New Online Student FAQ's

Photo of writer Charles Buxton Graphic showing quotation marks

You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."

- Charles Buxton, Writer


New Online Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

  1. I don't have a computer. Will I still be able to take an online class?
  2. Yes. It is possible to take online classes using the computer lab on campus in the WLAC library (HLRC). The Library Internet Computer Lab (LIRL) is located on the 2nd Floor of the HLRC. It offers free access to computers and the Internet as well as research databases and other resources. Bring your WLAC student ID card and a USB drive to back up your work.

    For more information and current hours of operation, visit the WLAC Library web site or call: 310.287.4408.

  3. I have a computer. Will I need to upgrade?
  4. Not necessarily. To take an online course, you will need at least the following:

    1. Regular access to a computer that meets the Canvas System Requirements and the ability to properly adjust your computer's settings accordingly.

    2. A reliable Internet connection and a backup plan to access the Internet if your computer crashes or otherwise becomes unusable.

    3. A valid email address that you can use before, during and after the course. Although Canvas has an internal messaging system, it may still be necessary for your instructor to contact you using your email address. Be sure to monitor your account and check your "junk mail" folder so that you don't miss important information about your courses.

    You may also need specific software and/or browser plugins. Just as instructors require students to buy textbooks for classes, an instructor may require students to have a particular type of software such as MS Office or the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  5. I've enrolled in an online class. Now what?
  6. If you have not already done so, you should do the following before your Canvas course begins:

    1. Review the Canvas System Requirements.

    2. Take the Pre-Assessment Questionnaire.

    3. Watch the Canvas Overview Video

    4. View the college's Online Orientation (Note: You must have already completed an Application for Admission and received your student ID number from the Admissions Office.)

    5. Consider enrolling in "Education 230", which is a 1 unit course designed to introduce new online students to the basics of how to succeed in an online course. This is the ideal first course for those new to online learning.

  7. Do I need to come to campus?
  8. All WLAC online courses take place entirely online with no face-to-face requirements. However, hybrid courses include required on-campus meetings. For details regarding on-campus meetings for hybrid courses, please visit our "Schedules" web page and click on the appropriate hybrid schedule, to locate information specific to your course, including course titles, descriptions, section numbers, meeting times and dates, etc.

    Textbooks may be purchased online at the WLAC Bookstore Web Site

  9. It's the first day of class and I haven't heard from my instructor. What do I do?
  10. You should have received a welcome letter from your instructor, but if for some reason you did not, go ahead and log into your course by clicking onto the "Course Login Info" web page and following the Canvas Login formula carefully.

    Students are responsible for taking the initiative to access their online course during the first days of the term. Instructors have posted information, announcements and assignments that students must log in to access. Students who do not log in and participate during the first few days may be dropped from the course so that other students can be added.

    Students who add online courses after the term begins should log in as soon as their access has been added to the system, which takes 1-2 business days to be processed.

  11. I can't login! I get an error message when I try to enter my user ID and password.
  12. Review the "Course Login Info" web page for login instructions.

    Review the Canvas System Requirements carefully.

    If you still cannot log in successfully, visit the Online Student Help Desk for more assistance.

  13. What is Canvas anyway?
  14. Canvas provides a rich, easy-to-use Web-based teaching and learning environment. Sites can be accessed by faculty and students from any computer platform using almost any browser. Canvas is used extensively for the delivery of hybrid and online instruction and for the enhancement and management of traditional instruction by thousands of faculty. It is the standard online course delivery system of the Online Education Initiative, mostly community colleges in California.

    For information on the Canvas, visit the Canvas Student Guide
  15. What skills do I need to succeed in my online courses?
  16. Successful Online Students. . .

    . . . have a sincere desire to learn.

    . . . have awareness of time and deadlines and realistic expectations for their ability to complete assignments with their best efforts.

    . . . participate regularly in their online classes and respond to classmates even when it isn't required or assigned.

    . . . help their online classmates.

    . . . log into class each day to check for new material.

    . . . are in the habit of checking email on a daily basis and respond to email within 24 hours.

    . . . understand email etiquette and use email in a professional manner when responding to instructors and classmates.

    . . . understand that their instructor and classmates are human beings, not just names on their screens.

    . . . have clear goals.

    . . . are able to connect the material in their courses to future academic or career goals.

    . . . understand that technical glitches are inevitable and plan ahead to avoid problems.

    . . . know where to go for help with technical problems.

    . . . have configured their computer systems and software to meet the technical requirements of their online classes.

    . . . are prepared for their online class before the semester starts.

    . . . complete assignments early.

    . . . have good time management skills and are self-motivated.

    . . . have a high level of reading comprehension.

    . . . are not easily discouraged or frustrated.

News and Events

Student typing on computer

New to online classes? Education 230 is a course designed to introduce new online students to the basics of how to succeed in an online class. Register for EDUCATION 230 - ONLINE STUDENT SUCCESS LAB - Section 23707 for Fall 2018. Click on the image above to register now.

Digital Watch displaying the message All Things Digital

All Things Digital / The DDS and the Online Learning Program have teamed up to launch a new blog, West LA Digital. Check us out and learn about all things digital from West LA College. Don’t forget to follow us. Click on the image above to visit our blog.

Screenshot of the West Week web site.

WESTWeek / The latest news and event information from West LA College!
Click on the image to visit WESTWeek!

Screenshot of the Study Abroad website

Study Abroad / Have a tremendous travel experience while learning or improving in Spanish. Spend a session in picturesque Valpariso, Chile or
Salamanca, Spain. Click on the image above to visit the Study Abroad website.

Screenshot of the International Student website

WLAC Online Degree for International Students / Students abroad can now earn a U.S. degree online. Applications are now being accepted.
Visit the WLAC international student website by clicking the image above

a woman filling out a form

Student Complaint Process for Online or Hybrid Classes / Distance Education Student Complaints, Procedures, Policies and Resolution

West Los Angeles College (West) is committed to the integrity of online education. In compliance with the Federal Department of Education regulations, West provides prospective and enrolled students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the state the student resides.
For more information, click the image above.