Education at UBC has been undergoing unprecedented change. You, your instructors, and peers have spent a great amount of time and effort figuring out how to teach and learn in a fully online environment. Now UBC is transitioning once again, to a safe return to on-campus classes. This change may bring feelings of uncertainty, which can be stressful.
Know that you are not alone in navigating these changes. UBC is an exceptional community doing all we can to support one another. The Keep Learning website shares resources to help you navigate the online components of your courses. You can find information to get you set up, learn effectively online, understand the technologies used at UBC, take care of yourself, answer questions, and receive support. You can also share what your online learning experience is like, so this resource can improve.
Whether you’re learning online, in person, or in a mixed format, we want you to have a positive UBC experience. Be well and keep learning.
Getting Started with Online Learning
Each online course space at UBC may look different, even within the same faculty, school, or department. These differences exist because your instructors are using the best tools for teaching in their specific classes. No matter how online course spaces are presented, focusing on the following areas will help you get the most out of the experience.
What you can do to succeed
- Manage your time: Some courses will meet in real time, some won’t, and others will use a combination. Create a calendar with important dates, instructor office hours, and times you’ll “attend” live and recorded lectures for each course, to fairly distribute your attention.
- Read course communications: For fully online courses, your syllabus, announcements, and emails are extra important, since instructors have fewer ways of communicating changes or reminders. Take time to read (not scan) them.
- Actively participate: Your online learning will benefit from active participation. Ask questions in discussion boards, post resources you find helpful, and comment or react when classmates share work.
- Take it one step at a time: Research has shown that multi-tasking is generally not effective in learning. If you tend to multi-task, try to focus on one task at a time, instead of dividing your attention among multiple things at once.
- Avoid procrastinating: Using applications to hand in work sometimes gets complicated. Try not to put things off until the last minute, because that minute might be spent solving technical issues!
- Make it personal: Be more personable online by adding profile pictures, introducing yourself, and logging in regularly to share resources and support with peers.
- Ask for help: Online learning can be overwhelming at times. Your instructors, teaching assistants, and technical support all expect you to have questions, and they want to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Expect different approaches for how instructors will communicate, share content, encourage interaction, receive assignments, and give exams online. If any expectations are unclear, ask!
Most instructors at UBC use Canvas » for online course spaces. In Canvas, you can complete many of your course activities.