The Synchronous or Live-Online Classroom
The silver lining
While the campus was closed during the pandemic we pivoted quickly to live-online instruction in our courses that would normally have met on campus in Santa Clara. In the live-online learning mode, students meet together virtually at designated times with their instructor and classmates. The requirements of these courses are generally the same as they would be for in-person courses. You are expected to attend, participate, and contribute to the classroom experience at the designated class times. You have lectures, reading assignments, papers, exams, and discussions. It is requested that you turn your cameras on. Most importantly, you have the same assignment deadlines to help you meet your goals.
Your ultimate goal in any remote learning environment is to continue to learn new things, try new approaches, and find new ways to engage with the material, your classmates, and instructor.
Reading, writing, and online lectures (usually via Zoom) are the main ways you'll communicate in a live-online remote classroom. Although some hard copies of textbooks may still be required, you should be prepared to use online classroom materials.
The flexible classroom
In the last couple of years, we've also worked to create new hybrid classrooms that fully integrate the experience of learning in person and remotely. In these courses, you are invited to join us in person in Santa Clara or stay where you are and sign in remotely to attend class at the designated times. Large monitor screens, tracking cameras, full audio, digital whiteboards, and other key features help make this experience a collaborative and exciting classroom wherever you are.
- Read the syllabus carefully.
- Take notes when you’re reading or watching lectures. Write down what you don’t understand.
- Participate in discussion forums. Comment on things you find interesting, relevant, or confusing.
- Participate in the live class. Use the start video feature. Ask questions. (Unmute yourself first or use the chat function.) You’ll soon see you’re not the only one seeking answers.
- Be helpful when you can. The confidence gained from helping others succeed is a great motivator for success.
- Learn how to watch video lectures, how to submit assignments, how to take exams, how to move from one module to the next, what’s happening this or next week…All of this information is available in Canvas.
Checking in with your instructor
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Others may have similar questions and concerns. You are not in this alone.
- Be on the lookout for announcements from your instructor and check your email frequently.
- Try to be patient if you don’t get a response immediately. Your instructor may be managing a lot of emails and adjusting to this change too.
- Because of the suddenness of our mandated shift to the virtual classroom, there may be some glitches. We're working hard to clear up any problems as soon as possible.
Communicating with intention and respect
We are all used to informal online writing styles that are used in social media, chat rooms, blogs, and text messages. Although it may be tempting to use a similarly casual communication style, please consider the UC Santa CruzPrinciples of Community, helping us create a remote learning community that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism, and fairness.
Remote learning environments follow the same policies as in-person classes. Cheating on exams and plagiarism are violations of ethics and integrity.
If you have any questions on what constitutes both good scholarship or the consequences of failing to work within campus expectations of honesty and professionalism, please view the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension Academic Integrity Policy and the Student Handbook and University Policies, particularly section 100, the student code of conduct.