Starting out learning in an online format and navigating through online courses and/or the online components of a course can be a significant challenge. The purpose of this page is to help students anticipate, understand, and navigate some of the changes that may result.

Keep in mind . . .

This transition will be stressful for both students and instructors. Patience, persistence, and understanding in both directions will be key in getting the most out of your courses.

First Year Students: Check out this video from an instructor about transitioning from high school to college.

What can I expect?

During this time, delivery of instruction will differ from course to course. Ultimately, instructors will adapt their courses in the way they feel best meets the learning objectives of the course.

  • Some of your courses might have “live” remote meetings at regularly scheduled times (synchronous classes) using a web conferencing tool. Most courses that do this will utilize Zoom in Canvas. For more information, see Tips for Using Zoom for Class.
  • Instead of or in addition to live meetings, some courses may provide access to pre-recorded lectures or other pre-recorded content (asynchronous classes).
  • Some instructors may opt to skip remote meetings and recorded lectures altogether and deliver content in other ways (for example, using textual resources).
  • Some courses might be a combination of asynchronous classes and some form of `live’ remote discussion meetings, called “hybrid” teaching.
  • Some courses will even combine an in-class and online experience, with students participating both ways simultaneously, called “hyflex” teaching.
  • Many instructors are likely to administer exams via Canvas. Your instructor may use the following features available for Canvas exams: (1) time limits, (2) locking your browser to remain on the exam until it is complete, and/or (3) monitoring software that utilizes your webcam to proctor the exam.
  • On a mobile device? Read these tips for accessing Canvas on a mobile device.
  • For more information on exams, see Tips for Taking Online Exams.

How can I better prepared for online courses?

Learning online can be a different experience than face-to-face instruction. Check out this infographic by The Learning Center on Strategies for Effective Remote Learning.

Where can I get Canvas support?

Please visit the MyCanvas Student Support page for 24/7 Canvas Support options and to view common issues and concerns.

Where do I go for technical support?

Visit the Student Technology Services website for information on a variety of issues related to learning in an online environment.

Students can contact Student Technology Services for assistance by emailing student.technology@wustl.edu, or by calling 314-933-3333.

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Review Frequently Asked Questions (for Students) for important information about course-specific communications, connecting remotely, best practices for remote learning, and available resources.