Tips for staying connected
Connecting with your fellow students
Staying connected to your friends and classmates is important to avoid feeling isolated. You’re not alone, but how do you connect? Check out the following tips and resources on ways to stay connected.
Ways to connect
- Get a Quarantine Buddy!
- Use Zoom to set up virtual hang-outs, movie nights, or to check in with your friends.
- Connect with different student groups and organizations or create your own by contacting your campus’s Student Affairs office.
- Get involved with diversity groups on campus by visiting the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equality, and Multicultural Affairs.
- View the Tech Tidbits playlist from UITS for ideas on how different students are using technology to connect.
- Visit the Virtual Arts & Humanities site for links to livestream performances, quarantine(d) conversations, conversations on systemic racism, and more from IU’s Arts & Humanities’ creative voices!
- Check out Your Campus Resources for information about your campus's library, student affairs activities and events, and other local groups, organizations, and resources where you can connect with others.
Keeping your group and club Zoom meetings safe from disruptions
Experiencing a Zoombombing can be harmful -- even traumatic. If you've experienced this and would like to talk about it, help is available.Visit Your Campus Resources to find counseling services available for your campus. Also, you should always report any Zoombombing experience to the University Information Security Office.
While “Zoombombing” is not yet in the dictionary, it is now a familiar term. Follow these tips to prevent hurtful disruptions to your virtual meetings.
First, check out the Zoom: Tools for Securing Meetings video (5 minutes). As described in the video, you should take the following steps to ensure your Zoom meeting is secure:
- Require participants to be logged in to an IU Zoom account
- Turn off participant video and audio upon entry
- Ensure removed participants are unable to rejoin meetings
Then, during meetings, follow the guidance in the Managing disruptions during Zoom meetings video (3 minutes):
- Prevent participants from screensharing
- Remove unwanted/disruptive participants
- Lock the meeting once it starts, so no one else can join
Finally, make sure you have assigned co-hosts who can perform host duties, like removing a participant.
For further information about how to host a meeting, check out this recorded webinar: Getting Started with Zoom – Hosting Edition (about 20 minutes).
I truly enjoyed Zoom lectures. I felt as if it was easier to talk to each other than it is in a classroom setting or a discussion forum.Spring 2020 student
Communicating with your instructors
Communication is more important than ever. Your instructors want to hear from you! Here are some tips and resources to help you.
Tips on connecting with instructors
- Attend class! This sounds obvious, but this is the best way to stay connected.
- Ask questions during class. Try to speak up or use the chat – most likely others in class have the same questions.
- Attend virtual office hours in Zoom. They exist for the sole purpose of connecting with your instructors, so take advantage!
- Check Canvas often for updates. Your instructor will post class announcements and updates here.
- Check the syllabus for your instructor’s communication preferences.
- Unable to access your course syllabus? Find your instructor's name in your class schedule and search for them in the IU Directory to find their email address. You may also be able to find their email address from their department's website.
Problem-solving instructor communication
Start by checking the syllabus to find out the best way to contact your instructor. Usually, contacting an instructor via one of those methods will do the trick. However, this is a time of disruption to school and life for everyone. Please realize that your instructor may be dealing with some of the same stressors as you including health, family, and school-related difficulties. A little empathy goes a long way. If you have already tried contacting your instructor and haven’t heard back, try the following:
- Arrive early or stay late at your class meeting to connect with your instructor.
- Send a Canvas message or email.
- Attend their office hours.
If after several days you still haven’t heard back, you should contact the department Chair. When you contact the Chair, you will now be able to show the numerous different ways you’ve tried to contact your instructor and the Chair will be able to help you out from there.
Tip: To find your department Chair, navigate to the department’s website and look under Faculty and Staff. Usually the Chair is listed at the top and “Chair” should be in their title.