Students Getting Started

Please read: STUDENTS: What you need to know about Plato

Computer Requirements and Student Computer Knowledge:
Students must have access to a computer with an internet connection and email account. The minimum operating system is Windows 7. All Distant Learning (online) students should have knowledge in the use of basic computer functions including the use of email, sending attachments, the Internet, and basic word processing skills.

Some courses may require the use and/or download of various programs, which may include the use of proctored test exam monitoring software such as Respondus Lockdown Browser/Monitor, podcasting software (such as Audacity), screen capture software such as Screencast-O-Matic, or video conferencing software such as Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and others. Some courses may require the use of a microphone, and/or camera. Please read all instructor information including syllabus and announcements upon entering the course.

Course Information:
All courses begin on the date listed in the catalog. Students must be prepared to log in to class on that date or within the first week of class. It can take 24 – 48 hours after registration for students to access entry into their distance learning class. WSU uses PLATO (Blackboard Learn 9) as their course management system. This is the software application used for online classes. Online courses have a PLATO Student Overview course for new PLATO users and as a refresher for previous PLATO users.

About Online Courses:
You can log in to your class or do homework and assignments at any time 24/7. There may be times however, when specific assignments, tests, or other time sensitive homework must be completed within given time constraints. Most courses require a textbook. The publishers of some course content may require students to purchase an access code. Access codes may be purchased with your new book or purchased separately. Books can be purchased online or on site by contacting the WSU Bookstore: 413-562-2381.

Getting Connected: Log into PLATO

Step 1:
Go to the Plato home page:

Step 2:
Click the “Log into PLATO” button.
STUDENTS: Your PLATO user name is the first letter of your first name,  your last name, and the last four digits of your Campus Wide ID (CWID also known as your A#) – all lower case no spaces. Your initial password will be your CWID  including the capital A. This password is reset to your CWID at the beginning of each semester.

Once you are logged into the PLATO system, please CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD by clicking on your NAME on the left sidebar, then CHANGE PASSWORD. Type your old password, then your new password twice (it is case sensitive) and click SAVE to save your changes. Changing your PLATO password will not change your MyWestfield password. PLATO is a separate system from MyWestfield, WSU email, campus computer login and library access.

Once you have changed your password, you can click into your courses that are listed in ‘Courses’ on the left sidebar.

Support Resources:
Please submit a ticket using the PLATO Help Desk  if you are experiencing any login or technical difficulties

A link to the PLATO Help Desk can be found on the Plato home page, directly below the PLATO log in button, and also in each of your Plato courses under Plato Help & Resources on the left side bar

On Site Help:
If you need on site assistance with PLATO please call the CIT for individual assistance at 413-572-8130.

Distance Learning at WSU
Supported by the Center for Instructional Technology
Wilson Hall, Room 114