Learning Remotely

With Tufts announcing that all courses will be conducted online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, Tufts Technology Services (TTS) wants to ensure that students are prepared and have the resources they need to optimize their online learning experience.

Learning onlineTools You Need To Learn Online

Computer

You will need a computer with the following requirements:

  • Mac computer running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • Windows PC running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Internet Access

A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Canvas and check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.

Web Browser

Use Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari. Canvas supports the current and previous major release of these browsers. Note: For Tools like WebEx you need to use Chrome or Firefox.

Software

See available Tufts Apps and Software or learn about the Tufts Virtual Lab/Virtual Desktop for online software.

Course-Specific Requirements: There may be additional requirements for hardware and software at the course-level. Check with your professor and/or school for these requirements.

canvas logoCanvas Is Your Hub for Learning

Tufts supports a variety of tools that enable courses to continue when students are unable to attend class for an extended period of time or in the event that classes are canceled unexpectedly due to weather or other disruptive circumstances. Tufts faculty will be using Canvas, Tufts' Learning Management System, as a primary tool to enable teaching and learning online.
 
Login to Canvas (using your Tufts credentials) and look for your course(s) in your Dashboard.
 
In Canvas, students will be able to:
  • Access course materials
  • Watch any recorded presentations
  • Interact in classes and meetings real-time via Zoom or WebEx
  • Interact and engage with faculty and class members via announcements, email, and discussion forums
  • Access course assignments, quizzes, and exams remotely
  • View grades

See the section on Academic Continuity in the Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.

questionsHow do I...

Options Getting Started
Attend/Participate in an Online Class
Your class may be held using a webinar platform like Zoom or WebEx for live, synchronous class sessions, office hours, or review sessions. 
 
If this is a requirement, please make sure you have the following: 
  • Webcam (most laptops have a built-in webcam that will work fine) 
  • Microphone (most laptops have a built-in microphone that will work fine). You can use a headset, earbuds that have a microphone, or you will also have an option call in using a telephone. 

Access WebEx

Access Zoom

NOTE: You need to login using single sign-on with your Tufts credentials to access Zoom through the Tufts instance.

Configure my Canvas Notifications Ensure you are receiving the course communications you would like to receive by configuring your Canvas notifications.
Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations

Access Microsoft Office 365

  • Use either Open Office or Google Docs, if MS Office is not an option.
  • You can also download the desktop version of these applications.
Access specialized software and applications that are available in the computer labs
  1. See available Tufts Apps and Software that can be installed on your personal computer.
  2. Log into the Virtual Lab with your Tufts credentials for software from the computer labs.
Open and Read PDFs Use Adobe Acrobat Reader
Store, access, and share documents Access Tufts Box
Use MathWorks on my personal computer

MATLAB can be installed on personal computers

tipsTips for Learning Online

While there will be many different approaches, tools, and technologies used across Tufts online courses, students can expect an engaging and interactive learning environment, and should plan to access their course(s) on a daily basis during the semester.
 
Tufts students should:
  • Check your Tufts email (or forward to your personal email) for course announcements from faculty/TA’s
  • Configure your Canvas Notifications to make sure you are receiving the course communications you would like to receive
  • Access content in Canvas including a course syllabus, readings and online lectures, as well as any supplemental resources, videos, etc..
  • Familiarize yourself with the course format. Are there live meetings in Zoom? Are there requirements to interact in asynchronous forums?   
  • Understand your instructor’s expectations of you and how they plan to teach online
  • Submit all assignments, quizzes and exams on time
  • Connect with your instructor, if you have questions or need help
  • Help each other succeed by scheduling a meeting using Zoom or WebEx to organize and participate in online study groups to review notes, ask questions, study for exams.
  • Take advantage of other resources to assist in learning (i.e. YouTube videos, LinkedIn Learning, etc.)
 
Communication Guidelines for Online Courses 
The quality of your interactions with instructors and classmates have a major impact on your experience as an online student. Keep this "Netiquette" framework and its guidelines in mind as you participate in your online course.
 
Review and follow your instructor's communication guidelines. Your instructor may have communication guidelines that are specific to your online course. Be sure to review your course syllabus and any emails or announcements from your professor to learn about these expectations.
Use a civil tone and non-offensive language. While you are encouraged to think critically and engage in rigorous debate, please avoid using personal attacks and crude language. This is especially important when discussing topics which may elicit strong personal responses from course participants.
Be cautious when using humor or sarcasm. If your tone is misunderstood by readers, your words may be taken literally or offensively.
Write clearly and succinctly. Aim to make your messages easy to read and understand. If you frequently rely on idioms or slang phrases, consider how your messages might be rephrased for clarity.
Attribute any sources you use. Doing so should make your comments more effective while also encouraging a more rigorous and structured debate.
Respect others' privacy. Avoid sharing personal information about others without their consent.

Support

Need Help Participating in Courses
If you are having an issue being able to fully participate in an online course, please notify your instructor.
 
Need Help with Technology Related to Learning Remotely
If you encounter any issues accessing and using these tools to work remotely, please contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk.

Need Training on these Tools

For using the Canvas LMS, see the CANVAS Student Orientation and Training tutorials.

See the Training for Working and Teaching Remotely page as many are offered virtually.

For more information on technology services available to students, please visit the Technology for Students page.

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