Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Web classes

Student using the computerIn a web class, you will use a software tool called Desire2Learn (D2L). D2L allows instructors to place course content in a password-protected site that only students who are registered for the class can access. Students can access these courses from any computer that has a connection to the Internet at anytime of day or night. As with a campus class, you will have assignment due dates, and if your class has online exams, exams may have due dates as well. Students and instructors will typically interact with each other via email and bulletin board discussions. You may also communicate with your instructor via the telephone or in person if the need should arise.

Many classes have online orientations (separate from our Orientation to PCC Web Courses) which students are required to read and complete at the beginning of the term. See the course information page (CIP) for your class for special instructions. To find the CIP, go to the class schedule, and click on the name of your class. Some instructors will hold chat sessions during the term so that you and your fellow students can discuss class work online in real time.


Most courses have a required textbook. Please check with PCC’s bookstore for the textbooks that are required for your class. To determine if your course has specific software requirements, you will need to check the course’s course information page to determine what software is needed. If you need to purchase software, please check with PCC’s bookstore, you can often get software from them at a reduced cost.

Homework and testing

Homework for online classes is submitted in a variety of methods. Usually, you will submit assignments through email. You might also fulfill homework requirements by posting messages to a bulletin board or listserv, uploading files, or participating in chat sessions.

Most web-based course quizzes and tests are done online using a variety of evaluation tools. Many online tests are automatically graded and in some cases, you can view the results immediately after submitting your answers. Depending on the instructor, some classes may require on-campus testing.

Your computer

It is recommended that you perform a System Check on the computer you plan to work from. This System Check is designed to ensure your computer system is properly configured for your web courses. It verifies your browser version, browser settings and display settings on your computer. The System Check also ensures that you have any plug-ins that your courses require. For more information about system requirements, see the ‘Your Computer’ section of the Online Orientation.

Your Internet connection

We recommend that you have broadband access for taking online courses. Contact your Internet service provider (Comcast, Verizon, CenturyLink, etc) for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the computing and internet access specifications?

Students are responsible for the software and equipment maintenance and setup on their computer. It is highly recommend that you have a thorough understanding of your computer operating system. Specific computer system requirements are listed in the ‘Your Computer’ section of the online orientation.

I tried to register for a web class. How do I know that I am successfully registered?

You can verify your registration through online registration, MyPCC, or by calling the Registration Helpline at 971-722-8888.

Do web classes require me to come to campus?

Some web classes have required on-campus orientations. Some classes may require you to come to campus for exams; others may have lab sessions that you need to attend. See the course information page (CIP) for your individual class for this information. To find the CIP, go to the class schedule, and click on the name of your class.

Do web classes have on-campus exams?

Most web classes have online exams. If your class should happen to have an exam on campus and you cannot come to the exam, discuss the situation with your instructor.

I’ve registered for a web class, what do I do next?
New Students:
  • Take the Orientation to PCC Web Courses .
    The orientation will guide you through all the steps for taking a web course and
    give you directions for the login process.
  • Read the course information page (CIP) for each class you are taking. CIPs are maintained by instructors and contain valuable information. The CIP for your class can be found by clicking on your class name in the current class schedule.
  • Starting the first day of the term, you can login to your class on MyPCC
Returning Students:
  • You can login to your class on MyPCC starting the first day of the term.
I’m having trouble logging in. What can I do?
  • You must be officially registered at PCC and be on the official class roster before you can access your online class. If you are on the class wait-list, you will not have access to the class. Additionally, access will begin only when the class is scheduled to begin, not before.
  • Once you are moved from the wait-list to the class roster, you will need to wait
    24 hours before you can access your class.
  • Still having trouble? Get technical help for logging in.
  • Call the Student Help Desk at 971-722-8222.