Are you taking an online course this fall? Whether this is your first or your fifteenth, here are some tips to help you be prepared.

  • Make sure you’re registered for your classes—nothing like trying to log on the first day and realizing you’re not actually in the class at all. Save yourself the hassle and double-check ahead of time. This is especially important as a new student.
  • Know your username and password so you can access the Learning Management System (LMS). If you can’t find or remember your user name or password contact
  • Spend time navigating so you know how to get around by the time the course starts. Go to to use the Campus Cruiser. The Moodlerooms tab to the far right in My CW/Campus Cruiser.
  • Make sure your internet service is reliable and consistent. If it’s not, arrange to do coursework in a place with strong internet service, such as a computer lab or coffee shop. Internet access is the responsibility of the student and lack of access is not an excuse for missing deadlines. A student who loses internet access should contact their adviser and their instructor as quickly as possible if it will cause a disruption in their coursework.
  • Test your web browser. As of Fall 2011, CW requires that students use either Firefox 3.5 or higher or Internet Explorer 8 or higher when contacting technical support. Students may choose other browsers at their own discretion, but CW may not be able to provide support for technical issues that occur and may be forced to limit or restrict access to older browsers that cause security or other issues. Students are urged to upgrade. Make sure you have a reliable computer that can run either Windows XP (Windows 7 recommended) or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. We strongly recommend that you have a current machine that is under warranty. Moodle and other campus systems are available in multiple contemporary browsers. However, to receive technical support, you should be working in Firefox 3.5 or higher or Internet Explorer 8. CW strongly recommends Firefox to student users.
  • Make sure your have the software you need. For CW that includes: Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Flash, which you can download free from Specific classes may require additional software. Instructors will state this within the course itself. Current operating systems and browsers are very important.
  • Orient yourself with Moodle. Know how to:
    • Send messages
    • Post to the discussion forum
    • Upload files
    • Explore your MY CWpage.  Learn how to:
      • Access the library’s databases
      • Access other support services
      • Set up your workspace. Whether that’s setting aside a quiet place to log in at home or a café where you can bring your laptop, make it a ritual.
      • A few days prior to the start of class, log in to view the syllabus, what books you’ll need, and to find out whether the instructor has posted any early assignments.
      • Print the syllabus for each class and keep in a place where you can easily see them. Note upcoming exams and due dates of assignments.

Remember, sometimes it takes a few weeks to get into a groove, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful semester!