Start Your Online Class

Taking your first online or hybrid course will be a different experience than a traditional face-to-face class. What should you expect when you take a distance education course? Here's a road map that can help you on your way.

Male Student

Before Class Starts

Pre-Term Prep

Here are some great ways to make sure you're ready for online learning.


First Day of Class

First Day Need-to-Know Info

It's go time! We'll walk you through what to expect on Day 1 of your online or hybrid course.

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First Week of Class

Getting Up and Running

There's a lot to keep track of your first week of class. We've offered some suggested "to do" reminders for you.

Male Student


Before Class Starts

Here are some ways to get online ready before your SWC course starts:



First Day of Class

* Remember to check when your first day of class is in WebAdvisor. Fast-track courses and courses with special schedules might start earlier or later in the term.

Contact Admissions for MySWC Portal login issues that prevent you from accessing Canvas

Hybrid: Your instructor might wait until after your first onsite, face-to-face class meeting to publish your course online. You will not see your course in Canvas until your instructor has made it available to students.

  • If you are attempting to crash a full hybrid class, ask the instructor for the add code at your on-campus meeting.

Remote/Online: You will not see your course in Canvas until your instructor has made it available to students. Your fully online course should be available in Canvas by 10am on the first day of the term.  If not, kindly email your instructor to inform them the course is not published, keeping netiqutte in mind. If you do not receive a timely response, please contact the Online Learning Center for assistance. 

  • If you are attempting to crash a full online class, email the instructor directly to request an add code from the contact information provided for the class in WebAdvisor.

Students who do not log in to their fully online course on the first day of the term may be dropped as a no-show, so be sure to login and/or contact your instructor if you are having difficulties.

Here are some typical first-day tasks that are often required to show attendance in your online course:

Having trouble logging in to Canvas? We can help troubleshoot in Help & Common Questions.

Student on tablet


First Week of Class

The first week of the term will be a whirlwind of activity, but you should have most of your questions answered towards the start of the second week. And if not, keep asking! Your instructor and SWC's Online Learning Center want to make sure you're off to a good start.

You may find these resources helpful if you still need assistance:

  • customize your Canvas settings, such as update your notifications and subscribe to Discussions
  • provide DSS accommodation form to your instructor
  • contact Canvas  24/7 Student Support via Live Chat for Canvas questions once you're in and using Canvas
  • call or visit the Online Learning Center for in-person assistance (↓ contact info below ↓)

And always remember . . . be patient with technology and with yourself. Hybrid and online courses are a new learning style, and it will take a little time to get settled. Know that there are lots of ways you can get help with online learning at SWC.

Step 4: Help & Common Questions