Infectious diseases, social distancing, campus/community closures, and an earthquake to top it all off. I know things are less than ideal right now- I promise they are for me and all of us here at Honors too. We are moving through unprecedented waters with the complete removal of face-to-face classes and the tentative closing of campus buildings. However, it is important to know, you are not on this voyage alone. Everyone at the University of Utah is here to help. Below, I have laid out some helpful tips for getting back in the swing of things. This guide that I have compiled is a combination of personal opinion, advice from other Honors students, the Student Success Advocates, and miscellaneous campus resources. You’ll find a link embedded to more information at the end. Reach out to me, or any of the other Honors Ambassadors, through our social media if you have any other questions. As a true Utahn, who lives a few blocks from East High, I’m here to tell you, we are all in this together.
Online Classes: The Beauty and the Beast
As you all know by now, University faculty and staff have been working diligently to put the rest of their material into an online format for the remainder of the semester. Be patient with your professors, know that they are on this boat with us too, through these rough waters. Here are some tips and tricks for staying on top of the change. (If you are unable to access a computer: the Union, Garden Commons, and Eccles Health Sciences Education Building’s computer labs will remain open)
Tip #1: Check Canvas frequently! It is recommended to download the app on your phone and to check your Canvas at least three times a day. If you download the app to your phone, keep your notifications on! Make sure you’re in the know. Use Google Chrome as your browser, if you are able to. Some others have trouble connecting at times.
Tip #2: Create your own schedule. Even if your classes are running on an asynchronous schedule (a fancy way of saying you are not “logging” on to class with everyone, but rather doing it on your own time), it is still important to block out time to work on each class. You can do this in a variety of ways. I have a planner on my phone that has blocked out times for me to work on each class and I diligently keep “to-do lists” in my notes app to make sure I am keeping on top of my work.
Tip #3: Do things in advance. With the move to everything being completely online, there is always the risk of technology not working in our favor. Because of this, it is important to turn in your assignments and write your discussion posts well ahead of time. I usually try to get my assignments in at least a few hours before the deadline, just in case I encounter any technical difficulties. Also, make sure you are seeing the right time. With many students moving home, make sure your Canvas is set to match the time zone you’re in. Here is how! (https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10622-4212717410)
Tip #4: Watch the lectures and engage. I know it might be easy to brush aside online lectures or reading assignments, however, they are a necessary part of class. I promise your professors are doing all they can with what they have. One of mine has even downloaded an app to work in beats and transitions in our lectures to keep us engaged. Think of the online lectures as your class time. When you are “in” class, make sure you are somewhere in your house you can be productive and attentive (not in front of the tv).
Tip #5: “Buddy” up with a classmate. Reach out to your friends from class to virtually keep on top of things. You can message each other through Canvas or exchange numbers to make sure you are being held accountable and understand the material. One of my professors has asked us to reach out to two or three classmates to go over readings and check in with each other. It’s a nice way to stay connected to the class and your peers.
Tip #6: Know your resources. Your professors, Honors advisors, the Student Success Advocates, your peers, and the entire University of Utah campus is here to help you stay afloat. Some helpful links are listed below.
Student Success Advocates Guide to Online: https://ssa.utah.edu/tools-for-success.php
Honors Website and social media: https://honors.utah.edu/ instagram: @uofuhonorscollege
Canvas Website for help: https://community.canvaslms.com/
If you are experiencing a shortage of food please check out the FeedU Pantry located on the bottom floor of the Union. (all you need to access it is a Ucard).
Stay connected with us here at Honors for more advice to come!