Bonus tips for synchronous online courses (these classes meet online, live)
- Use your webcam. Instructors read students' expressions to gauge if they need to slow down or explain things differently.
- Mute yourself during lecture and only un-mute yourself if you need to speak. This minimizes background noise which can be distracting to others.
- Don't multi-task. Pay attention to the lecture and don't go to other webpages unless required by the instructor.
- Take notes by hand. This is actually faster than using an app or the computer.
- Sign in to the meeting 5-10 minutes early to make sure you can connect and that everything's working. If the meeting is not open, you can check that things are working by joining a Zoom test meeting for a minute or two.
- Don't leave the meeting as soon as class is over. Instructors often stay connected to answer questions from students, so use this time well, if offered.
- If you have a question, use Zoom's "raise your hand" feature so your instructor will know you need help.
- You can also use the chat feature, but before you do, ask your instructor if s/he will be reading and answering questions posted via chat
- If your instructor asks a question or gives a prompt, answer it! Stay active and participate fully in the class. You will remember more.
- Use a headset with a microphone (or use AirPods). This reduces the background noise in your study area, so it's not distracting for other in the class, plus it increases audio quality when you're speaking.
Bonus tips for asynchronous courses (the material is recorded and you can view it whenever)
- When taking notes, don't write everything the instructor is saying, or you'll become frustrated or take a long time to take notes for the whole lecture. Take notes the same way you would in a face to face class. You need the gist, the most important information.
- Most recorded lectures come with a transcript. Use it to your advantage. You can often copy and paste the transcript into a file and then highlight portions of interest.
- Print the transcript and your notes and keep them in a notebook for easy access when it's time to study for a test or exam.
- Listen to the whole recording.
- Follow up with your instructor with any questions you may have regarding the lecture or assignments. Visit during their virtual office hours (check the syllabus to see when these are), send an email, or call.