Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s online learning like and how is it different from face-to-face learning?
Online education courses are similar to face-to-face courses in quality, objectives, credits and learning outcomes. They use a different methodology by using the Internet, instead of or in addition to a classroom. Instruction is delivered primarily asynchronously (i.e., where the teacher and learner are not physically at the same place at the same time). Students work with materials either on their own or in discussion groups. They interact directly with each other and with the faculty typically through e-mail, threaded discussions (online discussion boards), chat and web-based whiteboard facilities, and sometimes through voice or video communication during synchronous sessions. UW-La Crosse Online offers a highly personal and interactive learning experience.

How do I receive and hand in assignments?
UW-La Crosse uses Desire2Learn (D2L) as our course management system. All readings, work sessions, assignments and other tasks are pre-specified and monitored on a continuous basis. Most written assignments and exams will be received via D2L and will be submitted using D2L. Access to grades and feedback from instructors are provided online.

How do I interact with my instructor and peers?
Students interact with their instructor on a regular basis using e-mail, threaded discussions or online chat rooms. Students post comments on questions in response to their instructor or to their peers. Students can read and post comments any time during the day. On some occasions, discussions may also take place in 'real time' through D2L 'chat' facilities. Chat participants talk to each other 'live' by typing messages back and forth.

What time are classes held?
You can participate in course discussions at any time, day or night, wherever you have an Internet connection. Not all of your course work requires you to work online—much of your writing, and project work can be done offline. Most people enter the online classroom multiple times each week to participate in discussions, but there is often no set class schedule so you can “attend class” any time of day.

How much time should I reserve?
Time varies depending on such factors as pace of reading and typing, and prior knowledge of the subject. The total time to complete an online course (e.g., studying materials, attending lectures online, interacting, completing assignments) is usually equivalent to that of an on-campus course. You have the extra flexibility to 'attend class' (e.g., read materials, watch lectures on your PC, interact in web-based discussions and complete assignments) whenever you want during the week.

How will I be graded?
Your instructor is available to assist and guide you in your learning and answer your questions throughout the course. Each course will have a syllabus which outlines the assignments, requirements and the grading criteria for the class. Grading takes place in a similar manner to traditional, classroom-based education. The only difference is that most assessment activities are web-based. You often complete assignments and take exams online.

Who is teaching?
Our courses are usually taught by the same professors who teach on campus – typically faculty members of UW-La Crosse, with postgraduate degrees and distinctions for their research and expertise in the subjects they teach. They follow the same curricula, standards and accreditation as our courses on campus.

How many people are in a class?
This varies depending on the course, but the number is usually not much different from what you would expect from most traditional classroom settings.

Do classes have specific start and end dates?
Yes, most online courses operate on a semester or intersession (J-term, summer) schedule. Though you can complete course assignments during the hours that work best for you on a day-to-day basis, you will be required to finish the course within the allotted time period.

What courses do you offer?
To view online course offerings:

  1. Log into WINGS at https://wings.uwlax.edu or go to the UW-L searchable timetable.
  2. Go to the the "class search" area. 
  3. After you click on class search select the semester or term you would like to take an online course. 
  4. Click on "additional search criteria" near the bottom of the screen. Your options for searching expand.
  5. Hit the drop down arrow in the "mode of instruction" box.  Then select "online" and you should find the online courses offered for the semester you chose.

Will I have to be admitted to UW-La Crosse to take courses?
Anyone taking a course from UW-La Crosse must be admitted either as a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student. Please visit the Admissions Office for more information.

How and when do I enroll in online courses?
Registration information and timetables can be found at our Records and Registration Web site.

How can I access the library?
Students taking UW-La Crosse online courses are provided access to the same resources as traditional on-campus students. This includes full access to UW-La Crosse’s Murphy Library.

How do I get my text books?
You rent your books for online courses through UW-L text book rental just like you do for your on-campus courses.

Is financial aid available?
Students who are admitted to UW-La Crosse and are enrolled at least half-time can receive partial aid. Full-time students are eligible for full financial aid consideration. Please visit Financial Aid for more information.

What student services are available?
Through UW-La Crosse Online, you have access to all the services a student on-campus receives and expects from an academic institution. Please visit our Student Life Web site for services availbale.