be in the class at the times listed in the schedule of classes. The instructors will let you know if an individual class time will be shorter or possibly not meet during that week. Classes cannot meet outside of the times of the schedule of classes unless ALL students enrolled agree to the time change.

Classes with synchronous meeting sessions will hold those class meetings at the time listed in the class schedule. Therefore, you cannot take multiple classes scheduled with the same meeting time, or classes that overlap on the schedule.

How do we know if a class is synchronous or not?

If the class schedule shows a day and time that the class meets, then you can assume it is synchronous.

Where/what should I do/go if I am trying to change my class schedule? Now that the classes are online I need to change my dates/times because I need to work.

Talk with your advisor or go to the course scheduling website through MyWSU to adjust your schedule.

Where do I find the syllabus?

The syllabus will most likely be posted in your course space, which could be either Blackboard or Canvas. Or your instructor may email it to you directly.

How do I order books for my classes?

You can find and order your required books from the Bookie.

Is there tutoring support for students completing course work virtually?

All of WSU’s tutoring support is available virtually. Visit the Academic Success and Career Center to learn more.

What will labs look like online?

It will really depend on the course, discipline, and learning outcomes of the lab experience. Many will use online simulations and interactive activities while others may require purchase of supplies for activities you’ll do at home.  Faculty have worked hard to ensure they can provide activities that support the learning required.

What if I need materials from the Library?

Learn how to access services and materials remotely and special considerations for keeping/returning materials during limited and/or suspended operations on the Special Circumstances: Remote Resources And Guidance page.

If you have a job and can’t attend the live Zoom, are teachers allowed to dock off points for that day?

It would be best to have a conversation with the person teaching the course. We can’t guarantee that all synchronous sessions will be recorded for all classes. If you will only miss occasionally this is probably something you can work out with the instructor, but if you will be missing on a regular basis it might be best to take the class another term. Even if lectures are recorded you will not be able to fully engage in the class if you are rarely able to attend.

Faculty are encouraged to work with students to make up class when absence is due to illness or the need to quarantine.

Will we have to pay a fee to take online proctored exams?

There will be no charge for proctored exams.

Is the ALIVE resource tour still in person or is it online? Is the required Resource Tour still in person or online?

All resources, trainings, and student activities will be available online.

If we encounter computer/internet problems, (like an outage, virus, etc) are we allowed to go to campus and use computers there?

The Spark has some computers you may be able to use to access specific software or in an emergency.


Are we getting a Chromebook from WSU or do we use our own computer?

WSU has a Chromebook loan program for students who cannot acquire a computer. Learn about the computer loan program.

What kind of computer should I buy?

Please refer to our minimum technical requirements page for all of the details on what you need.

Will I need a webcam and microphone?

Absolutely.  These will be required for synchronous class sessions, group work, instructor office hours, and proctored exams if those are assigned in any of your classes. Refer to our minimum technical requirements page for all of the details.

Can instructors require that we turn on our web cams?

Instructors can require students to have their camera on during live lecture or discussion. This expectation must be clearly state in the syllabus. This allows students to plan accordingly if they do not want their residence visible in the background. Such students should either identify a different location from which to participate in the course or post a virtual background. If a student has concerns about using his/her camera they should have a conversation with the instructor to explain their concerns.

Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Canvas) and Other Tech Tools

How do you login to Blackboard?

Visit to access Blackboard.

None of my classes are on my Blackboard yet. Am I doing something wrong?

No, you aren’t doing anything wrong. When the faculty members “enable” the course you will be able to see them.  The faculty may not be done putting content in the course space but they should open anytime now.

I’m already enrolled in mywsu. Will I be notified when classes are added to Blackboard?

You will see your Blackboard courses listed on the tile in your MyWSU or by logging into If you have courses in Canvas you will receive an email to that effect.

Will the syllabuses be mainly on Blackboard or Canvas? Or is it up to the professors to choose?

The syllabus will most likely be posted in your course space, which could be either Blackboard or Canvas. Or your instructor may email it to you directly.

I just noticed that it says “Courses I am enrolled in” and Be TechReady 2020 is listed. Do I have to pay for this course?

There is no charge for the Be TechReady course. This is just a space that will allow you explore the functionality of Blackboard.

Where do I find the Zoom links on Blackboard for my classes?

On the menu on the left side of your course space.

Is it possible to record a Zoom meeting ourselves?

Not unless the instructor gives you permission to record.

In Zoom calls, are webcams optional?

There are situations where a webcam will be required so you should get one and use it to be more engaged in your classes.

Is attendance being taken over Zoom?

Whether or not attendance will be taken is up to the Instructor.

If I am strictly taking classes from the Global Campus will all my classes by asynchronous and on Blackboard?

Asynchronous yes, and most Global Campus courses are in Blackboard. There are a few that have moved to Canvas and you will receive an email from our Global Campus Student Services team to make sure you are aware if you have a course in Canvas.

What are Blackboard and Canvas and how do I know which to use?

Blackboard and Canvas are both Learning Management Systems. Essentially, they provide online classrooms: a space where you’ll find your course syllabus, interact with the teacher and other students, submit assignments, take exams, etc.  Right now, WSU is primarily using Blackboard while piloting Canvas.  By Fall 2021 all courses will be in Canvas. To determine what system each of your courses are in, please visit myWSU and select the “Canvas or Blackboard?” tile. 

Do I need to download Panopto?

Yes, if you are required to use Panopto to create a presentation. Follow the instructions here to create a recording.

What is MFA and what do I need to know about it?

Several WSU applications require MFA including Outlook, Zoom, Canvas and Blackboard.

MFA or Multi-Factor Authentication (sometimes referred to as “two-factor” or “extra verification”) is WSU’s added security authentication step that requires a user to enter their network ID (NID) and password, followed by a code received through one of the following options:

  • Authentication app on a mobile device (Okta Verify or Google Authenticator)
  • Voice call
  • USB Key
  • Text message (SMS)

Users who need to access WSU resources will receive an invitation to set up their WSU NID (network ID) or friend ID (FID) and password, as well as MFA preferences, at

You can learn more about Multi-Factor Authentication on the IT website.

What is Crowdmark?

Crowdmark is a tool used by faculty with text-based assignments and exams (like Chemistry where students need to draw structures) that facilitates conversion of student work to a digital format for grading and feedback. Faculty using the tool will provide the instructions needed for using the tool.

Does WSU use Microsoft Word? Do I need to buy it or is it provided?

It is not really required but certainly seems one of the most common tools to use to create documents in response to assignments.  They can get free access to Microsoft tools through and by clicking “Office Apps” in the top left.

Is there a cost for any of these tech tools?

Those tools licensed by WSU—Blackboard, Canvas, Panopto, Zoom and Voice Thread—are free for students to use. There may be other third-party tools faculty are using that do have a subscription or access fee. This will be indicated in the list of course materials required for the course on the Bookie list and/or the course syllabus.


What will happen to the clubs? Where can we see what activities are happening?

Many clubs are finding ways to offer opportunities online. Visit the Coug Experience website for more information about what’s happening this fall and how you can get involved!

How can I get in contact with my peers?

Once your classes start meeting you can connect with them through Zoom or the online course space.

Is it very likely that spring semester will be online too? Or is it undecided?

The Spring 2021 academic calendar revisions for all campuses will include the following:

  • Start the Spring 2021 semester on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 (rather than on Monday, January 11, 2021) and eliminate the March 2021 spring break.
  • Implement the following academic breaks (classes are not taught; University Offices remain open):
    • Thursday, February 25
    • Wednesday, March 17
    • Tuesday, April 13
  • President’s Day on Monday, February 15, 2021, will continue to be observed as a class holiday and University Offices will remain open.

The Spring 2021 semester will end as normally scheduled; final examinations will begin on Monday, May 3, 2021, and end on Friday, May 7, 2021.