Participating in Online Classes (For Students)

Article Last Updated August 2020

This article outlines what students should do to ensure they can successfully to participate in classes remotely.


Internet and Device Requirements

If a face-to-face class is changed to be offered in an online format, consider the following to be prepared.

  • Review the list of technology recommended for remote learning. Also note that the Dean of Students has opened up a Chromebook loaning program for students who don't have access to a device. Contact the Dean of Students office for more information at or fill out the request form here. The Dean of Students has also created a short course to help students succeed when Learning Remotely.
  • Ensure you have access to the Internet, either using UWS on campus, at home using your personal wifi, or at a publicly available hotspot.

  • Ensure you have access to a computer or a mobile device. This device will need to include:

    • An up-to-date modern browser - Google Chrome is recommended. Firefox, Safari, and Edge are also acceptable but may not function for all uses.

    • Audio capability - At a minimum, ensure you have speakers and a microphone - these should be fine for any online synchronous meetings if you have a quiet location to work. If you need to be in a busy space, a USB headset or earbuds (with mic) are recommended.

    • Video capability (optional) - If you are required to deliver presentations, ensure you have a webcam, either built into your computer or an attached via USB.



Contact your instructors via UAlberta email (Gmail) or through discussion forums in eClass inside your courses.

  • If the instructor will be offering online synchronous sessions, ensure you can access remotely.

  • If you cannot attend the 'live' session, ensure you communicate with the instructor and/or view any recordings that are created.



  • Ensure you are getting instructor notifications and announcements by checking your notification preferences.

  • Communicate with your instructor promptly if you need accommodations in terms of due dates, quiz times, or accessibility concerns. 

  • If you have an issue or concern with eClass, consider the following resources:


Online Assignment Submission

  • File submissions

    • File Types: Most often, you will be asked to submit PDF files. Both GoogleDocs and other standard word processors (MS Office, LibreOffice, Mac Pages, etc.) allow you to save your file as PDF files.

    • Apps: All U of A students have access to Google Drive.

      • These tools are also available as apps for Android and iOS.

    • Tip: Always save a copy of your documents before turning them in online. Consider downloading your files to an offline location/your computer as a precaution.

  • URLs

    • File Size: There is a 400 MB file size limit per file submitted to eClass. This should only be an issue if your course work requires you to make video submissions. For cases like this, the recommended process is to upload these files into your google drive and then share the video with your instructor and post the link in eClass.


Online Exams


Other Tips

  • Daily Check-in: Expect to check your email and eClass courses daily. Reading announcements and other notifications are crucial to having a successful online experience.

  • Time: Expect to spend as much time as you would for face-to-face classes engaging with your class commitments.

  • Synchronous Options: Try to take advantage of any online sessions offered and review the tips for using Zoom

  • Communicate: Take the time to promptly communicate via eClass or email with your professors or classmates if you have questions.

    • Ask for feedback or clarification.

    • Be open to online communications like Google Chat.

  • Support: Before spending too much time on tasks, especially if unsure about the technology, be sure to reach out for assistance. 



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