Online Learning

WCTC offers a variety of associate degree and continuing education courses via the Internet. These courses are designed for the independent student in need of a flexible learning option to fit their busy schedule. Students who choose Internet classes will use WCTC's web-based Blackboard course tool to complete homework, participate in class activities, and communicate with classmates and instructors.

Search for internet courses through the Course Search. (Select “Online (Internet) Courses” under class type.)

Courses delivered online can be a flexible and convenient way to take college-level courses, but students taking these courses need to disciplined, self-motivated and capable learners. Prior to registering for an Internet course (or any other online education course), it is important for students to carefully review their personal learning style, motivation and commitment to learning success.

Is online learning right for you? Take our Independent Learner questionnaire.

Required New Online Learner Orientation

Any student who is taking an online course for the first time at WCTC is required, starting in fall 2013, to complete the mandatory WCTC Online Learning Orientation Course.

This course introduces new online learners to:

  • Technology requirements and tools used in online learning at WCTC.
  • Appropriate student skills and learning style requirements.
  • Student motivation and responsibilities for successful online course completion.

Getting Started

To ensure a successful start and positive online learning experience, please complete the steps below and review all sections of this webpage.

  1. Complete the Independent Learner Profile to determine your learning style is consistent with that of a successful Internet learner. Check the Hardware and Software Requirements for equipment details.
  2. Watch your e-mail (WCTC account) detailing enrollment procedures and the mandatory online orientation course; it will be sent five to seven days following your registration for the online course. This email will explain to new WCTC online learners how to self-enroll in this course. Once that step is completed, students may begin the orientation at any time.
  3. The orientation course takes about five hours to complete and must be finished within two weeks from the time the student first logs in to the course. Failure to successfully enroll in and/or complete the course may lead to the student being dropped from their regular online course.
  4. After the orientation is successfully completed, students will be ready to begin their regular online course at the start of the semester.

Technical and Internet Experience Needed for Online Learning

  • You must be familiar with the basic operation of your computer and your computer's operating system
  • You should be able to effectively manage your computer files and lesson assignments
  • You should be proficient typing and using the keyboard for completing your course work and communications
  • You should have experience and familiarity with navigating and using the Internet with a browser (i.e., search engines, bookmarks, buttons and links)
  • You should have a good working knowledge in the use of email and sending email attachments
  • You should be able to use a word processor (MS Word recommended)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why might I want to take a course online?

One of the several reasons for offering degrees/courses through the Internet is to provide a vehicle for students who find it necessary to select and take college courses based on time and scheduling needs. Many students find it difficult, if not impossible, to commute back and forth to a campus in order to attend traditional classes. The flexibility of an Internet course may be just what some students require.

Today, many students have specific needs that do not fit into the traditional formal education tracks of years past. Several reasons exist why a student might want to enroll in a course offered entirely over the Internet.

Examples of these may include individuals who find themselves to be:

  • Lacking adequate transportation to a college campus
  • Geographically isolated from a near-by campus
  • In need of child care options
  • Experiencing conflicting work schedules
  • Home bound
  • Physically challenged and unable to attend traditional campus classes, or in a number of similar situations or circumstances.
  • Unique degree not offered in local or state colleges

What computer equipment will I need to take the course?

In addition to required textbooks or workbooks, computer equipment and software we highly recommend are the following:

  • Pentium 1 GHz or faster processor or Mac Power PC with 1 GB RAM
  • Windows XP/Vista/7 or Mac 8.0 operating system
  • 15" VGA color monitor and sound card with speakers
  • Supported browsers - Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 are recommended; Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP/Vista; Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7;
  • Reliable broadband (Cable or DSL) Internet Service Provider
  • Word processor - MS Word (MS Office 2007 - Word, Excel, PowerPoint highly recommended)

Is college credit granted for the course and will I be able to transfer the credit to a local college near my area?

Transfer of credit from one institution to another varies depending on several factors. It is always wise to check with the school, college or university that you wish to transfer your credits to, and ask them about their general credit transfer policy or guidelines.

Additional information about transferring credit from the WTCS (Wisconsin Technical College System) to the UW (University of Wisconsin System).

What is the cost of taking an Internet course?

Tuition Amounts and Refund Policies information.

How do I register for a class?

For District Residents/Wisconsin Residents and others: Students who are new to WCTC and have never taken a course with us before should call toll-free 877.463.WCTC and press Option 3, then Option 1 to speak with our Registration department who will enter you into the system. Continuing students may register via the web. How do I become a student.

Can I complete the course at my own pace?

Internet courses typically follow a 16-week semester calendar. Students must follow the course calendar published in the course as far as keeping up to date with the assignments and projects.

How is grading determined for the courses?

Your course grade is based upon successful completion and submission of all work required by your instructor. Each course is a little different so the requirements may vary. Typical coursework includes:

  • Written assignments
  • Case problem analyses
  • Class participation via electronic dialog
  • Quizzes, tests and a final exam

What should I know about submitting course assignments to the instructor?

You will be expected to submit all of your course assignments according to the course schedule defined by your instructor. Most courses require that you submit your work to the instructor by email or via the Blackboard system. In some cases your homework may be submitted in a standard email message or you may be required to include longer assignments as a word processing file via an email attachment.

Make a plan for preparing your course assignments and the format in which you will submit them. Check with your instructor to determine the compatibility of homework files you may be submitting. Most instructors at WCTC are using MS Word. Think of it as a step-by-step process. The process might look something like the following:

  • Open up your word processor application and begin to make notes on your readings and assignments for the current chapter.
  • Word process your answers in a narrative format when asked to provide an "essay" or "short answer" or "short paragraph."
  • Check your work by "proofing" it. This means, review your draft to see that what you have typed is what you want to submit. Continue to "proof" by checking the spelling and grammar. Use a "spell-check" function on your word processor if you have one.
  • Always make sure that you identify each submitted assignment with the "Chapter Number" in the "Subject:" of the email screen. It is very important to identify all correspondence by filling in the "subject line" on the face of the email screen
  • Always make sure that you help out the reader by identifying the specific parts of the assignments (as shown on the Web page) on the page that you submit for credit. For example, make sure that Question 3a. on the Web page is identified and matches Question 3.a on your submitted paper. This is an important point to follow.

After preparing your completed assignments send them to your instructor in the manner prescribed and in the agreed upon file format standard.

How is email used in conjunction with the course?

Email is one way for a student and instructor to communicate directly with each other. Many courses also use discussion forums as a way for all members of the class to carry on "classroom" discussions. When composing discussion forum posts for class discussion it is important that you observe the following guidelines:

  • Keep your messages to no more than one screen's length; no more than two or three paragraphs.
  • Get to the point of your message quickly and stick to it. Messages that are short and to the point will be appreciated by everyone.
  • Use proper formatting. Use capital letters only where appropriate. Use punctuation. Separate paragraphs with a blank line. In other words, use the same formatting conventions that you would use when typing a business letter. This ensures your message is easy to read and understand.
  • Participate actively in the discussion and respond to other people's comments and questions, but do so in a polite manner.
  • Don't write in an email or discussion forum post anything you wouldn't say to someone in person.
  • The more sharing of questions, ideas, and suggestions, the more valuable the learning experience will be.