Virtual Learning Tips
1. Get started
- Activate and access your student email account.
- Make sure your technology can handle online learning.
- Learn how to use Blackboard.
- Find pre-course information in Blackboard and student email.
- Get your books early; check out our textbook rental process.
2. Take care of yourself
- Stay positive – you can be successful online.
- Establish a wellness routine that includes exercise and getting enough sleep.
- Inform instructors and health care provider if you are sick; take the time to get better.
- When you feel stressed or isolated, talk to us.
- Check out self-care resources at You@ Madison College.
3. Stay engaged
- Keep up with course and college news in your student email and message center.
- Understand the expectations and outcomes for your courses.
- Check in with your instructors regularly; attend virtual office hours.
- Reach out to your classmates; create a study group.
- Write down your questions or concerns and reach out right away; don't wait to ask for help.
4. Manage your environment and schedule
- Set up a location where you can sit upright at a desk or table and take notes.
- Plan your daily and weekly schedules.
- For each hour of class, plan 2 hours of study time per week.
- Schedule daily 45-minute study sessions for each subject.
- Take breaks away from your study space.
5. Be organized
- Attend class.
- Keep a calendar of due dates and exams.
- Create a to-do list; prioritize assignments.
- Focus on one task at a time; check it off.
- Organize your digital files with your course names for easy access.
6. Online Live (synchronous classes)
- Join the class 3-5 minutes before start time so you are ready when class begins.
- Mute your microphone as you enter the class. Keep it muted to avoid inadvertent noises, such as coughs or chair squeaks, from distracting others.
- Unmute when you want to speak or identify yourself, but be careful not to speak over others.
- Follow instructor or class protocols for leaving your camera on or off.
- Be aware of what is going on within your camera view. Blur or change your background if it is distracting or not appropriate for learning.
- Wear classroom-ready clothing. You never know if you’ll need to get up suddenly or your camera falls off the monitor or if you accidentally turn on the camera.
- Try to look at the camera when you are speaking. It makes others feel like you are looking directly at them.
- Stay focused on learning. Avoid looking at your phone or eating during class.
- Use the chat feature for questions and other topics related to class content.
- Treat the online class the same as any live class; be polite and respectful.
- When class ends be sure to log out if you have no further questions, do not remain in the class unnecessarily.
7. Be kind online
- Respect others and their opinions.
- Be brief and stick to the point of the conversation.
- Read discussions before adding to them; let readers know which comment is being addressed.
- Be straightforward; choose your words carefully.
- Ask for permission before forwarding emails—they are considered copyrighted by the author.
- Use links and messages relevant to the class. Don’t post sexually suggestive, politically sensitive or “edgy” content.
- If content is offensive to you, talk to your instructor. Assume the writer has good intentions.
- Refrain from using ALL CAPS.
- Before you hit send, review messages for spelling, punctuation and clarity.