Prepare For Your Online Class

Once you have registered at Olympic College in an online class--whether "OC Only" or WAOL--your name will be forwarded to Washington Online where your classroom account will be set up.

One week before your class begins, WAOL will open your classroom. This week is called "Zero Week"--you are not required to sign into your class, but if you have never taken an online class before, be sure to orient yourself to the Blackboard software used in your classroom.

Note: Allow two to three days for your name to be entered into the system.If you cannot log in after three days, contact WAOL tollfree by calling 1-888-580-9011 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday).

You should be able to log in by the first day of the quarter: if the quarter has already begun, contact WAOL immediately after finding that you cannot log in.

Zero Week

During Zero Week, you will find a welcome message from your instructor. During Zero Week and the first week of class, instructors ask students to post an autobiography as an introduction to other students in the class. Students are asked to respond to one another's introductions just as you would in an on-ground class.

It is your responsibility to log on to the classroom using Blackboard. Remember, you will not receive a "reminder" from your instructor before class begins. You may link to Blackboard by going to the WAOL home page and clicking on the Blackboard link found halfway down the left-hand side of the page.

While you are waiting for your class to begin during Zero Week, you may also wish to take part in the orientations available to online students.


The Online Week

Online classes, with a few exceptions, begin each week on Thursday at midnight and end each week on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. The schedule has been established to provide online students more flexibility in the hours and days that they "attend" class.When taking an online class, remember:

  • Most students find that they must adjust to the online week because it does not begin on Monday. You will increase your familiarity with the online week if you log on each Thursday (when you do so is your decision; however, each week's schedule will become available at 12:01 a.m. each Thursday).

Note: A few instructors begin their class week on a day other than Thursday; these instructors will notify you after you log into the classroom for the first week.

Do not confuse the flexibility of the online class with "independent study." All online students are expected to attend class every week of every online quarter.

Typically, an online student is expected to log 12-15 hours weekly for each 5-credit class. How and when the student attends class is up to the individual.

For example, a student who works a Monday through Friday job, may find that he or she spends likes to attend class on Saturday or Sunday in addition to three days during the week. Or, a student who works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. may log the most "school" hours between 8 p.m. and midnight.

Print out the week's schedule of assignments and carefully mark deadlines on a calendar so that you do not miss turning in an assignment or responding to a classmate's message.

Financial Aid

If you are a student who receives Financial Aid, the autobiography you post in your classroom by the end of Week 1will serve as "verification of attendance" so that you may receive your financial aid check.

f you have questions regarding Financial Aid verification, please contact Media Services/Distance Learning at 360-475-7770.