Preparing for Your Tech-Infused Courses

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Take a deep breath!

It can be a little intimidating for anyone getting started with the technology, but once you get the hang of it, you will do fine. Remember to ask questions, enjoy the experience and most of all, remember to relax and breathe! We have put together some short orientations to prepare you for the challenge BEFORE class starts!

STEP 1: Setup your UW Email

UW offers two options for e-mail services: UW Office 365(FERPA/HIPAA compliant) and UW Google Gmail. Setting up or changing your e-mail service is done via the MYUW portal, which can be accessed here.

For more information, visit

STEP 2: Explore Google Apps

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Google Drive - Access files from all your devices anywhere, anytime!
Now that you have Google setup for your UW email, you get instant access to Google Drive! Google Drive is a free web-based office suite containing tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and online forms. Users can create new documents or upload existing Microsoft Office documents to edit and share in Google Drive with others. Your files are always waiting for you at, but you can also get them straight from your computer, smartphone, and tablet.

Key Features

Word processing application that allows you to create and edit documents.

Create and edit slideshows or presentations with this tool.

Manage data and perform simple calculations with Spreadsheets.

Create online questionnaires and surveys with the Forms tool.

Draw mind-maps, diagrams, and other simple shapes in the Drawings tool.

Lucidchart Diagram
Create flowcharts and mind-maps to organize ideas


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STEP 3: Familiarize yourself with Canvas

Once you have access to your online class(es), explore them. Take the time to go through the course in Canvas. Pay attention to how the course is organized and click each and every link to see where they take you, and get comfortable navigating through the class. Review our tutorials on the Getting Started with Canvas page to learn how to do common tasks in Canvas, like submitting assignments, posting discussions and communicating with your instructor.

STEP 4: Learn about File Storage, helpful resources and more...

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Google Drive icon   Google Drive, one of the UW Google Apps, lets you create, store, share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations online, all in real-time. You already learned all about how to use your Google Drive by watching the video in Step 2 above.



       Your personal "H" drive is your secure, personal space. No one else has access to this space, so it is not appropriate for sharing or collaborating on files with others. Instructions for how to login to your "H" drive from off campus using Remote File Access can be found on the Network Access webpage.

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Refworks is a web-based personal citation databases and bibliography creators that allow you to import, store, and share your research citations and automatically format your bibliographies into whatever style you need (APA, MLA, Chicago, and many more).
Learn how to use RefWorks (Video Tutorials)

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UWT's Remote Apps Service provides off-campus access to SPSS software:

Please take a look at the RemoteApp Access Instructions to learn how to login!


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STEP 5: What you need if/when you come to campus.

Online students may not have the opportunity to come to campus, but for those on campus, make sure you have what you need!


Bring your Husky Card ID with you. You will need it to access computer labs, equipment, check out library materials and take advantage of discounts around campus. ID cards are not issued until the week before the quarter starts and can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar.


You will need your UWT Network Account information to login to campus computers.

How do I get one?

If you are a current UW Tacoma student, you must have a network login account to access campus computers. Network login accounts will be automatically generated for all new students after you:

Register for your first quarter of classes

Activate a cloud service (either UW Google or UW Windows Live)

How do I login to a computer on campus?

To login to a Tacoma campus computer, your username will be and your first password will be your student number (minus any leading zeros). Students in the Institute of Technology have special logins for the Institute labs. These login accounts are managed by the Institute of Technology, so please contact them for assistance.

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password and cannot login to a campus computer, please visit the helpdesk in Walsh Gardner 108, call 253-692-4357 or email

Practice some commonly used tasks...

Each course requires students to perform different tasks, but no one gets out without the skills you need to survive in the digital age. All students need to know how to:

  • Use email and attach documents.
  • Post to a discussion board and reply to other students.
  • Submit assignments to a dropbox and/or upload them to a site.
  • Search an electronic database in an online library.
  • Possibly how to use a microphone and webcam to communicate in the discussion board.

It doesn’t hurt to review our online video tutorials and documentation on these tasks or practice them in the actual course itself. For example, try sending an email message with an attachment before a class begins. Practice uploading a photo, video, or document to a social media site (e.g., Facebook or YouTube). Setup a webcam and microphone and create a Google Hangout with a friend. Go into the Academic Support pages and learn about how to get help and services if you need them!

The goal is to make each one of these activities and processes as natural for you as possible. Also check out our FAQ page for answers to common questions.

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Move on to Student Resources and Academic Support for Online Learners!



If you have questions, check out the Getting Help page for ways to contact us!