Canvas is the LMS (Learning Management System) used at MWSU to deliver online and hybrid courses and to enhance traditional face-to-face courses. It is an innovative, user-friendly learning management system that expands the possibilities for teaching and learning. It is likely that you will use Canvas in one of your classes at MWSU.
To access your online courses you can go to https://missouriwestern.instructure.com/login/cas. You can also access Canvas from the portal or through the Canvas App on a smartphone or tablet.
Please note: Although Canvas works on mobile devices, there may be an occasional lesson or quiz that is better viewed on a computer.
The vast majority of distance education courses at Missouri Western State University are offered 100% online. Some courses are a blend of online instruction and face-to-face instruction. A few distance education courses are offered via synchronous video-conferencing.
Fully online courses allow students to complete college courses at times and places that meet their schedule and environment. Students are generally able to complete assignments from anywhere there is an Internet connection and can do so with some flexibility of when the work is done.
Blended courses require occasional face-to-face meetings for instruction and/or interaction with other students that is most effective in a face-to-face situation.
Synchronous video-conferencing is where students are at multiple locations participating with the instructor and other students through video-conferencing.
Please read “What to expect with your distance education course” which will provide valuable information regarding whether or not distance education courses are right for you. It is probably best to speak with an advisor before registering for an online course, but you can take a short assessment that may help you understand if online learning is right for you. Online Distance Education Readiness Assessment
Missouri Western’s online classes are not self-paced and are as demanding and rigorous as traditional face-to-face courses. Each course has a beginning and end date, and are actively led by an instructor which will provide deadlines for assigned homework, reading, and online discussions. The Instructor will provide specific instructions for submitting assignments either through the course web site, e-mail, regular mail, or fax. You will be expected to complete all online course activities by the specified due date.
You must know how to operate a computer, download and upload files, search for information using a web browser, have an active MWSU e-mail account, send documents as attachments, create PDFs, save and transfer movies, and use of Google applications.
Most courses allow you to sign in at any time of the day or night. You will still need to meet the course due dates and deadlines and will need to plan your schedule accordingly. Many instructors in use Zoom for online office hours. For more information on Zoom, click here.
To request accommodations for an online course, you must first contact the Accessibility Resource Center at (816) 271-4330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online assignments are subject to the same standards of integrity that apply in traditional face-to-face classes. It is cheating to copy from others or from outside sources on any online assignment, quiz or exam (unless otherwise specified by the instructor). Your online instructor may use Turnitin Anti Plagiarism software to verify that submitted work is your own. For more information on Academic Integrity, please see the Student Handbook.
Many library resources are online and available to all enrolled students at Missouri Western. Currently, there are over 70 electronic databases that are available online. For more information on what our library has to offer, please visit the library website.
You are responsible for getting your textbook and course materials for your online course(s). Textbook information can be obtained from the Western Bookstore. You can also obtain textbook and course materials from the course syllabus, available inside your Moodle course one week before the start of the course. Textbooks can be purchased from the Missouri Western University.
You will access the course web site, online message boards, and the instructor’s e-mail address to stay informed regarding assignments, syllabus changes, exam dates, and to communicate with other classmates online. Your instructor will most likely give you instructions on how to communicate and find course announcements. Most instructors will require students to submit their homework assignments through the course web site or via e-mail. Instructors usually try to respond to your e-mail questions in 24 – 48 hours.
If you are unable to contact your instructor, please contact the department.
For electronic access to over 70 MWSU library databases your user ID and password are the same ID and password you use to check your Missouri Western e-mail account. Visit the MWSU Library at https://www.missouriwestern.edu/library/.
All official information (mid-term grades, access codes, etc.) the university sends out to you, by electronic means, goes only to your Missouri Western e-mail account. Some instructors will only communicate with students through their Missouri Western e-mail accounts as well.
If you have difficulty with your assignments, you should first contact your instructor for help. The Center for Academic Support may also provide assistance with your assignments. You should always start your assignments early in case a problem or questions arise. This will give you enough time to e-mail your instructor or contact the Center for Academic Support for assistance. Online courses are dependent upon web servers to be up and running at all times. However, unexpected outages to web servers and computers, as well as student’s internet service providers may be down unexpectedly due to factors beyond the control of Missouri Western. You may not be able to connect to the course web site to work on your assignments in such instances. It is always important to work ahead.
You should do the following:
1. Contact your Internet Service Provider to see whether the problem is theirs or not.
2. If it is not a problem with your Internet Service Provider, then you should contact the Information Technology Office Help Desk at (816) 271-4555 for assistance. The Information Technology Office will also be able to tell you if there are any problems with the course web site.
3. If you are unable to solve the problem with the Information Technology Office, or if the problem will take more time to solve, contact your instructor. Inform the instructor of your situation, and make arrangements to complete your work in another way. It is usually best to find another computer that you can use to complete the work (i.e. at a friend’s house, work, the library).
There are many great tutorials and free resources available on the Internet to help you with basic computer skills. Here are a few you may start with: http://www.ctdlc.org/remediation/ andhttps://www.gcflearnfree.org/basic-computer-skills/.
You need to first contact your instructor for non-technical questions. The instructor will help you resolve the problem or help you contact the person who can.
Your instructors will tell you when evaluations are available to complete. Please make sure you complete the evaluations because your feedback helps the instructors and the university to continually improve the distance education program at Missouri Western. Evaluations will be available toward the end of each semester.
1. Know Your Course – Embrace the syllabus, familiarize yourself with the course requirements, purchase your text and required course supplies, learn how to navigate Moodle (MWSU’s Learning Management System).
2. Communicate – Engage in course conversations and discussions with your instructor and peers. Are you confused? Ask your instructor for clarification. Use appropriate netiquette for all your communications.
3. Manage Your Time – Procrastination is the downfall of many online students. Don’t fall victim to procrastination; plan your study times and stick to them. Set goals for yourself. You need to be self-disciplined and self-motivated.
4. Be Tech Ready – You need to have basic technical skills to succeed. These include creating and editing documents, navigating the internet and file management. If you type fewer than 25 words per minute you may find the online environment frustrating.
5. Be Persistent – Recognize when you are having technical or academic issues and seek assistance. Missouri Western has many student support services available to assist you.