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 Discounted Service

You may be able to get a discount from an internet service provider based on your student status. Be sure to ask!

What technology is required to participate in online courses?

All courses should be designed to work for anyone with access to the following:

  • A laptop with speakers and webcam (see the WashU Tech Den for specifications)
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Canvas
  • 2FA Enrollment (2 Factor Authentication) for remote Canvas access

Contact IT for 2FA support (, 314-933-3333)

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
    • Explore academic strategies to adjust to online learning and keep up with the pace. The Learning Center can help you adapt relevant strategies for remote learning. 
    • Check out this infographic by The Learning Center on Strategies for Effective Remote Learning.
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 to schedule an appointment.

Questions regarding our modified services should be directed to Rob Patterson, director of The Writing Center at

For international students

For questions and concerns about staying on campus, travel etc. contact Martha Lynn Turner, Associate Director at OISS,

You can visit WashU IT’s website here for more information about overseas access.

For students with disability accommodations

Each instructor is responsible for the delivery of their course, assignments, and exams. Students should provide their Accommodation Letter to instructors as soon as possible and at least two weeks prior to any exams where they hope to use accommodations. Be aware of any 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: