Top Tech Tips for Students Learning and Attending Class Online
Last modified 1/26/2024
There are many things you can do to prepare for a smooth transition to learning online, and technology tools to assist. Following are the Technology Support Center’s top tips based on questions from students.
Use Zoom to attend and participate in online classes
- Test your microphone and camera before the first session at zoom.us/test
- Take a Zoom test run in advance - create a trial meeting with a friend, test joining a meeting, sharing your screen, and/or muting your microphone
- If needed, a landline phone can be used to connect to Zoom meetings
- Make sure your computer is connected to the charger to ensure it stays powered up until the end
Step-by-step instructions are available here: Zoom.
Zoom best practices and recommended meeting settings are available here:
- Recommended Settings for Secure Zoom Meetings
- Best Practices for Managing and Protecting a Zoom Meeting
Use Microsoft Teams to collaborate with classmates, friends, and instructors virtually
- Test your microphone and camera before starting any meetings in Microsoft Teams.
- Take a Teams test run in advance - create a new chat with a friend, add others to start a group chat, take a look at the reply options for a specific team.
Information on how to use Teams is available in Microsoft Teams.
The performance of web sites and University technology tools may be limited by the performance of your home Internet connection
- Limit streaming and large downloads while you are attending class or doing online work
- Computers, rather than tablets or phones, are recommended for connecting to University resources
- Connecting via an Ethernet cable (if your laptop allows) to your home network will typically provide better performance than connecting via WiFi
- Use an audio only connection to Zoom if video performance is faltering
More tips on optimizing your home Internet connection are available here: Connecting and Optimizing Home Internet Connections.
Be wary of suspicious emails or Internet activity
- Phishing attacks are likely to utilize any crisis to trick you into revealing personal information
- Never send your password in email
- Be cautious when asked to log in with your ULID and password
More information about phishing scams is available at How to Avoid Phishing, Phone Scams, and Identity Theft.
Information on protecting your Zoom meeting is available at Best Practices for Managing and Protecting a Zoom Meeting.
Tips on how to stay secure while Teaching and Learning Remotely is available at Top Tech Tips for Faculty and Staff Teaching and Learning Remotely.
It is recommended that you report any emails you expect to be phishing following the article: How to Report Phishing Emails
Access applications virtually from home
Certain applications offered by the University can be accessed virtually using Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and Microsoft Remote Desktop client. To access these virtual apps please see the following article: How to use Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Adobe Creative Cloud software is available free of charge to students: request at https://about.illinoisstate.edu/adobe/student-access-request/
- More information about learning online is available at https://ctlt.illinoisstate.edu/keeplearning/
- More information about technology tools available to help teaching and working remotely is available at Technology Tools to Help You Teach, Learn, and Work.
- Guidance on how to print to PDF as an alternative method to printing paper copies is available in the following article, Print to PDF.
- Information about current technology maintenance and outages is available at Alerts.IllinoisState.edu.
- Connect with everything technology at Illinois State, including the ability to live chat with the Technology Support Center, submit a ticket, and search for help at https://help.illinoisstate.edu/get-it-help.
How to Get Help
- Technical assistance is available through the Technology Support Center at (309) 438-4357, by email at SupportCenter@IllinoisState.edu, or by Live Chat at Help.IllinoisState.edu.