Distance Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Instruction: What is the best way to contact my instructor?
    • Instructor telephone numbers and e-mails are provided in your course syllabus.
      Check your syllabus as to the best way to contact him/her. Contact info for instructors is also available through the online directory.
  • Exam Limitations: How many exams can I request at one time?
    • Exams are to be requested one at a time. Once the previous exam has been returned, the next exam can be sent out.
      If you have a special circumstance, for example: you are graduating and need to complete the course early, please contact the Distance Learning office at 309.298.2496 or by email at DistanceLearning@wiu.edu.
  • Exam Grades: Who grades my exam and how long after taking my exam can I expect my grade?
    • Your instructor corrects the examination, assigns points, and informs you of your score on each examination. Allow enough time for the exam to be received by the Distance Learning office and forwarded to the instructor for grading.
  • Exam Requests: I am not taking my exam at the Macomb or Quad Cities campus, how far in advance should I request my exams?
    • No later than two weeks in advance to allow for mail time. During deadlines allow enough time for the exam to be returned and forwarded to your instructor for grading.
  • Registration Next Steps: I've registered for a online course, now what do I do?
    • You may order your books from the University Union Bookstore and they will ship them to you by using one of the following options:
      1. You can call call the Bookstore at 309.298.1931 or TOLL FREE at 800.338.6369. Have your course information available for the representative when you call. Be sure to specify the course name and number and that it is an online course, OR
      2. You may order your books through the Online Bookstore which is located on the University Union Bookstore’s web page at http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/bookstore/. Float your cursor over the “Textbooks” option from the left menu and click on “efollett” from the drop down menu. Click on “Textbooks & Course Materials” and follow the prompts to select your term, department, course, and correct course section number. Follow the remaining instructions regarding payment and shipping.
  • Deadlines: How long do I have to complete courses?
    • All of our online courses begin at the same time as regular on-campus classes.
      • Fall: Mid-August
      • Spring: Mid-January
      • Summer: Early-June
      Online courses must be completed by the end of the regular on-campus semester (16 weeks for Fall and Spring, 8 weeks for Summer).
      All materials are due to the instructor by Monday of on-campus finals week.
  • Proctors: What is a "proctored" exam?
    • Some online courses also have proctored exams.
      A student is required to arrange an acceptable exam supervisor (known as a proctor) and make arrangements with them to have the test administered.
  • Proctors: Who is an acceptable proctor?
    • Students living near Macomb must take all examinations at Distance Learning, Horrabin Hall 10, WIU. Call 309/298-2496 to schedule a time for the examination. Distance Learning requires 24 hours' notice before scheduling an examination.
      Students living in the Quad Cities area must take all examinations under the supervision of personnel at WIU-Quad Cities campus. Call to schedule a time for the examination. WIU-Quad Cities requires 24-hours' notice before scheduling an examination.
          Western Illinois University's Quad Cities

          3561 60th Street

          Moline, IL 61265

      Students living in other locations should arrange for an acceptable proctor to conduct the examination and are responsible for fees assessed. The following are acceptable proctors:
      • Community colleges and universities testing center personnel
      • School superintendents, high school principals, and counselors
      • Education officers of military personnel
      • A library that provides proctoring services
      Indicating a proctor on your Examination Request Form who does not meet these criteria will cause a delay in processing your examination. Faculty members, relatives, work supervisors, or the immediate employer of the student may not serve as proctors.
      WIU reserves the right to reject a proposed examination proctor.
  • Online Course Registration: Why can't I register at any time for online courses?
    • Online courses are not on an open enrollment system. The registration period for these courses is coordinated with on-campus registration.
  • Advance vs. Open Registration: What is the difference?
    • Only currently enrolled students are eligible to register for courses during advance registration. During open registration, all eligible students may register.
  • Fees: Are there any additional charges or fees?
    • Students will be assessed a $50 per semester hour instructional enhancement charge for all courses designated Internet (I, IC, and IQ), and Extension site (E).  Students at the receiving site taking CODEC classes will be assessed a $50 access charge.
  • Tuition: How much is tuition?
  • Cost/Tuition: How do I pay for my classes?
  • Financial Aid: Is financial aid available?
    • Students receiving any form of financial assistance are advised to check with the Financial Aid Office to determine the extent of coverage available.

      Financial Aid
      Sherman Hall 127
      1 University Circle
      Macomb, IL 61455
      (309) 298-2446
      Website: http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/financial_aid/
  • Veterans Benefits: Are there any benefits for Veterans?
  • Withdrawing from courses: Is it too late to withdraw from a course?
  • Computer Questions: Help with technology/computer questions?
    • University Technology (uTech) Support Center provides help for questions about hardware, software, accounts, access, etc.
      Contact the Helpdesk at (309) 298-2704 or via email at support@wiu.edu.
      For hours of operation, please check the uTech Support Center Website.
  • Courses: Where can I see what courses are being offered?
    • Course offerings are available online through "Course Search" on STARS, or through the "Course Search" from the Registrar's website.
  • Degrees at a Distance Program (DDP) Course Registration: Why can't I register myself for DDP classes?
    • Classes offered through the Degrees at a Distance Program are upper level courses restricted to firefighters. To register for these classes, students must contact their advisor.
  • Username/Password: How do I find out my user name and password?
    • University Technology (uTech) Services can assist you with username &/or password questions.
      Contact the Helpdesk at 309/298-2704 or via email supportcenter@wiu.edu.
  • Grade Posting: How will I find out my grade?
    • Western Illinois University sends semester course grades to students WIU email address within a week following the end of the semester. Students may also view their grades on STARS.
  • Transcripts: How can I get a copy of my transcript?
    • WIU assesses a one-time, non-refundable $15 transcript fee from first-time WIU students. After paying this fee, you may request as many transcripts as desired without paying an additional transcript fee.
      Request for transcripts must be submitted to the Registrar's office in writing; telephone request cannot be honored.
      A written request must include:
      • Name (present and all previous)
      • Social Security Number or Student ID
      • Date of birth
      • Last year attended at WIU
      • Where to send transcript (name and address)
      • Signature
      Transcripts are not issued for persons under financial obligation to WIU.
      Send requests to:

          Sherman Hall 110

          Western Illinois University

          1 University Circle

          Macomb, IL 61455-1390

        (309) 298-1891
  • Registration How-to: How do I register for a course?
    • Students may register through STARS, or with the assistance of an academic advisor.
  • Do I have to be a student at WIU to register for an online course?
    • Students seeking a WIU degree must be admitted to an undergraduate or graduate degree program at Western Illinois University before they can register for an online course.


        Following admission, students may register for online classes via the Student/Alumni Records System (STARS).


      Students who do not wish to complete a degree at WIU and want only to take one or more online courses for transfer to another institution may choose to apply to be admitted as non-degree seeking students. Please review the criteria below to determine your eligibility status as a non-degree seeking student.


          Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution should NOT use the undergraduate application, but should instead apply through the
      Office of Graduate Studies
          . Access the Graduate Application by clicking on Apply Now on the WIU Home page and choosing the application link labeled “Graduate Application.” Carefully read through the admission criteria posted on the website and proceed as indicated or call the Graduate Studies office at 309/298-1806 for assistance.


          Students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution may submit an
      undergraduate non-degree application
          . Access the Undergraduate Non-Degree application by clicking on Apply Now on the WIU Home page (
          ) and choosing the application link labeled “Undergraduate Non-Degree Application.” Carefully read the online instructions and proceed with section 1 to electronically submit the application and $25 non-refundable application fee. Students wishing to submit a paper application and pay a $30 non-refundable application fee with a check or money order should choose section 2 to download the application in an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Students must also complete and submit the "
      Request to Register for Courses
          " form found on the Undergraduate Non-Degree Application web site. The form can also be located at:
  • Do I need a WIU student ID number to register for an online course?
    • New WIU students will be sent important information containing their WIU student identification number, their electronic communications (ECOM) login identification, and instructions on activating their WIU Zimbra E-Mail and Student/Alumni Records System (STARS) accounts. Students MUST activate their email account in order to log in to any online course.
  • Can I start courses at any time?
    • Online courses at WIU follow the same academic calendar as campus classes; they begin on the first day of the term and end on the last day of the term. Students enrolled in a course can access the online course website on the first day of the term. Although students may access the course website and do homework 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, each course has specific deadlines and due dates for assignments and exams.
  • Do I have to come to campus to take exams?
    • No, online courses do not require students to come to campus to take exams. Some courses require proctored exams, while others utilize online exams. Exam specifications can be found in the course syllabus which is available on the course website the first day of the semester. Students wishing to obtain this information prior to the first day of class are advised to contact the instructor by phone or email or to contact Distance Learning by email at DistanceLearning@wiu.edu or by calling 309/298-2496. The Distance Learning office maintains a list of approved proctors and can work with students seeking testing sites.
  • Where do I locate my course on the first day of the term?
    • All online courses at Western Illinois University are accessed via the WesternOnline website. From the WIU Home page (www.wiu.edu) place your cursor over the “Web Tools” link to display a menu bar and click on Western Online or by typing “WesternOnline” in your web browser. Login is completed using your ECOM user name and the password you created when you activated your student email account. Enter the specific course web site by clicking on the appropriate link in the “Course List” area of the page.