Tips for adjusting to online classes Wednesday, Mar 18 2020 

By Matthew Keck — 

Every student at the University of Louisville is facing the task of adjusting to online classes for the foreseeable future. For students who have taken online classes in the past, this is no issue.

As for those who haven’t, Kristen Brown, associate director of online learning at U of L, has provided tips to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Check In Daily

Brown says that students who want to make their online transition a successful one need to check in daily. “Just like in a live classroom, there may be discussions taking place or updates from your teacher, so being present in your virtual classroom is essential for staying engaged,” she says.

And this doesn’t mean checking in once a day. She suggests checking in multiple times each day to make sure students aren’t missing any information for their classes.

“Students need to be sure they are clear on the faculty member’s expectations in terms of communication (frequency and methods), and due dates for assignments,” says Brown.

Manage Your Time

While there is no set “time” for classes anymore, students must keep in mind that there are still due dates or real-time lectures to attend. With that in mind, it is a good idea to set aside time, like you would for normal classes, to stay on top of things.

“Laying out a plan to stay engaged in all of your online courses will be essential,” says Brown. “Since your course schedule will not revolve around regular in-person class sessions, you must be able to set a schedule that allows you to meet course deadlines.”

This new online territory can be tricky, but balancing your time can make it less hectic.

Communicate

Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing what to do or how to do it. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, Brown says students need to communicate with their respective professors.

“One of the most important things that we can all do to ensure the success of an online course is to communicate well and communicate often,” she says.

“By engaging with the faculty member, other students and the course material, students will be able to make the most of their online courses,” says Brown. “Asking questions, taking notes, and staying organized will help tremendously.”

This is a first time experience for many of professors as well, so communicating with them helps make this a more successful experience for both sides.

Use Resources

Lastly, Brown says students should take advantage of the resources that will help them during these times.

“Students should use the resources available to them on track,” she says. “Advisors will be available remotely, and the university will continue to offer its virtual support through the Writing CenterREACH and the Library.”

Brown also provided a list of technological resources for students:

Again, this way of operating is new for mostly everyone involved. Remain patient, keep these tips in mind, communicate and make the end of the semester a good one.

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Provost Boehm shares update with faculty amid suspended classes Monday, Mar 16 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

University of Louisville faculty and students are returning from spring break to new territory: online classes. Amid this situation, U of L provost Beth Boehm shared an update and her thoughts on the situation.

Beginning March 18 all classes will be administered remotely, April 5 being the earliest date to return to in-person classes. For many professors, conducting online classes will be uncharted territory.

“I understand that many of you are stressed and worried about teaching remotely; honestly, I would be fearful too if I were teaching this semester,” said Boehm. “But we have an obligation to our students and our accrediting bodies to enable our students to complete their courses remotely.”

With faculty and students worried about the efficacy of these online classes, Boehm wants them to know that it will require patience on both sides.

“In a note to students, I asked that they be patient with their instructors, many of whom are teaching online for the first time,” she said. “Here, I am asking you to also be patient with your students, to be understanding of their anxieties, both about online delivery and the coronavirus itself.”

To reduce the stress of both parties, Boehm reiterated that faculty are being trained to properly administer their online courses to students. They have been working with the Delphi Center staff to ensure the online courses are a success.

In addition, Boehm reminded the faculty how important it is for the university to stay open during times like these.

“We are committed to staying open to help our most vulnerable students have food, shelter, and access to libraries and IT (and some other essential services) while they work to finish the semester,” she said. “Your leadership in modeling healthy social distancing practices, resilience in the face of stress and unfamiliar work conditions, and kindness and compassion according to our Cardinal Principles will help our students stay calm and healthy and will enable them to complete their semester successfully.”

She also urged faculty to provide students without internet access the information to receive a free 60-day period from Spectrum. “To enroll, students should call 1-844-488-8395,” said Boehm. “While we will be sharing this info with students, if you have students who indicate they are without internet access, please give them this information.”

In closing, Boehm said how this will be a stressful and difficult time for everyone. But with that in mind, administration, faculty and students all have to work together to make this transition seamless she said.

“I know we are a resilient institution, and I’m urging us all to call upon our best selves in the days ahead,” said Boehm. “We have a lot of work to do.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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