Frequently Asked Questions

Online Learning


This page contains questions and answers about online learning and some commonly asked questions about Canvas, our learning management system.frequently asked questions button


Online Learning FAQs:


When will I see my courses listed on the Canvas server?
Classes are available on Canvas on the first day of classes. If you have an orientation session for an online course, your class will be available on that date.

How do I log in to Canvas?
There are several ways to login to Canvas. Open a web browser and in the address line type https:// westshore.instructure.com. Login using your WSCC username and password. Use the same username and password you use to login to my.westshore.edu Then hit the enter key or click the login button. There is also a quick link on my.westshore.edu, left hand column, under the box labeled Quick Links. There is also a link to the Canvas server from the WSCC TOOLS area on www.westshore.edu

How do I communicate with my instructor?
View your syllabus to find your instructor's contact information. The course syllabus can be found by clicking on the syllabus navigation button in Canvas once you've logged in to your course. The syllabus page should include your instructor's email address, phone number, and office hours. Even though you're taking an online course, you can still call your instructor on the phone or stop by their office.

Will I ever have to come to campus if I take an online class?
Most online courses require an on-campus orientation prior to starting your online course. This orientation session provides information you will need to be successful in the course. Failure to attend this orientation may result in an immediate Administrative Drop from the course. Click here for a list of orientation dates or check your printed schedule. Some online courses require proctored exams. If your course requires a proctored exam, you will need to come to campus and take your exams in our Learning and Testing Center, second floor, Schoenherr Campus Center. Some online courses require on campus labs or other on-campus sessions. These courses are classified as hybrid courses.

Where will I take my exams?
This varies depending on your instructor. Some courses will allow you to take your exams online at home. Other courses may require that you come to the testing center on campus to take your exams. Be sure to check your syllabus and communicate with your instructor if you are not sure.

What do I do if I need help?
If you need help with something related to the course, such as an assignment or the content of the course, you need to contact your instructor. If you are having a technical issue, such as you are unable to upload a file, or you are getting an error message, then contact the IT Help Desk at 231-843-5570.

Are there certain times when I need to be online?
This will vary from course to course. Typically, most interaction in a fully online course happens asynchronously with discussions or other activities which do not require you to be in the course at a specific time. Your instructor should tell you in the syllabus if there are going to be any required online meetings.

How is the class taught?
Each online instructor teaches their course differently. You might have recorded lectures to watch, readings, lecture notes, PowerPoints, discussion board postings as well as assignments, tests, and quizzes.

What type of technology do I need?
Visit the Technology Requirements page.

If I am new to online learning, what do I need to know in order to be successful?
If you are new to online learning, it is important to review the Tips for Success page and also take the "Is Online Learning Right for Me?" self assessment.

Canvas FAQs:

What is Canvas?
Canvas is a learning management system that provide a web-based location for taking online classes. With Canvas you can access your class any time or place that you have an Internet connection.

Where is Canvas?
To get to WSCC's Canvas site type westshore.instructure.com in your browser's address bar.

I got kicked out of my test and now I can't access it. What do I do?
It depends on how a test is set-up and each class may be different. If you experience technical difficulties, such as getting kicked out of the system, try to re-access Canvas and your test immediately, you may be able to "resume your last attempt". If you are unable to re-access your test, contact your instructor to have the test reset.