The most successful online students will have a basic understanding of computer skills, electronic file management, web browsing, etc. They are also self-motivated with good time management skills. Being able to communicate well in writing is vital.

The major difference between online vs. on campus is that the classroom is virtual rather than at a physical location. This classroom is available to you 24 hours per day, so you can “attend” anytime and complete your coursework.


Your course will be divided into weeks or modules, and follow the same term schedule as ‘on campus’ courses. Your live lectures will be replaced with content that can include but is not limited to textbook readings, PowerPoints or other files, interactive websites, podcasts, and videos. You will participate in classroom discussions, take quizzes, and turn in homework. The classroom website, powered by eLearning, allows you to do this all electronically.


You may have exams online. Tests are timed and are usually offered only during specific days. Some faculty may choose to have these proctored so please read your syllabus very carefully to see if you need to participate in proctored exams. Southwestern does have proctoring services available for those in this area. Please visit the Testing Center page for more information. If you cannot come to a SWOCC campus location, you can generally find a proctor at places like a local library or school. Please make these arrangements ahead of time with your faculty member.


Grading is most often based on assignment grades, participation in class discussions, and test grades. Please read your syllabus carefully for grading information.

A distance (D) class is fully online; there is no face-to-face instruction time.

A hybrid (HB) class uses an online component to replace some of the face-to-face instruction time. There are specific meeting dates and times for hybrid classes, but there is also the expectation that students will spend a significant amount of class time online.

A web enhanced class does not replace any face-to-face instruction time, but it does include an online component for additional work and resources to use outside of class. Some of your face-to-face courses may be web enhanced.

  • Once you are registered for classes, log into myLakerLink using your Student ID and password.  If you need assistance with login credentials, please contact the Student First Stop Center at 541.888.7352 or email
  • Click on the 'eLearning' link on the left side of your window under the dark blue 'Quick Links' section.
  • Select a course, and you are now in class!

Recommended Hardware:

  • Desktop PC or Laptop (IBM Compatible or Macintosh)
  • High Speed Internet Connection
  • USB Flash Drive
  • Note regarding mobile devices such as cell phones: While you can easily browse your course outline via your mobile device, it should not be solely relied upon when taking an online or hybrid course.  Many will not support Flash and other required technologies/file formats required for online learning.

Recommended Software:

  • Microsoft Office Suite - As a registered student, you can download a free copy of MS Office 365 by logging into your student email and selecting the Office 365 link in the top left corner of your screen.
  • Adobe Reader - Free download here: Https://
  • Web Browser - Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome preferred
  • Other software maybe required on a course by course basis.  Read your Syllabus carefully for additional requirements.

Questions about assignments should be directed to your instructor or teaching assistant by e-mail, phone, or through our LMS (Learning Management System), eLearning. Each online course will list the faculty contact methods and hours either in the Syllabus or under the 'Course Information' link in your online class. You may utilize course feedback and discussion forums as well!