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Tips for Online Learning

Establish Expectations: It is important to recognize that your faculty may be sharing their class content online in different ways. Some platforms you may use include Zoom, Webex, Blackboard, Camtasia videos, PowerPoint, and email. Your instructors will clearly communicate their expectations for your classes moving forward, and should you have any questions it’s always best to communicate with them directly. Continue to check your Fordham University email account frequently for any updates from your faculty and university administrators.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous: Your faculty may share content and instruction live, which is called synchronous, or as pre-produced content or reading material, which is called asynchronous.

  • Synchronous Platforms May Include: Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts, and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • Asynchronous Platforms May Include: Camtasia, PowerPoint, PDF documents and readings, and Blackboard

Best Practices for Synchronous (Live) Sessions: When joining a live class session some best practices to follow:

  • Mute your audio unless you are asking a question or engaging in discussion to prevent background noise and interference
  • Keep your camera on so you can see your instructor and peers, and they can see you
    • Consider Virtual Backgrounds: With Zoom, you have the ability to set your own virtual background. Once you’re in the class meeting, navigate to the tools ribbon at the bottom of your screen. On the left, you should see a Camera icon to control your video, and directly to the right there will be a small up arrow (^). Click the arrow and select “Choose a Virtual Background” to select a neutral (or fun!) background.
  • Set up a dedicated work environment when possible
  • Minimize distractions - stay off your cell phone, let your loved ones know you will be in class prior to the session starting to minimize any external conversations, avoid eating during class time, and stay in the video frame of your screen

Maintain Community: One of the things that makes Fordham University and the Gabelli School of Business so special is our tight knit community. Although we may not physically be together, it’s important to maintain connections with your peers, faculty, and administrators. Some ways to stay connected while learning online are:

  • Host your Own Hangout: Once you activate your Zoom account, you will have your own Profile and ID which you can use to host your own meetings. Use Zoom outside of the classroom to form study groups, meet for a class project, conduct club and organizational meetings, or just spend time with friends.
  • Take Advantage of Office Hours: Your professors are developing plans to offer office hours which can include virtual hours via tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts or by telephone. If the new process for office hours is unclear, ask your professor for guidance.
  • Communicate Challenges: Be sure to let your professors know if you are facing any special circumstances which may impact your ability to participate online. These could be accommodations for learning, a personal or family concern, or technology access.

Continue to Use University Services: The University has a number of offices dedicated to supporting students, which you have continued access to when learning online. These include the Office of Disability Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Fordham University Libraries, your Dean’s Office, Campus Ministry, and more.

Connect with Tech Support: Finally, please remember that Fordham IT Customer Care offers 24/7 technical support. If you are having a technical problem, inform your professor if possible and then reach out to Customer Care who will assist you.