Online Students Frequently Asked Questions

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To ensure your success in an online course, you must know what is expected of you. Your course syllabus is your "contract' with the professor. Read the syllabus and ask your professor for clarification if you have questions.

PRINT the syllabus and mark all assignment due dates where you will see them easily. Designate a time and place to study. Having a schedule will help you stay on track.

Log in to your online class frequently. Participate in class discussions and get involved!

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How do I navigate Canvas? What do I need to know about online classes before signing up for one?Who do I contact about a problem I am having in my online class?How do I get an override if a class is full?How do I get my online professor to sign a withdrawal form?What form do I use to withdraw from an online class?How do I reset my password?How do I Add/Drop classes?How can I see my course schedule? How do I connect to the Florida SouthWestern State College Wi-Fi? 


How do I navigate Canvas?

If you are having trouble navigating through Canvas, you should go through the Canvas Orientation Course.


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What do I need to know about online classes before signing up for one?

Online classes are very different than face-to-face classes, and it's important to make sure the online environment is a good choice for you. Students that thrive in online classes are excellent at managing their time, reach out when they need help, and check into the class often! Even though you will have assignment due dates, it is up to you to identify a block of time to work on them. The amount of time you should spend working in your online class should be equivalent to what you would spend if you were coming to class on campus and doing homework!

Florida SouthWestern State College expects all students registering for an online class to have reliable access to a:

  • Laptop or desktop computer with an up-to-date operating system
  • Stable high-speed internet
  • Microphone
  • Webcam

Please note that technology requirements vary by program. Depending on the course, you may be required to have additional technology to utilize videos, collaboration tools, and instructor-led conferencing sessions.

All online proctored exams are administered through the online service, Proctorio. You will be required to have access to the technology, as mentioned above, to complete an online proctored exam successfully.

While tabletssmartphones, and other mobile devices may allow for the completion of some coursework, they are not guaranteed to work in all areas. Please ensure you have a Windows or Mac-based computer available to complete coursework in the event your selected mobile device does not meet the needs of the course.

For more information on the minimum technology required for an online class, go to Online Course Technical Requirements Knowledge Base article.


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Who do I contact about a problem I'm having in my online class?

This is a tricky one because it depends on the type of problem you are having, and your professor may or may not be the fastest way to get help. Always check your professor's syllabus for guidelines. When contacting external support, it is important to document all of your support requests in case you need to share it with your professor! Here are some guidelines:

  • If you are experiencing issues with Canvas, the best place to start is by contacting Canvas Technical Support. A Canvas representative is available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-855-652-1900. You can also use this step-by-step guide to learn how to live chat or submit a Canvas ticket.
  • If you are an online student using Proctorio and encounter a problem during your exam, be sure to first access live chat by clicking on the Proctorio extension icon (the gray shield in the top right corner of your Chrome browser). You can also reach Proctorio support toll-free at 866-948-9248 or email
  • If you need other technical assistance, you can visit the G-building on the Lee campus for walk-in technical support or submit a ticket to the FSW IT team at


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How do I get an override if a class is full?

The appropriate school dean grants override approvals. Many classes would not permit overrides unless you were dropped due to a college error. Please note that being dropped from a class because your Financial Aid wasn't approved is not a college error. Please make sure you have your Financial Aid in order BEFORE the semester start date.


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How do I get my online professor to sign a withdrawal form?

Complete the withdrawal form and email it to the professor. You can locate your professor's email address in the College Directory.

If you are unable to reach the professor, please contact the appropriate school dean.


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What form do I use to withdraw from an online class?

Each semester, you are granted a limited amount of time to withdraw from a class. See the college calendar for that information: College Calendar.

If you are a recipient of financial aid, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you contact that department BEFORE withdrawing. If you are requesting a withdrawal AFTER the posted date, use the Late Withdrawal Form

The Office of the Registrar reviews the Late Withdrawal Form and all supporting documentation. 


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How do I reset my password?

The Portal is where you access most of your FSW account information. All the more reason, it can be frustrating if you find yourself unable to log in to your account. We understand that feeling - review the How To: Reset Your Password guide for a streamlined process for resetting your Portal password. Get access to what you need, when you need it!


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How do I Add/Drop classes?

You can read the How To: Add/Drop Classes guide for detailed step-by-step instructions on how to Add or Drop Classes.


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How can I see my course schedule?

You can read the How To: View Your Course Schedule guide for detailed step-by-step instructions on how to see your course schedule once you have registered for classes.


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How do I connect to the Florida SouthWestern State College Wi-Fi? 

To gain access to the Florida SouthWestern State College Wi-Fi network, you will need to log in with your FSW email address and Portal password. Go to the Florida SouthWestern State College Wi-Fi guide for detailed step-by-step instructions. 


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Article ID: 83703
Wed 7/24/19 11:11 AM
Wed 5/10/23 5:35 PM