How to succeed in a virtual classroom

COVID-19 and MRU’s temporary transition to a virtual learning environment has prompted Student Community Standards (SCS) to create the following recommended guidelines to help both new and returning students maneuver through their classes successfully.

  • Although you may not be physically in a classroom, the manner in which you interact with your instructor and your classmates should be exactly the same as it would be if the course was being delivered in person.
  • The course syllabus or outline is where your instructors provide you with information about your class.  This will include your instructor’s expectations about all things academic and about general conduct in the class. Carefully read each course outline. Details regarding the due dates and weights of assignments and exams will be listed. If something you read in the outline isn’t clear to you -  ask your instructor. If your question is answered and it’s still not clear? Ask again. If you would prefer, simply email your instructor.
  • Communicate. Not being in a classroom with your instructor and classmates is very different from what most of us are accustomed to.   Be a good listener, ask questions, allow others to speak, remember you may not agree with everything being said and you don’t need to.  Respect the differences. 
  • Maintaining a respectful learning environment is a valued and unchanging expectation for all members of the MRU community. Differences of opinion, faith, language, appearance, traditions, orientations etc., create the rich diversity we so enjoy at MRU. The University’s expectation is that all who learn, teach, work, or visit MRU, will consistently be treated respectfully and likewise will treat all others respectfully.
  • Plan ahead. Leave yourself plenty of time to write your papers and to prepare and study for your exams. Online learning still requires the same amount of work as classroom learning does.
  • Always do your own work. Collaborating with others on assignments, papers, or exams could constitute academic misconduct. If you are at all unsure if collaboration is permitted, don’t do it until you have spoken to your instructor and you know for sure.
  • Having anyone other than you complete your papers, exams, or any portion of your academic work being assessed for a grade is academic misconduct.
  • During virtual lectures, you may occasionally use the discussion box where you can type questions or comments to your instructor. Personal comments, offensive remarks, inappropriate language or images are not acceptable. Ever.
  • Personal issues including, but not limited to, discussion/s about grades received, requests for an extension or similar discussions should always be managed via private email with your instructor.
  • Students registered in a course are expected to be the only ones accessing the course lectures, course materials, group discussions, and all other forms of assessment including exams etc.
  • Carefully read exam instructions. Exam expectations may or may not be the same as the expectations have been for your other academic submissions in the class. Your professor will provide you with information regarding collaboration, what if any resources are acceptable for you to access during the exam, how much time you will have, are you permitted to access online resources etc. If you are at all unsure, always ask your instructor to clarify.
  • Whether learning online or sitting in a classroom, the expectations regarding academic integrity in all the work you submit at MRU is the same.