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Tips to succeed in the online course environment

2020-03-27-OnlineInstruction-1
UNG and the 25 other University System of Georgia (USG) institutions have moved to emergency remote delivery of instruction because of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For students new to the online class environment, UNG officials have several tips and resources to help them be successful. They are available on the Making the Transition to Remote Learning webpage.

For the past two weeks, students, faculty and staff at the University of North Georgia (UNG) have experienced a flurry of activity to transition from face-to-face classes to an remote format. The process is meant to help students succeed in the digital environment for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Transcript

UNG and the 25 other University System of Georgia (USG) institutions have moved to emergency remote delivery of instruction because of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"There are many things about the current pandemic that are outside of our individual control," said Dr. Chaudron Gille, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. "Continuing to work toward their educational goals is something students can do that is a positive step for their futures."

Dr. Eugene Van Sickle, assistant vice president of Strategic Student Success Initiatives, said faculty and staff have worked diligently to be ready for the transition.

"One of the reasons why UNG is successful is our faculty and staff are able to adapt and figure out a way to minimize the impact on students," he said

For students new to the online class environment, UNG officials have several tips and resources to help them be successful. They are available on the UNG Remote Life webpage. Click on Learning Remotely and then Academic Help, Advising and Registration.

No. 1 – Check your UNG email on a daily basis.

"Email is how UNG faculty and staff share information," Van Sickle said. "It is especially important for students, because they will receive guidance for next steps there."

No. 2 – Login to the online learning management system, eLearning@UNG or D2L.

"D2L is the primary way to take class," Van Sickle said. "It won't be the only way to access classes, but it is the place to go to first."

He explained if students can't access D2L, they need to contact Distance Education & Technology Integration (DETI) at deti@ung.edu. If students experience a computer hardware or software issue, they should contact the Information Technology Services help desk at 706-864-1922 or helpdesk@ung.edu.

Gille said if students do not have a reliable computer or laptop, they should contact the university by responding to a survey they receive through UNG Connect.

For those lacking access to the internet, they can download a free app, Brightspace Pulse, to their phones to access D2L for their online courses. Gille suggests students look on the UNG's Connectivity Resources webpage for a list of providers who are offering free internet access as part of the COVID-19 response.

No. 3 – Set up your home for school to get into the right mindset.

  • Designate a chair and table for school work; steer clear of beds and couches, which are associated with lounging and sleeping.
  • Stick to your morning routine such as brushing your teeth and eating breakfast.
  • Take breaks by stretching and moving to another room.
  • Grab a snack as needed like you would on campus.

"Our students, faculty and staff have gone from scheduled, orderly lives. Now we are at home," said Dr. Irene Kokkala, DETI director. "Many have never taken an online course and are not used to doing this. They need structure and good habits to stay on task."

No. 4 – Stay organized and set a schedule

  • Create a calendar to schedule important due dates and study time.
  • Set aside time for exercise and self-care.

No. 5 – Make the most of your online class

  • Just like a face-to-face class, take notes.
  • Determine the instructor's preferred method for communication, which could be email or D2L.

"Make sure you read all of the emails your instructor sends you through UNG email or D2L," Kokkala said. "Pay careful attention to all of the directions and follow them. If you have any questions, then please ask questions."

No. 6 – If you are struggling with the online format, contact Online Student Success Advisers.

The advisers are Merci Rivera at Merci.Rivera@ung.edu or 706-867-2518; and Cayse Wilson at Cayse.Wilson@ung.edu or 678-717-2385.

All of the information students need to transition is available online. Van Sickle explained UNG developed a webpage with tips and resources in a "one-stop shop." Examples on the page include academic success coaches, supplemental instruction, tutoring, SmartThinking, and UNG libraries.

Van Sickle said others will be added as the process develops.

"We've been trying to cover all of the bases," Van Sickle said. "Before we are done, more will be added."

As students are the No. 1 mission, UNG wants to ensure they complete their spring semester.

"Students have already put in a significant amount of time and effort this semester that we don't want to see them lose," Gille said. "We are doing everything we can to make it possible for them to complete the term and have the support they need to continue their momentum."

Other online instruction resources

  • Supplemental instruction (SI) uses a collaborative group setting to help students through difficult courses. Complete list of spring 2020 sessions schedule are online. For questions, email SI@ung.edu or call 706-867-2511 (Dahlonega) or 678-717-3476 (Gainesville)
  • Tutoring Services conducted by UNG professional and peer tutors are available for free online. Visit the Tutoring Services webpage for more information. For questions, email Hieu Huynh at huynh@ung.edu.
  • Academic Success Coaching are available to assist in the transition to online learning, along with providing other academic skills and strategies. Contact academic coaches Patrick Miles at miles@ung.edu or Zach Thrift at zach.thrift@ung.edu. Schedule a virtual meeting at https://successcoach.ung.edu/.
  • eLearning@UNG (D2L) Resources will answer frequently asked questions about the learning management system.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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