Starting the semester online means you need to get to know your faculty members and classmates through your course syllabi, synchronous Zoom classes, and other technological tools. This is challenging because you can easily misinterpret tone of voice, physical cues, and nuances of expression that help you interpret another person's mood or intent.
This means you need to be more intentional about communicating with your classmates and professors. Here are some tips:
Your professor may choose to communicate through Canvas Announcements. You will want to configure your user settings so that you receive notifications when events occur in your class, such as when Announcements or Discussions are posted. You can receive notifications by email, text or Twitter. Make sure you update your settings to receive updates in a timely manner (once a week probably isn't frequently enough). If you change your settings once, they will apply to all your courses.
You may be asked to use Canvas features like Chat, Collaborations, Conferences and Discussions. If you are unfamiliar with these aspects, Canvas has a fantastic site to answer your questions and do not be afraid to let your professor know you're unfamiliar with them.
Your professor may choose to rely on email. Please check your R-MC email regularly for class correspondence and updates. Campus uses Microsoft Outlook for email, and they offer apps for your phone if you would like to stay more on top of your school email.
R-MC faculty and staff receive a large volume of emails every day. Here are some tips to improve email communication with your instructors:
This list was modified from UMass Online (http://www.umassonline.net/2015/24/08-5-Tips-On-How-To-Communicate-With-Professors-Online)
Most of the methods of communication above are asynchronous, meaning you're not talking live - there's a delay needed to read. You may be asked to communicate in real-time (synchronously) with your instructor or classmates using Zoom or Teams. The "Checklist" page on this site offers links and help on how to work in both of these tools.
As a student you have access to Zoom via https://rmc.zoom.us - take advantage of this software! Set up study groups, practice your presentations, hangout with your friends! Your account limits any meetings you create to 40 minutes; but you can simply start another meeting after that time limit passes.
Some tips to succeed at working via Zoom or Teams:
Modified from Stanford's Best Practices for Effective Video Conferencing: https://uit.stanford.edu/videoconferencing/best-practices