Your professors may be required to move classes that are normally taught on campus to an online format quickly. To be prepared for this possible change you may want to consider the following right away:
Expect Communication: Your professor will be reaching out to you and your fellow classmates in the event of an emergency. Make sure you monitor your University of Montana email for information outlining their expectations for class continuation, how to contact them, how to submit assignments and more. Check back often or as directed so you can stay up to date on important updates and information. We also recommend that you sign up for campus safety alerts and updates. You can do this by texting "Join UM-alerts" to 30890. Signing up for these alerts will inform participants, via direct text message, of immediate safety and health notices. The University of Montana's Emergency notification system will also transmit an email with emergency information to all 'umontana' e-mail addresses.
Many student services across campus such as advising and tutoring will also be available online and/or via phone should in-person campus operations be suspended. Expect to receive updates from these student support units with details on how to access their services.
Keep up on coursework and activities: Temporary alternative methods of a class are not vacation days. Students are still expected to continue working on their coursework with the same level of attention and dedication. Your professor will likely adjust the syllabus, deadlines and activities that were originally outlined in your course to adaptable distance-based activities, and deadline extensions as needed. Students are recommended to stay on track with homework, activities, and projects or reading assignments as normal. Students who are finding the transition difficult should communicate with their professors as soon as challenges arise.
Avoid distractions: When interacting with your courses remotely, it can be tempting to browse Twitter and Instagram, watch Netflix, or even do chores around the house instead of engaging with your coursework. Some students may even attempt to multitask by doing both at the same time. However, research shows that humans are not as good at multitasking as we think we are. Instead, eliminating those distractions by turning off your phone or closing non-academic browser tabs can help lead to success in the online environment by focusing your attention on the task at hand. Use those outside activities as motivational rewards for completing assignments and utilize your course time wisely.
Maintain a normal daily routine: Your professor may still host a class during your regularly scheduled class time. Though it may be tempting, please do not use normally scheduled class time to pursue other activities that do not relate to your classes. Refer to communication from your professor as to how they will continue teaching during the temporary campus closure. If you need accommodations or are having trouble with the alternative course-delivery formats due to Internet access, the need for additional accommodations, or for any other reasons please notify your professor. NOTE: Your professors want to see you succeed, and will be accommodating to the best of their ability.
Ensure your tools are working: Regularly update and check on your personal technology such as laptops, PC's, or mobile devices. Reliable technology and their chargers should be easily located in the event you may need to use them to complete coursework or communicate with your professors. Make sure you are subscribed to UM Alerts.
Identify plans ahead of time: Some professors will include information in their syllabus with respect to how they plan to communicate with you in the event of campus closure. Make sure you identify the best ways to contact your professor, or what you should expect if an event occurs so that you know and are prepared.
Have a backup plan: Develop a backup plan if you lack reliable power sources, an optimal study location or Internet access. Know your options in the event you are unable to participate during the campus closure, and speak to your professor ahead of time to determine how you will communicate in the event that campus shuts down. Developing an alternative method based on your personal circumstances or situations is strongly encouraged. Use your professor as a resource and form of support. It's okay to discuss and request additional accommodation.
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Need to create a study guide? Check out Cornell University's Guidelines for Creating a Study Schedule. Cornell, has also published an Effective Reading Guide.
Northeastern University published 8 Strategies for Getting The Most Out Of An Online Class.
Minnesota State Career and Education posted an article on What Makes a Successful Online Learner.