With growing concern about the Coronavirus, Middlebury has suspended its Study Abroad programs in China and Italy. It is possible that other programs and courses could be impacted by the Coronavirus in the future, so it’s important that students are prepared for the options offered to them.

So, what happens if your class is suspended?

It is likely that your class will have an online course space (on Canvas) and with live class sessions offered via Zoom and/or pre-recorded video. Assignments, activities, and quizzes may also be offered online via Canvas. Your faculty member may use Canvas to post announcements and may use a discussion forum for class conversation.

I’m not used to taking online courses – help!

If you are not used to online learning, the experience of participating in an online course may be different and sometimes challenging. Here are some tips for a successful online learning experience:

  • Equipment: we recommend that you have access to a webcam (built in to your computer, or external) and a microphone (built in to your computer, or external/a headset) for optimal experience participating in Zoom calls and for creation of multimedia materials.
  • Communication: make sure that you are checking your Middlebury email regularly, as that is where messages from your professor and Canvas will go. We strongly suggest that you set your notification preferences in Canvas to notify me right away or daily summary, so that you don’t miss any important information. (Instructions for setting your Canvas notification preferences.)
  • Time management: allocate some daily time to check in and participate in course discussions and activities. Online coursework can be intensive, and it can be difficult to stay attuned to online activities (particularly discussion based activities) if participation is not ongoing. Select a time for course participation that is most conducive with your schedule and obligations, and once you have selected a time, treat it like an appointment – stay dedicated to that time.
  • Read carefully: instruction in the online environment tends to be heavily text-based. Be sure to read through instructions and assignments carefully, and ask questions if you are unsure of requirements for assignments, deadlines, etc.
  • Ask questions: if you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask your professor, and the sooner the better – ask early, ask often!
  • Patience with technical issues: Expect that there will be times when the technology does not cooperate. It’s just the nature of the beast. Please be patient, and advise your professor of any issues.

What if I don’t have the necessary hardware/equipment for online learning?

The Davis Family Library (VT campus) loans cameras, microphones, iPads, laptops, and more. See what’s available here

Want to learn more about Canvas and other technologies used in online courses?

How do I get help with technical issues?