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Center for Academic Technology

Keep Calm And Study On

Tips to enhance distance learning during Campus Disruptions

OVERVIEW

This webpage outlines the actions that students should consider during online instruction. Butler students should visit the Keep Calm and Study Onsite for tips and resources for learning remotely.

In order to learn from home, consider the following:

  • Computer Equipment: Do you have the appropriate software and hardware at home? You will need a laptop or desktop computer that can function reliably. 
    • Many synchronous and asynchronous courses require access to audio and video creation. If your computer is not equipped with a microphone or webcam, consider purchasing one of these affordable options. 
    • If you own a Chromebook and are unable to download the Panopto Recorder to your device, you must utilize another tool. CAT recommends using Canvas Studio, a recording platform that allows students to record basic videos on their cellphones and upload them directly to Canvas.
    • For students who require Windows but own a Mac, consider downloading Bootcamp, a piece of software designed by Apple that allows students to convert their internal hard drive into one that processes both macOS and Windows.
  • Textbooks and Academic Resources: Did you bring all of your textbooks home for Spring Break? If not, many publishers, libraries, and databases are offering free access to their resources.
    • Cambridge Core: Home to 700 published textbooks, Cambridge Core is offering access to all resources through the end of May 2020, regardless of whether textbooks were previously purchased.
    • National Emergency Library: A resource offering a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research endeavors, and scholarly activities while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed.
    • Project MUSE: A collective that produces high-quality books and journals in the humanities and social sciences, involving over 200 of the world’s most distinguished university presses and scholarly societies. In response to COVID-19, Project MUSE will be temporarily offering free scholarly content on its platform.
      • Here is a list of participating publishers offering free scholarly content.
    • RedShelf: Working with textbook publishers, RedShelf is offering free access to online editions of textbooks through May 25th for students at non-profit, semester-based colleges and universities.
    • VitalSource: Joining with leading publishers, VitalSource is able to offer free copies of many textbooks.
  • Contacting Professors: Because students are no longer able to meet their professors during office hours or raise their hands in class, it is more important now than ever to communicate properly with professors. Because professors are expected to be regularly checking their emails during the workweek, email should be your primary point of contact with your professor. DO NOT expect responses at unreasonable hours or to be immediate. When crafting an email, do so with care. You can follow this step-by-step guide when writing emails to professors. (View the accessible text-only guide.)
  • Videoconferencing: Zoom is currently being employed by many professors to conduct classes synchronously. Zoom is a useful tool that has many capabilities to enhance your online learning. If having an issue, try these solutions for common Zoom problems. Additionally, through Zoom, you can:
  • Panopto is also being used during this time for many asynchronous recordings and classes. If you run into trouble submitting a Panopto video, these instructions can provide the necessary guidance! 
    • Netiquette: As your classes transition to online, please be considerate while you are on a video conference. While you are in the safety of your own home, it is important to remember that others can still hear and see you. Dr. Thomas Plante offers ten tips to guide you towards good online etiquette: 
      • Find a quiet place and be prepared to use video, as well as sound.
      • Get prepared ahead of time and turn on video and audio.
      • Use headphones if you have any, they make it easier for you to hear the lecture.
      • Use your laptop or desktop computers NOT cell phone to connect (if possible).
      • Take notes on paper to stay engaged.
      • Mute Zoom when you are not talking.
      • Do not watch Netflix, etc. while in class. Your professor will be able to see this and will be very disappointed.
      • Ensure there are no bright lights behind you.
  • Ergonomics: In order to ensure you are learning in an environment that is both comfortable and avoids injury, consider making ergonomic adjustments to your workspace.  If you’re still struggling, follow this helpful advice on how to set up your study space.
  • Connectivity:  Do you have a high-speed internet connection at home, such as cable, DSL or fiber? Contact your local provider for more information about services, pricing, and installation.  Alternatively,  you may want to look into using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Many providers such as Verizon also sell a device called a Jetpack that uses cellular connectivity to create a Wi-Fi connection for your mobile devices. Be sure to verify your data availability prior to using these options, as going over your allotment can be expensive. If this situation applies to you, Butler offers following these steps. However, several companies are offering free internet to students, as listed in this comprehensive article
  • BUanywhere: Work remotely by accessing a Butler computer from off-campus. IT provides lists for both the software available in the Labs pool, as well as software on devices in the Work from Anywhere pool. Finally, access to applications only available on BUanywhere or AnyConnect can be found in this list
  • Web Applications: Many Butler applications are available via a web browser:
  • File Storage: Butler provides multiple file storage options. Answers to common questions about this storage may be found on the IT webpage
  • Technology Assistance: Any technology issues may be reported to the IT Help Desk.
  • Digitizing Material: There is a multitude of smartphone apps that allow you to turn hard copies into digital PDFs or images.
  • For more information on any of the above topics, go to ask.butler.edu and search; if you don't find what you need, submit a case. 

Special thanks to Information Commons students for all of their hard work compiling this information: Alyssa Manges, Laura Stark, Laura White, and Sarah Braunstein