Online Learning FAQs - Southwestern Illinois College

    How do I find the list of courses being offered online?

    Use the Class Search feature in eSTORM and click the “Additional Search Criteria.” Then scroll down to “Mode of Instruction” and select “On-line (Web-based) Instruction” from the drop down menu.

    How do I register for an online course?

    The registration process is the same for online courses as it is for all SWIC courses. Current students may register in person or online. New students may register in person. For more information, call:

    Belleville 618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-7942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455
    Sam Wolf Granite City 618-931-0600, ext. 6615
    Red Bud 618-282-6682, ext. 8114

    I live out of state can I still register for online courses?

    Yes, Southwestern Illinois College has been approved by the state of Illinois to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of post secondary distance education. Our membership allows out of state students from fellow SARA participating states to complete online course work and programs at the college. More detailed information can be found at our Online Learning page.

    After I register for an online course, where and when do I access my online course?

    After you register for an online course, you can access your online course at Please note: you may not be able to login until one to two weeks before the start date of your course, generally around the first day of classes each semester. In some instances, your course will be listed on your Blackboard, but set to unavailable until the first day of class. All students who register for an online course will receive general Online Learning information in the mail sent to their home address.

    Where do I get textbooks?

    If a textbook is required for your course, it will be available at the college bookstore. Go to to access online.

    When can I access my online course?

    In most cases you will be able to access your class on the start date listed in the catalog. However, it is important that you remember to activate your SWIC email account so you can receive information about your course directly from your instructor.

    What skills do I need to succeed in an online coures?

    You should have basic computer skills and should be comfortable using an Internet browser and word processing software. You should also be highly motivated and able to work independently.

    Will I receive credit toward a degree for online courses?

    Yes, all online courses are credit courses.

    Do I need special hardware and software?

    Computers: Students will need regular access to a computer in order to complete online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses. Most courses require students to login at least twice or more a week for announcements, assignments, and discussions, etc. Either a PC (Microsoft® Windows® Operating System) or Apple® Mac (OS® Operating System) is required and must meet the minimum requirements to run Blackboard, web browsers, word processors and any other software needed to complete the course.

    Browsers: These browsers work best with our version of Blackboard Learn: Firefox 24 and later; Chrome 30 or later; Safari 6 and later (Mac only); Internet Explorer 9 and later.

    Internet access: Reliable, fast online connections are critical to the ease of completion for online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses. Broadband internet connections, which can be obtained through your local cable, DSL, or satellite provider are recommended. Most coursework can be completed with a dial-up connection, but it is not recommended. On-campus labs are available for all online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses. The computers in the Success Centers are also available.

    Software: Many online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses will require students to use additional software programs to complete their coursework. Some may be included in the textbook and some may be downloaded from the textbook publisher’s website. Office 365 is provided to all students using their SWIC student email.

    The above requirements may vary by course.

    If I am enrolled in an online course, will library services and resources be available?

    Yes. As an online student at SWIC, you have access to many library services. If you wish to access the electronic databases, a username and password are required. You can call one of the libraries and provide your student ID number to obtain the information.

    Books may be checked out using your SWIC library card at the Belleville Campus Library, Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Library and Red Bud Campus Library.

    Why isn’t my class listed?

    If you are taking an online course or hybrid course, your course will be listed in your “My Courses” module. The course will be labeled Unavailable until the start date. If you are taking a face-to-face course, not all instructors will use Blackboard to web-enhance their courses.

    Why am I getting an error message when I log into Blackboard?

    Issues to consider:

    If you use an incorrect username or password three times, you will be locked out for 15-30 minutes. Please wait and try again.
    Your eSTORM password may need to be reset. You are required to change your password every 90 days.

    What if I experience technical problems?

    If you are experiencing technical problems with your Internet connection, such as connecting, sending and receiving email or browsing the web, please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

    If you have problems with your username and password, please contact Technology Assistance at or call 618-222-SWIC (7942).

    If you have general questions about your class in Blackboard, please contact your instructor.

    in Student Brightspace Tags: BlackboardHardwareOnline LearningSoftware
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