Virtual Learning Tips

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1. Get started

2. Take care of yourself

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  • 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.


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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

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  • 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.

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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)

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  • 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.

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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.