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Guide to Online Learning

Guide to Online Learning

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About the Guide

This guide is designed specifically for students in courses using Canvas and provides information to ensure your success in your online learning activities. You will find the essentials for getting started with online learning, including preparing for the semester, what to expect in the online portion of your courses, getting started with Canvas, technology requirements, and resources available to you.

Student Self-Service & Planning Registration System

To verify the delivery method of your courses (face-to-face, online or hybrid), you can access your schedule by logging into the Student Self-Service. Learn more about the Student Self-Service & Planning registration system.

Things to Do Before the Semester Starts

Access Your Course in Canvas

To access your course(s) in Canvas from the TWU Homepage click on Students (located in the top left corner), then click on My Courses. Once you are on the My Courses page, select the Log into Canvas button. You will need to enter your TWU username and password.

By signing into Canvas you are agreeing to the following conditions:

You are about to connect to a secured information system. Access to this system is for official business only. Unauthorized access is prohibited. Any misuse of this information system or the data that it contains will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • (A) Unauthorized use is prohibited;
  • (B) Usage may be subject to security testing and monitoring;
  • (C) Misuse is subject to criminal prosecution; and
  • (D) Users have no expectation of privacy except as otherwise provided by applicable privacy laws.

Learn About Pioneer Portal

Pioneer Portal is the official business and communication system for TWU. Pioneer Portal can be used to:

  • Accept your financial aid
  • Register for your classes
  • Pay your tuition
  • View your official schedule
  • View your final grades
  • Identify your Student ID#

Know Your Deadlines

Make sure you are aware of important university dates and deadlines. Access the University Calendar for more information.

Get Your Parking Decal

For those who will be driving and parking on campus regularly, it is best to purchase your parking decal before classes begin.

For online learners, you may or may not need a parking decal. If you are coming to campus once a month, 4 times a semester, etc., you would likely purchase a Parking Day Pass. For current parking changes, visit the Parking Update page to get the latest information.

Purchase Your Books

Books can be purchased online and shipped to your home. There is a great search feature that will identify what books you need based on the courses you are taking. Visit the TWU Bookstore.

Learn Who to Contact for Technical Help

If you have problems with Canvas or other technical issues, contact the Service Desk or call 940-898-3971.

In the event you have technical issues at home with your personal computer or Internet, contact your instructor as soon as possible to agree on the best way to submit your work or access course materials.

Get Your Student ID

Your Pioneer Student ID signifies your status as an active member of the TWU community, serving as your official student identification card and much more. 

Note: Students taking only online or hybrid courses need to email ID Services to request a Pioneer ID Card.

Learn more about your Pioneer Student ID.

Learn About Student Resources Available to You

TWU offers a variety of resources and services that will help you academically and in your personal wellbeing. If you don't find what you are looking for on the Student Resources page of this guide, you can also view the resources and services page provided by Student Life.

Review the TWU Policies and Guidelines for Distance Education

All students are responsible for knowing and adhering to TWU guidelines and policies. Review the Policies and Guidelines.

What to Expect: Online Course Myths

Myth: Online Courses are easier than face-to-face courses.

The Truth: Online courses are not easier than face-to-face courses. Online courses are designed to be rigorous and offer rich learning experiences. In order to do well, you will need to be organized, involved and prepared. All online courses offered at TWU are held to the same academic standards as face-to-face courses.

Myth: Online Courses are self-paced and can be completed at your own convenience

The Truth: Online courses are not self-paced and may require face-to-face synchronous online meetings. In order to be successful in your course you will need to be in the course daily. Deadlines for assignments will be established by instructors and follow the same university calendar as face-to-face courses. For a 3 credit hour course, be prepared to spend 9-12 hours per week (3-4 hours per credit hour), checking announcements, interacting with content, completing assignments and studying. Online courses are highly interactive so you should be prepared to read, write, take exams, discuss ideas with classmates, possibly listen to and watch content.


Myth: Online Courses do not require textbooks.

The Truth: It is up to the instructor to decide if a textbook will be required. You can find out what books are required by visiting the TWU Bookstore online.

Page last updated 2:13 PM, August 18, 2021