For each of your classes, if faculty expect the class to meet remotely (for lecture, discussion, etc.), these synchronous activities must occur during your regularly scheduled class time. In addition, in compliance with ADA laws, these synchronous sessions must be recorded and made available to the students in the class. This will also accommodate students who may need to miss due to illness (themselves or family member), work requirements (income needed due to this crisis), or other scheduling conflicts. Please contact the appropriate Dean if you find these policies are not being maintained (Arts & Sciences, Education & Professional Studies, Crane).
Resources for Successful Remote Learning
These are some great resources to help you with the transition to Remote Learning. Several of these were used as the basis for the Tips for Success section presented below.
- SUNY Resources for Remote Learning
- Readiness Self-Assessment for Online Learning (PDF)
- How to Succeed in Online Courses
- What Makes a Successful Online Learner?
- Top 10 Ways to Succeed in Online Education
- 8 Strategies for Getting the Most out of an Online Class
- 21 Study Tips for Online Classes Success
- Student Success Center – Study Skills
- An Orientation to Moodle (login with your campus username & password)
- Adjusting your study habits during COVID
Tips for Success
Time management is a different responsibility than when taking classes in residence. Being remote means that you are less likely to run into someone who will remind you about assignments and responsibilities – you must create/be your own reminder system. Pay attention to how each of your instructors lets you know about assignment due dates. Some may have them set in Moodle so you can check them by calendar date; some instructors may send you email reminders; some may announce a due date once in class and expect you will remember! Keeping that in mind, maintain an up-to-date list of all required course work and due dates, and then develop (and stick with) a schedule to complete your work on time. Organize your materials for each class in separate folders so you know where everything is, but also consider a single master planner or list to manage your comprehensive workload. See the SSC Time Management guide and this article for more suggestions.
You may encounter technical or logistical difficulties, as may your instructors! Work through them and make use of our available Tech Support resources to help you do so. Flexibility will be important to a successful start of our “new normal.” There is likely to be great variation in how your professors are managing the remainder of this semester. Some of your instructors may “broadcast” your class at the same times it would have occurred on campus, while others may make class material available over a period of time. Some may be using Moodle while others are using Relay or Teams. No matter which approach, be persistent in addressing the challenges you encounter and reach out for support as needed – you are not alone! SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff are here to support you in any way we can.
It is important for everyone to communicate clearly and regularly to ensure the best possible outcomes for this unusual semester. Further, since much of our communication will be through typed text instead of verbal exchange, be careful that your communication properly conveys the meaning that you intend. Keep in mind that in online communication (like discussion boards) people can’t see the subtle but important body language (like a smile) that can often convey as much as your words. Be careful to avoid sarcasm and humor, which can be misinterpreted. You should reread your postings before you send them, to make sure they are saying what you mean and to correct spelling and grammar errors.
Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions and reach out for support if you need it. Ask your professors questions if you don’t understand course content or need clarifications about their expectations. Contact the Student Success Center for academic support if you feel you might be struggling and are unsure what support services are available to you.
When you attend a class in person, the environment already exists, though you still must make the choice to engage and be attentive. In virtual space, it may be much easier to get distracted and be inattentive, which could result in a lower level of learning and retention. So, create an environment where you can focus on learning. Think about removing distractions (extra noise, games, other devices, etc.) as well as setting up a physical space where you can concentrate, with good lighting and comfortable workspace.
When you’re virtually “in class,” avoid trying to do other things at the same time, especially if you wouldn’t do them in a face-to-face classroom. Multi-tasking will divide your attention and erode the effectiveness of the learning environment. Put away your phone, turn off your music, and concentrate on the class material.
You’ve heard that what you get OUT of something depends on what you put INTO it, and that’s certainly true with classes, whether remote or in person. Be carefully attentive to all course resources and make the choice every day to purposefully engage with that content, the course instructor, and others taking the class. In the online environment, you should check in to each of your classes every day, even if it’s just to see if there are new discussion board postings or if your instructor has commented on the assignments you submitted. More frequent check-ins will keep you more engaged with the course.
Be sure to include this time for regular course engagement in your schedule (see Manage Your Time above)! And remember – unlike large lecture classes, you can’t just sit quietly in the back of the room. Your instructor knows how often, and how well, you participate in the course.
As always, you are responsible to follow the Potsdam Academic Honor Code. Do your own work, cite your sources, acknowledge resources from whom you have sought assistance, and be proud of the success that results when you do your best! If you’re struggling, contact the Student Success Center so we can help you to overcome the challenges that you face.