No matter what you plan to study or the type of class you prefer, technology is an integral part of education. These guides and tutorials are here to introduce you to the various tools and services available for students.

If you would like a guide for a specific topic that’s not listed, please contact the Teaching and Learning Center and ask. We are here to help!


Sakai is Northwest State’s learning management system for all online, hybrid, and web-enhanced classes. Sakai is also used for the online Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) sessions, various campus groups & organizations, and other types of testing.

Students can access Sakai through their MyNSCC academics tab or by going directly to Students and instructors log in to Sakai with their ID (N-number) and PIN.

  • Download the Sakai printable student guide. This reference includes how to navigate Sakai and use the most common tools within an online course.
  • My Workspace Video – Learn about the tools and options available on your My Workspace page in Sakai. Everyone has access to My Workspace, even if you don’t have any classes in Sakai.
  • Sample Course Video – View video clips showing the most common tools in an online course, including assignments, tests & quizzes, messages, forums, and more. You can use the menu at the left to jump to a specific tool, or simply click “next” after each to view them all.

File Types for Assignments
To ensure that instructors are able to open and grade assignment submissions, Northwest State requests that all files submitted within Sakai be in Microsoft Office format, unless the instructor specifically requests otherwise. If you are unable to save your assignment in this format, your instructor may also accept Rich Text (.rtf) or PDF files. Other formats, such as Google Documents or Apple Pages, will not be accepted unless your instructor specifically requests that format.

If you use Google Drive or Apple Pages to compose your assignments, you must save the files in a different format before submitting them.

Convert Google Doc Files
Convert Apple Pages Files
Formatting Google Docs

Accessing Student Files From Off Campus

Many classes, especially technical computer classes, require you to complete assignments using files provided by your instructor or textbook.

In the campus computer labs, you can access the files for your classes by going to the Q: drive on the computers, then locating the folder for your class. These files include assignment templates, instructor-provided resources and other required files. If you are working from off-campus, you can still access these files.

You will need to log in to your myNSCC account to access the instructions for downloading these files from home. Once you log in, look in the left column of the academics tab. Go to the specified site and log in with the username and password provided to access the files.

Once you are logged in to the student files site, you can navigate to the files you need. Click on each file to open or download it. If you select open, remember to use “save as” to save a copy to your computer, otherwise any changes you make will be lost when you close the file.


NSCC email is now powered by Gmail. This means that you have access to Mail, Calendar, Drive (Docs), Hangouts, and other features.

Google Email (Gmail) is a powerful and flexible email tool. The following guides provide some basic information on how to use Gmail.

  • Email – Conversations: by default, your email is displayed in conversations – emails and replies are stacked together
  • Email – Archiving Messages: Archiving lets you remove an email from your inbox without deleting it. You can find it again later if you need to.
  • Email – Labels: Labels allow you to organize your emails in to categories. You can create categories for different projects, committees, classes and more.
  • Email – Printing Emails: there are options for printing an entire conversation, or a single message.
  • Email – Accessing on Cell Phones & Tablets: if you have a smartphone or tablet, you can check your email on the go
  • Email – Labs: Google Labs is a collection of experimental features that you can enable. Some of these may add functionality, some may just change the look of your email.

Google Calendar allows you to keep track of events, respond to invitations, create new events, and invite others to events. This is a good way to keep track of meetings, campus events and more.

Google Drive allows you to create and upload documents and access them on any computer or device connected to the Internet. You can also share documents with others, and collaboratively edit them. This is a great tool for group projects.

  • Drive – Overview: this tutorial gives an overview of a lot of the functions and features of Google Drive
  • Drive – Create Documents: you can use Google Drive to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more
  • Drive – Formatting Google Docs: learn how to avoid common problems when submitting your files for an assignment
  • Drive – Upload Files: you can upload files from your computer to Google Drive to share with others, or edit online
  • Drive – Sharing Files: You can share individual files or folders with your classmates or instructors. You can decide who can edit the document, or who can simply view it.
  • Drive – Uploading Documents to Sakai:  NSCC instructors will not accept Google Drive files for most assignments. You must convert your file to a Word document before submitting it to Sakai.
  • Drive – Viewing Instructor Comments: Comments in a Word document do not automatically appear in Google Drive. These instructions will allow you to view any comments in a document.

Chat and Hangouts are tools that allow real-time communication with any others with Google accounts, including co-workers and students.