FAQ

Frequently asked questions logo

What kind of computer should I have?

You'll need a fast, reliable machine and connection to the internet. We have minimum computer and software recommendations on our Becoming a Successful Online Learner page. A webcam and microphone are also good to have, so you can participate in online course conferencing.

What is an online course like?

Your experience can vary from course to course. Course organization, tools utilized and expectations for each are determined by our faculty.

Can I start a course at any time?

That depends. While the online Criminal Justice program and other online courses follow the Universities quarter system, the Online Language Learning option will allow you to study FRENCH, SPANISH OR GERMAN independently via interactive Web resources at the online language learning site, Rosetta Stone. These courses are online, anytime, anywhere, taking only as long as you need. With access to online tutors and support, you'll be able to choose from three languages and study on your schedule, at your own pace.

Do I need to be a computer wiz?

No, not a wiz, but you will need to have some basic skills to get started and be successful in your course. It isn't all about the technology, time management skills and understanding your study habits will also contribute to your success! Check out our Becoming a Successful Online Learner page to get ready!

Do I need to get a Husky Student ID card?

Even though you might not be coming to campus, we still recommend getting your Husky ID card.

Can I use my personal email account?

Please do not forward your UW email to your personal email account. When you activate your UW Google email, you will have the opportunity to change your email forwarding to UW. Refer to the UW Tacoma email policy for more information. To double check or change your email forwarding, open the page Change UW Email forwarding.

Who can take online courses?

Anyone can take a distance education course, but you should consider if this type of delivery method is right for you. Take the Online Learning Readiness Self-Assessment, then check out our Becoming a Successful Online Learner page to review successful practices that the University of Washington Tacoma recommends, based on research regarding successful online learners

How is online studying different?

Well, the main difference is that you do not interact in a physical classroom. Instead, you communicate with your instructor and fellow students through email, discussion boards, collaborative documents and chat rooms. With this comes the need for a slightly higher level of technical skills. Courses can be more interactive between the students and the instructor, with a learning community developing between participants. They are also more often structured so that the class progresses through the content together, allowing more opportunities for discussion, project work, sharing of ideas, etc. It takes a lot of self-motivation and discipline. Where classroom learning tends to be more instructor-led, online learning is student-focused and participative

How do I interact with the other students in my class?

There are many ways to interact with other students in your online course. Discussion boards, chat, Google Hangouts, collaborating together on Google documents and email are a few examples.

What is Canvas and how do I learn how to use it?

Canvas is the learning management system that UW Tacoma uses for its online course sites. Your faculty should give you insight at the beginning of the course as to how the course is organized, expectations and deliverables. To learn how to use specific tools in Canvas, you can visit the Canvas "Student Support Page"!

Can I use the UWT Library?

Yes you can! There are lots of online Library resources available to you, but if you decide to come to campus, stop in and chat with a subject librarian!