FAQs and tips
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to be an expert with computers in order to take classes online at Wayne State?
No. However, you will need to have some familiarity with computers. For instance, you may need to know how to access the Internet, download course materials, and/or upload your class assignments, homework, Email, etc.
Is taking an online class easier than taking a traditional face-to-face class?
No. At Wayne State our online courses are taught by the same faculty as our face-to-face courses. Whether you take your course on campus or online, faculty have the same expectations concerning the quality of student academic performance. The content for online and traditional courses is virtually the same. In fact, you may find your online class more challenging given that it may require more self-discipline and initiative on your part. You may also find your online class more rewarding because of the personal engagement and involvement you will experience in your academic work. The main difference between an online and traditional class is that online learning allows you to physically be anywhere at any time and work towards your degree.
Must I own a computer to enroll in an online class at Wayne State?
Not necessarily. However, you will need to have access to a computer with Internet capability for the entire semester that you are taking an online course. As a Wayne State student you will also have access and resources to computers at five campus libraries, computer labs campus wide or at any one of our six off-site extension centers including Macomb Center.
What equipment and software will I need to be an online student at Wayne State?
If you have your own equipment and software you will need: Internet access, Internet Explorer or other browser, i.e., Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc., Microsoft Word or other compatible word processing software; and/or any course specific software that may be required by the instructor. Check with your instructor for any additional software or hardware requirements, e.g., specialized software, headset, webcam, etc.
How will I submit my course assignments and take my exams?
This will vary from professor-to-professor and from class-to-class. Typically, you will receive information from your instructor about how to submit your assignments through Canvas learning management system or via some other technology, e.g., email or an instructor's website. You may be asked to take online or web-based quizzes and exams, submit short papers online, engage in group work, or prepare a portfolio of your work online. Your instructor will notify you in advance of his or her testing requirements. In some cases your instructor may require that you take a proctored exam at a testing center or community college near where you live.
Will I have to log on at a particular time to attend my online class?
It is advisable that you check with your professor to find out if there are any synchronous meetings that are required. Your professor may require, e.g., that you attend and participate in online group forums, class discussion boards and meetings (via Zoom, Canvas, etc.) at a designated time. Although you will be working for the most part on your own, there will be deadlines for the completion and submission of your coursework.
Unlike in a traditional setting, your professor may not be able to physically see you to pick up non-verbal cues when you need additional instruction or direction. You will have to communicate with your professor and ask questions in order to receive additional guidance from your instructor. Communication is key to a successful online experience at Wayne State Online.
Managing your time will be crucial to your success at Wayne State online. Try to designate a certain time each day to work on your online course. Just as you will be responsible for initiating more contact with your instructor; you are also the solely responsible for managing your time in the online course.
Remember your professor may not be able to physically see you in your online class. So, it's not only important that you show up, but it's equally important that your professor and classmates hear from you. Each student's participation can add a sense of community in your online class.
Do not expect an instantaneous response to your questions from your professor. Remember, just because it's an online class does not mean that your professor will be physically online 24/7 all day every day.