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 ScreenPal, or video conferencing software such as Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Class. 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: 413-579-3100.

Getting Connected: Log into PLATO

When can I log in?
Each semester, new WSU students will be loaded into the Plato system during the weekend before classes begin (this includes Winter and Summer sessions). At this time students will receive an email (in Westfield State email) with their login credentials. Once loaded, students will ONLY have access to the Student Overview to get familiar with the system.

Step 1:
Go to the Plato home page:

Step 2:
Click the “Log into PLATO” button and follow these instructions:

When will I see my course?
Students will have access to courses in Plato no later than 8 AM on the first day of classes.

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

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

If you are having issues with your SSO (myWestfield) login, please contact the Technology Support Desk

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

The Technology Support Desk can be reached on campus in the Ely Library, or by calling 413-572-4357.

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