Learning Remotely

Here are some tips for getting ready to learn remotely.

In order to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, all classes at Occidental College will be taught remotely beginning on March 23, 2020. Teaching will continue through the last day of classes, April 28, as scheduled. Final exams will also occur remotely. We understand that this transition poses extraordinary challenges, and the college is committed to providing resources to support you through it.

Please help your faculty members, ITS, Library and CDLA test out online tools and give your honest and clear feedback. You can always reach out to helpdesk@oxy.edu for any support you need regarding remote learning.

Establish boundaries on your time and space

One of the primary challenges in the shift to remote work is establishing new routines and creating intentional boundaries between focused work and other life activities, such as rest, socializing and play. 

  • Identify a dedicated workspace that allows you to concentrate and feel alert. Communicate your needs about that space to friends and family. If a dedicated space isn’t feasible, think about what you can do to set intentions on your use of the space by making physical changes. For example, make the bed before working on it, or clear technology off the kitchen table when you are eating.

  • Keep a calendar or planner to help you remember when to engage with your learning and to know when you can relax.

  • Be mindful, when sharing video or audio, how you present to your professor and peers as a learner and what you are presenting to them in the background.

Helpful Links

Using Google Calendar (external link)

Navigating Time Zones (Oxy doc)

More best practices to help you optimize your remote learning

Stay Connected

Evaluate your computing devices and your internet connectivity. Remember you may be able to solve many problems of sluggishness by restarting or closing the number of tabs and programs you have running. If you have any questions about technology access or troubleshooting contact helpdesk@oxy.edu and ITS and the Library/CDLA will work with you to make sure you have the resources you need. Also, many internet companies are also now offering free connectivity to students.

  • Be attentive to your oxy.edu email inbox for messages about class meetings. These messages may be directly from your professors or from platforms like Moodle, Bluejeans, or Google.

  • Choose the right device to learn remotely based on your needs.

  • Test your microphone and camera before joining a video conference or meeting.

  • When joining a class or meeting, mute your microphone and camera until they are needed for participation.

  • Try out Oxy’s video conferencing tools, BlueJeans and Google Meet, before you are in a class meeting.

  • Be patient with online classes because of potential connectivity issues that can slow down discussion for online meetings and office hours. Be kind to yourself, and communicate with your professor, if you are having hardware or connectivity problems.

Helpful Links

Connect to the Virtual Computer Lab for access to software available in Oxy's computer labs

Wikihow tutorial on testing your mic on Mac or PC (external link)

Introduction to BlueJeans, Oxy's video conferencing tool (Oxy doc)

Using Google Meet via Oxy Connect (Oxy doc)

Ask for Learning and Research Resources

If you didn’t get to take home every book you needed or you are hitting paywalls on articles, remember that, as always, the Library/CDLA, and ITS are working and will help you and your professors obtain the resources you need in electronic formats, whether it’s Textbook Reserve items, video streaming, articles, or book chapters from our collections or partners. Remember that all deadlines and fees associated with late returns of books, equipement, and other items will be taken care of.

We are also available via email for research and reference questions at library@oxy.edu.

Helpful Links

Download Adobe's Creative Cloud software for free through May 31

Access free digital textbooks and learning materials available to Oxy students this spring

Read more updates on Library and CDLA services during the COVID-19 response

Stay in Touch with Your Peers

Stay connected to your friends, peers, and support networks as you all work through this difficult transition together, and take advantage of all of the resources available at Oxy even when you are not on campus.


Additional Tips and Tools