Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Web classes

Student using the computerIn an online class, you will use a software tool called D2L Brightspace. 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 online discussions. You may also communicate with your instructor via the telephone or in person if the need should arise.

Students are required to complete the Start Guide for Online Learning before registering for their first online class at PCC. Also, some online classes have special requirements which you will need to be aware of before registering. Check the Course Details page for your class for special instructions. To find the Course Details page, go to the class schedule, and click on the name of your class.


Most online 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 information page.

Homework and testing

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

Most online classes have web-based quizzes and exams. However, a few online classes may require that exams be proctored in person. Be sure to check the course information page for information about proctored exams or other in person requirements.

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.

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 recommended that you have a thorough understanding of your computer operating system.

I tried to register for an online 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 online classes require me to come to campus?

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

Do online 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:
  • During the week before the term starts you will receive an email inviting you to log in to the Online Student Resource Center where you can complete some practice activities in D2L before your class begins. You are encouraged to log in during this week and participate.
  • Read the course details for each class you are taking. Course details are maintained by instructors and contain valuable information. The course details 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 access your class through D2L.
Returning Students:
  • You can log in to your D2L class starting the first day of the term.
Do you have other questions?