Agriculture and Natural Resources
An Introduction to WebCT
Walid H. Shayya
WebCT is a
web-based set of "Course Tools" for online learning and delivering class material. It was originally developed by the University of British Columbia and
is presently being used by universities and colleges all around the world.
It brings the dynamics of a classroom environment to the world wide web and
allows instructors and students to interact in a virtual classroom (can be done
from any place in the world and at any time using the internet) in much the same
way as in a traditional classroom. WebCT was adopted by Morrisville State College in 2002 and is currently being
courses offered online (as well as standard classroom courses including several
that are offered in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources).
WebCT provides the tools for online learning in a variety of ways. This
can range from structured learning pathways to interactive virtual
classrooms. In the courses offered by this instructor, however, the
approach to be followed is to utilize WebCT as an online tool for providing
students with access to material covered in the class (including presentations
made by the instructor) as well as tutorials and other lecture and laboratory
materials and assignments. As such, WebCT will be simply used as yet
another tool to support classroom learning.
Requirements for Using WebCT
you start using WebCT, your computer ought to be connected to the internet (preferably
using a wired connection). You also need to have a basic understanding of
how to use a web browser (Internet Explorer in the case of almost all students
on campus and enrolled in courses offered by Morrisville State College) and to surf the
internet. Remember, however, that only those students who are enrolled in
the course and have been assigned a username (also called a "WebCT ID") and a
password may log into WebCT. Although WebCT is compatible with most
internet browsers, you ought to check your browser to see if it is compatible
with WebCT before starting your course (click
here to access an external link to explore the current version of your web
browser and to upgrade it, if needed). You may also need to adjust your
browser settings to run some of the tools of WebCT (click
here to access another external link that walks you through the steps you
need to follow to adjust the settings on your Internet Explorer).
Accessing Your Class Material on WebCT
Morrisville State College
WebCT Homepage is the first step to accessing your "WebCT" account where
links to all courses that your are currently enrolled in (with WebCT material)
will appear. To do so, you must first click on the "Log in to myWebCT"
link. This will bring you to the "Login to WebCT" page where you can enter
your username (or "WebCT ID") followed by your password. Your username
is the same as the username you use to login to Windows and e-mail (i.e., the first six letters of your last name,
all lower case, and the last two numbers
of your social security number, with no spaces). Your password is
your Windows/E-mail logon password (it is no longer your social security number). Please
remember that the login is case sensitive (meaning that there is a difference
between an upper and a lower case letter).
Entering a valid
username and password and clicking on the "login" button will allow you to
proceed to the the next page: "myWebCT" page. When you are on this page,
you will see a listing of your courses (those with WebCT content). Just
click on the title of a course to enter. To return to the "myWebCT"
page from inside a course, click on the "myWebCT" link at the top of the page.
Once you have
successfully logged into "myWebCT", your username and password will be retained
by the browser until you exit WebCT. This allows you to visit links outside
the WebCT program without having to login again. You can also bookmark any
page in WebCT and the login prompt will appear on the bookmarked page rather
than at the "myWebCT" page. When you visit links outside WebCT, be aware
that the browser sometimes opens a second window (if you are having problems,
check the taskbar to see if there is more than one copy of the browser open and
click on the taskbar icon for the window you want to view).
The first page
you see after you click on the title of a course is the course's "homepage". You
can return to this page at any time by selecting the "Home" link above the
action menu (these links are referred to as "breadcrumbs"). The "homepage"
is the center of all WebCT modules. It contains the learning materials and
support tools and is accessible from every other page in the course.
time while you are using WebCT, you can get help by selecting the
"Help" link. You may also ask questions of the the instructor or
contact the "Online Hotline" at