Strategies for Success

Communication is key

1. Use the MyRutgers portal to find critical information like how the course will be meeting, the Learning Management System that will be used, and other important information. If you aren’t sure how and when your classes will be held, reach out to your instructors directly via email.

2. Connect with instructors early: While instructors are available to help throughout the courses, also try to find answers to class questions independently, if possible.

3. Check Canvas often for updates. Instructors are encouraged to use Canvas to keep you informed. Your instructors will contact you with information regarding scheduled tests and exams.

4. Verify if your instructors will be using Canvas for your course by visiting the myRutgers portal and selecting the Course Schedule Channel.

Note: If you aren’t receiving emails from your instructors, make sure that your Canvas notifications are set to notify you right away when you receive messages in Canvas. For help, see How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as a student?

4. Contact the RUN-IT Support Center if you have questions about tech tools. If offered, participate in virtual office hours with your instructor.

5. Keep in touch with classmates, including having regularly scheduled check-ins or study groups, similar to what you did on campus. For help, see Web Conferencing


Understand the technology used in your courses  

1. Verify if your instructors will be using Canvas for your course by visiting the myRutgers portal and selecting the Course Schedule Channel.

2. Test out web conferencing tools like Zoom and WebEx ahead of time, since those are some of the tools your instructors will be using to hold live courses:  Zoom & Webex

3. All students get access to free and discounted software that you can use for your coursework. Find out more at the Rutgers Software Portal.

4. Remember that the IT Service Center is just a call, chat, email or text away. Please visit their site to find their contact information.

5. Connect with Dana librarians and the Institute of Jazz Studies & RU-N via Zoom – Video Chat

Stay organized.  

1. Take the time to put together the schedule and expectations for each of your classes. Use a tool like Google Calendar.

2. Prioritize your work. What are the due dates coming up first? Make smart decisions about how to best spend your time.

3. Don’t procrastinate. You won’t have the same sense of accountability you did when you had in-person classes, and it may take longer to do assignments online than you may think. Make yourself a schedule that puts you well ahead of deadlines.

4. If you are working on group projects, work with teammates to identify timelines and assignments. Using a shared Boxnote or Google Doc is an excellent way to keep organized, promote accountability, and share work in progress.

Take care of yourself.

1. Stay healthy by getting adequate rest, nutrition, and exercise. Schedule some time to take care of yourself.

2. Stay connected to friends and classmates online—to study, to offer each other support, and to keep from feeling isolated. You can create your own Webex or Zoom meetings to start study groups or have study breaks.

3. Learn how to manage stress as you adapt to new circumstances. For advice, read the resources in Healthcare, well-being, and social connections.

4. Find some time for fun and laughter—talking online to family and friends, helping younger family members with homeschooling, coloring to reduce stress, watching a comedy special online.

Manage your environment.  

1. Schedule specific times in your day to dedicate to studying or participating in your online class.

4. Don’t try to multitask. Research shows it doesn’t really work, making tasks take longer and leading to mistakes. Instead, make blocks of time to focus on one class task at a time.

5. Consider using the “Do Not Disturb” function on your devices when you are trying to minimize distractions.

6. Find a space that is comfortable and allows you to focus. This can be your home base for coursework.

7. Ask for help.

8. Need tech support? We’ve got that, too.

9. If you need learning accommodations, you can request help from the Office of Disability Services for your home campus.

10. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, your campus health center can help you identify mental health resources to help you.

11. Contact your instructor for resources specific to your courses.