What is SharePoint?

Microsoft SharePoint is a document collaboration site designed to make it to work together with your peers online.  Some colleges within WesternU are starting to use SharePoint to manage their Student Curriculum, allowing students to access their course content in a single location.

Some of the Microsoft SharePoint features that you may see or use, include:

  • Announcements
  • Discussion Boards
  • Document Libraries
  • Calendars
  • Lists and Forms
  • Surveys
  • Wikis

SharePoint has a built-in Microsoft Office Web Client. This allows for editing of documents online without opening the document on your computer, allowing you to edit documents from virtually any computer.

Access and Setup

WesternU students can access these SharePoint at It is highly recommended that you use either Internet Explorer or Safari Internet browsers, as they are the only browsers supported by Microsoft SharePoint. Any other browsers may work, but will have limited capabilities compared to the supported browsers.  (Note: When prompted by SharePoint for your WesternU Username and Password, some browsers may require that you enter your full e-mail address in the username field rather than just your username.)

SharePoint also uses a plug-in called Silverlight that may need to be installed on your computer for full functionality of SharePoint and the Microsoft Office Web Client. If you need to install this on your computer it can be found using the following link: Microsoft Silverlight Download Site.

Also, you may be prompted to  enable ActiveX controls if it is not already enabled on your computer. If needed there are instructions on the SharePoint Training site.

SharePoint also has an area for you to setup a personal “My Site”. This will allow you to tag some of your favorite spots within SharePoint and even share documents with your peers. Instructions can be found at the following link:

Once you have set up your personal SharePoint site, you can access it either by going to, or by going to any SharePoint Webpage and selecting your name in the upper right hand corner.


The SharePoint Training Site has more helpful hints, training courses and videos on the use of SharePoint tools.