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Online Student Resources

Tips for Being a Successful Online Student

The following qualities are key to becoming a successful online learner at Wayne State College. The successful online learner:

Communicates well through writing.
Nearly all communication is done through writing, so students should feel confident in their writing abilities.

Is self-motivated and self-disciplined.
With online courses there is great flexibility in how and when you learn the content of a course. With that amount of flexibility, students must know how and when they learn best and commit to a routine that utilizes the best learning styles for them. Committing to a routine will take discipline and support not only from the student, but from family members and the instructor as well.

Employs critical thinking and decision making skills as part of the learning process.
As part of the learning process, students will have to use critical thought and analysis, drawing from course content and personal experiences, to make decisions and understand processes.

Is committed to 6 to 9 hours a week per 3 credit course and logs in often.
For a three-credit-hour course, students should spend a minimum of six to nine hours a week on course work.  Some of the time will be spent online and other time will be spent reading, writing and problem solving offline.  Actual study time will depend on the students’ prior background, training, experience, talents, type of text or exercise, etc.  It is important for students to visit class often.  Students may want to check daily to see if the instructor has put up a new announcement or if there is anything new in the discussion area.  

Completes all work on time.
The pace of an online course is normally fast and requires commitment on the students’ part. Staying with the pace of the class and completing all assignments on time is critical to the students’ success. Once students fall behind, it is almost impossible to catch up.

Has reliable access to a computer and the internet.

In order for students to access the class and become proficient in the content, they must have access to the required technology to complete their course work.


Quiz to Self-assess readiness to be an Online Student

To better understand what is expected of an online learner and to self-assess readiness as an online student click here.


Minimum computer hardware and software requirements for Online Classes

Hardware Requirements:
A computer, either a PC or Apple, with a sound card, speakers, and high speed internet access are required. Access to a printer and/or a scanner may also be required depending on the course. For information on specific hardware requirements click here.

Software Requirements:
The standard software is Microsoft Office.  Microsoft Office includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  Multimedia software such as Media Player, QuickTime or RealPlayer and a pdf. file reader software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader may also be necessary.  Faculty may require the use of special software that is bundled with the textbook or the purchase of additional software.  

Supported Operating Systems and Browsers:
For optimal performance of Sakai, please access it using the following recommended operating system and browser combinations. A PC should have Windows 7 or Windows 8 and use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox as your internet browser to access Sakai. An Apple computer should have OS X v10.6 and higher for its operating system and either use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Safari for your internet browser to access Sakai.

To download the latest versions of required software click on one of the following:


Browser Considerations:

  • IMPORTANT note for AOL Users! Do NOT use AOL's browser.
  • Do Not Use Multiple Browser Windows! Do NOT open more than one Sakai browser window while being logged into the system. It is easy to log yourself out of one and get logged out of the others, losing what you were working on - assignments, tests, etc.

Netiquette guidelines

How students communicate with each other is very important in an online course.  The Netiquette rule described below must be followed to provide a supportive, positive and constructive learning environment.


All Students are expected to:

  • Show respect for the instructor and for other students in the class.
  • Respect the privacy of the instructor and other students.
  • Express differences of opinion in a polite and rational way. Use of offensive, threatening, harassing or hostile language or a confrontational tone is never acceptable.
  • Maintain an environment of constructive criticism when commenting on the work of other students.
  • Avoid bringing up irrelevant topics when involved in group discussions or other collaborative activities.Use mainly lower case in posts or messages with proper capitalization rules.
  • Post only positive or constructive messages.  Email your instructor if you have questions or are experiencing frustrations


A good way to avoid problems is to compose your postings off-line and reread them before sending them.  Something written in haste may not say what you really think after the heat of the moment has passed.

Campus Resources

Contact information for technical support of Help Desk
If you need assistance, contact your instructor or the WSC Help Desk at 375-7107, e-mail helpdesk@wsc.edu.

Tutorial for how to use Sakai
For information on how to access and use Sakai click here. The Holland Academic Success Center (HASC) will continue to focus upon individual students, their retention and academic success through course work, tutor programs, Early Alert and academic counseling. Here

Sakai FAQs
For answers to frequently asked questions about Sakai click Here.

Holland Academic Success Center
The Holland Academic Success Center (HASC) will continue to focus upon individual students, their retention and academic success through course work, tutor programs, Early Alert and academic counseling. Here

Link to campus Writing Help Desk
The Writing Help Desk is designed to help students improve written communications and academic writing skills.  Here

Link to student disability resource center
The Disability Services Program provides services for students with disabilities at Wayne State College. Disability Services are offered through the Counseling Center and include: determining eligibility for services, referral to appropriate resources and responding to requests for accommodations. Here

Link to Bookstore to order textbooks or other instructional materials
The Wayne State College Bookstore provides access to products and services essential to becoming a successful student. Here

Link to library resources
Wayne State College Conn library serves the campus and the region with instructional, research and general information needs. Here

Guidelines for APA/MLA format of papers and/or citations
Wayne State College Conn library provides access to citation guides and resources to format papers. Here

Link to Continuing Education
The Office of Continuing Education is committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities, to support non-traditional students and rural communities throughout the WSC service region, and to promoting and inspiring the academic growth, creativity, quality, and integrity of Wayne State College. Here

Link to Financial Services
Student Financial Services is your one stop for your financial questions and needs. Here

Link to WildcatsOnline
WildcatsOnline is a PeopleSoft/Campus Solutions portal that provides real time access for students, faculty and staff to course, student and advising information. Students can use WildcatsOnline to register for classes, check financial aid, and pay their bill, view grades and unofficial transcripts, access course and advising information and much more. Here

Link to myEportfolio (Chalk & Wire)
myEportfolio is a web based e-portfolio system. You will purchase a subscription from Chalk and Wire at the WSC bookstore. This subscription will be active for five years from your first sign in date. You have the option to renew your account after this 5 year period. You will use myEportfolio to create your Program Assessment Portfolio. You can also make separate e-portfolios using Chalk and Wire for career and other purposes. Here


Link to Counseling Center
Counseling Center staff conduct outreach and educational programs for the campus community with an emphasis on mental health issues. Counselors also serve as advisors to several campus clubs and organizations. Here

Link to Student health
Wayne State College Student Health Services is committed to providing the best possible health services for our students. Here

Link to Career Services
Career Services offers a variety of services and programs to assist with the career development, job search and employment needs of WSC students, graduating seniors and alumni. Here

Link to MBA FAQs
The MBA program provides information about their online courses to prospective students. Here

No help sheets within Online Student Resources