Updated: Dec 3, 2020
It has been almost a year since Covid-19 started and it's been a tough year for all of us. We don't know went everything will get back to normal. Not only the number of cases are not going any lower, but in fact, increasing day by day. Schools have been online since last winter and will likely continue. Therefore, we've gathered a few tips for taking classes online to make your life easier. If you're new to remote learning or are not familiar with it, you're at the right place. If you are going to university soon, check out our previous blog for some tips for university course selection, or this if you're an international student.
Note: Since most schools use Zoom for online classes, the tips in this post will be based on Zoom as well.
Joining a meeting
Your instructor will send you a meeting link with the time of the meeting. When you click on the link, it will open in another tab. On that page, you should see the option to join the meeting. Click on the option and a dialogue box will pop up, letting you choose whether you want to connect audio and/or video. Then you can click join and wait for the host, which in this case your instructor, to let you join the meeting. Alternatively, you can open chrome and go to join.zoom.us and enter the meeting id provided by your instructor. After that, Click Join and click Open Zoom Meetings (PC) or Open zoom.us (Mac). Make sure you use your school email to join and use your real name so people know it's you and your instructor knows you're his/her student.
You can choose to mute yourself when you join the meeting or join with audio, whichever you prefer. However, most instructors prefer their students to mute themselves while they're teaching so there won't be other noises. Often, you will have time to ask questions after class or your instructor may ask if you have any questions. Then you can unmute yourself and ask the questions. If you have a question you want to get the answer right away, you can click on the icon labelled "Participants" at the bottom center of your computer or phone screen. There's a button labelled "Raise Hand." Simply just click that button to let your instructor know you have a question. Alternatively, you can type your question in the chatbox (more details below) and wait for your instructor or your classmates to answer your question.
When you join the meeting, you have the option to join with video, which means with your camera on, showing your face. If you prefer not to show your face, you can also choose to join without video. From my experience, most people don't show their faces during lectures (including myself), though, most instructors prefer their students to show their faces. Rather than teaching to so many black screens, it's much better if they can look at the students' faces. But of course it is up to you whether you want to turn on your camera on or not.
Breakout room and Polls
Breakout room is a feature in Zoom. You get assigned into different breakout rooms and each breakout room would consist of a few people. The people in the same room will form a group and do group discussions or work on tasks together. When you enter to the room, make sure you speak so people know you're there. If you get assigned a task, make sure you work on it as a group as this will likely be your participation mark, so as the polls. A Poll is another feature in Zoom in which a multiple choices question would pop up and you would have to answer the question to gain participation marks. It may be a voting or it may be a question related to your lecture, depending on what your instructor wants you to do.
After you join the meeting, there's a chatbox on the right side of the window. You can use the chatbox to communicate with your instructor and other students. If you have any questions, you can ask them in the chatbox. Sometimes when the instructors ask questions, they would tell students who want to answer them to unmute themselves and say the answer but they may also ask you to type the answer in the chatbox so pay attention to the instructions.
Getting into university should be exciting but we know how frustrating it is to know school is going to be online. We created this post to hopefully make your life easier and to have less to worry about. If you're looking for a quiet place to study after the lockdown, come stay with us at Avalon! All our premium suites at Avalon are fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen and all the amenities you need. We have 5 types of suites ranging from studios to 2 bedroom suites so just pick one that accommodates your needs. We even have a washer/dryer in all our suites. With all these features, staying in any of our suites will definitely make you feel at home. Don't have time to clean? We offer one complimentary cleaning service per week when you stay more than a week! We have free fast wifi so it's perfect for you to take classes online. You can rent our suites on a month-to-month basis so you can go back home anytime and book again when you come back. Just let us know 15 days prior to the date you want to stop renting. No contract needed. We even offer a 5% discount for extended stay plus a 13% discount on the HST for booking over 28 days! To learn more, visit our website or call us at 416.731.1372.