Before class, take a few minutes to make sure know how to access Zoom and/or Teams and have downloaded the apps to your device.
Zoom is probably the most common way that synchronous (real-time) remote courses are delivered. Zoom lets faculty connect with students, use breakout rooms for small group discussions, and record sessions so students can review after class. You can also use Zoom to have meetings with other students for group projects or for student organizations. Visit our Zoom page for more info on how to get started.
Microsoft Teams provides a modern collaboration space for working remotely. Some live course sessions will take place on Teams; you can also create or join Teams to work with other students on projects or student organizations. Teams can also be used to chat, share and co-edit files, give remote presentations, or access productivity apps like Microsoft Planner. Visit our Teams page for more info on getting started.
Set-up a comfortable space
When attending an online class, it’s important to use a space that allows you to focus on the class and participate without distracting your classmates and instructor(s).
- Work in a quiet room, with minimal background noise and distractions
- Set up a webcam (or use a laptop with one built-in) so you can share your camera if needed
- Use a good microphone or headset
Do a practice session
Be prepared to join class a few minutes ahead of time so you can make sure your audio and video are working.
When to mute
When you’re not talking, it’s usually a good idea to mute your microphone so that any background noise in your environment is not distracting to the class.
When you it’s your turn to speak, you can always click or tap the microphone icon to mute or unmute, or:
- In Zoom, hold down spacebar to use “push-to-speak” like a walkie-talkie.
- In Teams, tap spacebar once to mute/unmute.
Use chat or virtual reactions
Both Zoom and Teams allow you to virtually “raise your hand” so that your teacher can see you need their attention. You can also utilize the text chat to ask questions, share information or give feedback.
Keep in mind that the same expectations and standards for respectful behavior apply online as would in a classroom. Your instructor may provide you with some guidelines or etiquette that are appropriate for their online course – make sure to review and observe these ground rules.