Review frequently asked questions below for information about course communications, connecting remotely, best practices for remote learning, and available resources.
How can I get internet access and connect to the WashU campus?
Get started by visiting WashU IT’s Connect page.
Internet Service Providers Offering Free Service
If you are in an area served by either Charter or Comcast, you may be able to get free Internet service for the rest of the semester:
- Charter Spectrum Broadband
“Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.”
- Comcast Internet Essentials
“Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).”
How will I find out about changes to each course?
- Each instructor team is responsible for clearly communicating to students all the ways in which their course will change.
- Be aware that instructors may continue to make adjustments to the course, as necessary, through the remainder of the semester.
- Instructors will communicate all changes primarily through Canvas and campus email. Make sure you enable Canvas Notifications, and check your campus email daily.
- Instructors will most likely keep an updated syllabus on Canvas that reflects all changes. However, some instructors may email the updated syllabus.
- Instructors should email or post a Canvas announcement whenever the syllabus is updated. Checking both Canvas and your email will ensure you get the information you need to be successful.
What technology is required to participate in online courses?
What if I don't have the textbook?
- Check if you have digital version of the book, find out by searching for it on the library website
- Many students may have the same issue, so check with your instructor about alternate learning materials
What are some best practices for remote learning?
- Familiarize yourself fully with Canvas by reviewing the MyCanvas Student Support page
- Turn on your Canvas Notifications (if you turned them off), and check your email several times a day
- Block your calendar for class times as you would for face-to-face instruction; this will help you dedicate the time needed for individual courses
- Be aware of differences in time zones and reflect that on your calendar
- Different instructors might use different technologies; take the time to familiarize yourself with the technologies to fully participate and engage in the learning process
- Create dedicated study times and study spaces
- Create a framework for time management to help you stay on task and balance school with other responsibilities
- Learning online can be a different experience than face-to-face instruction
What common adaptations should I know about?
This section lists some ways in which instructors are likely adapt key aspects of the course to an online format. Keep in mind that some of your instructors may choose procedures and tools different from those described below, so rely on communications from your instructors to understand the specific adaptations in your courses.
How will I “attend” class?
Some of your courses will continue to have “live” remote meetings at their regularly scheduled times. Be sure to block off these scheduled dates/times on your calendar so that you can attend these live sessions. Most courses will utilize Zoom in Canvas for live sessions. 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 and make it available via Canvas.
How will I turn in assignments?
For many courses, assignments are already submitted via Canvas or other electronic means, meaning this part of the course will not change much. Make sure you stay up-to-date with instructors’ communications in case they notify the class of any changes to assignment due dates or procedures.
How will I take exams?
Many instructors are likely to administer exams via Canvas. Please be aware that instructors may use the following features available for Canvas exams:
- Time limit
- Locking your browser to remain in the exam until it is complete
- Using monitoring software that utilizes your webcam to detect potential cheating behavior
Your instructor should be clear about which features they are using for each exam and whether each exam is considered “open-book” or “closed-book.”
For more information, see Tips for Taking Online Exams.
What other way may instructors deliver a course?
Some instructors may opt to skip remote meetings and recorded lectures altogether and deliver the content in other ways (for example, using textual resources). Please monitor your campus email and Canvas Announcements for communications and updates from your instructors.
How can I get help with writing at this time?
The Writing Center continues to be available to work with undergraduate and graduate students working on any writing project. All appointments take place via online video chat. The online option does not require any special software. Writing Center users will access their online appointments via our online scheduling system. For more information, visit the “Writing Center operating online only (Spring 2020)” page.
Questions regarding our modified services should be directed to Rob Patterson, director of The Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For international students
For questions and concerns about staying on campus, travel etc. contact Martha Lynn Turner, Associate Director at OISS, email@example.com.
If you are out of the country, make sure you are able to access the technology used in your classes. If not, communicate with your instructor about the situation.
Generally, most technology tools and services are available globally. There are, however, some nations that block traffic to and from specific services, and the United States maintains sanctions against certain countries that prohibit network communications. The U.S. Department of the Treasury maintains information about sanctions at the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Overseas users should try service-specific access work-around procedures, if available. If no service-specific solutions can be found, then it may be possible to use a VPN service (see below) to gain access. If no solution can be found, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Users in China may be able to access Box through this link, if they are having issues with WUSTL Box.
Canvas itself may be available. However, some commonly used tools may be blocked (for example, Google products, Facebook, Turnitin, YouTube) so not all functionality may be available outside the United States.
- Note: Zoom is blocked in the following countries: Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Nicaragua, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan and Darfur, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine (Crimea Region), United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe
- Zoom support indicates that both zoom.us and zoom.com should be available from most other overseas locations, including China
- If you want to use Zoom in China, download the Zoom Client for Meetings from the Zoom Download Center (China)
- Zoom international support is detailed in this article.
If direct access to tools from an overseas location is not possible, it may be possible to use a VPN to gain external access. Specific VPN services may not always be available, but some common commercial solutions are:
For students with disability accommodations
Each instructor is responsible for the delivery of the course, assignments and exams for the remainder of the semester. Be aware of the changes and how that might affect your accommodations. Disability resources staff are available to set up virtual meetings to discuss your scenario; to request or modify your accommodations, reach out to the team through the respective email address below: