Distance Learning & Technology Support

Academic continuity is our priority. We have support in place to help you in blended and fully online courses.

Start Strong

Here are things you can do to stay on top of your online work.

  1. Reach out for help and support. Make sure you know when your instructors are available to talk and answer questions and the best way to contact them.
  2. Check your university email. You may want to set up an email filtering system so your most important emails are easy to spot. 
  3. Stay in touch. Use online tools such as Zoom, or other virtual meeting spaces, to connect with classmates.
  4. Take time for yourself during the day and reach out for support from others. Staff from RIT Counseling and Psychological Services remain available to students in distress for short consultation sessions by phone/video relay. Call or email for an appointment (585-475-226; caps@rit.edu). RIT Case Management (casemanagement@rit.edu) can assist you in finding more consistent mental health support in your community. Guidance on managing mental health concerns and coping during COVID-19 is available from the CDC.

Communication

Communication is even more important in distance learning than in traditional classroom formats. If you run into any difficulties with the course materials, course work, or any new tools that your instructor might be using, contact your instructor right away. They want to hear from you.

myCourses

Your instructor may use RIT’s online learning management system, myCourses, to create an online classroom. Your first place for myCourses information is the myCourses Help and Resources wiki. If you need more help, it is available by email at tlsuppport@rit.edu and chat on the Classroom and Academic Technology Support page. Support is available Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Here are helpful tips for using myCourses: 

Zoom Video Conferencing

For live (or synchronous) meetings, RIT is providing Zoom Video Conferencing as an option for students and faculty. This software allows for video meetings, and a variety of other interaction options during this transition from face-to-face learning to remote.

Your instructor may also use Zoom integration with myCourses. Zoom meetings scheduled through the myCourses integration will automatically be added to the Calendar tool of your course. You may also receive an email invitation to a Zoom meeting.

You will be asked to grant permission for Zoom to manage your myCourses Calendar the first time you access the Zoom integration on myCourses.

When the meeting is scheduled to begin, you may join, and will be prompted to download Zoom. Open the Zoom app, or start Zoom in your browser.  

Once the meeting has begun, your instructors will be able to broadcast their voice or image via their laptop’s internal microphone or camera. They will also have the ability to share their computer screens, which will allow for the presentation of documents, videos, and slide presentations. Zoom also provides functionality to encourage engagement such as polling and chat tools. 

Zoom will be a great way to be “together” during social distancing safety precautions. If using Zoom is new to you, here’s a helpful Getting Started page which will walk you through, step-by-step.

How to use Zoom securely

Due to privacy and other concerns including Zoombombing, which occurs when virtual meetings are disrupted by unwanted guests, Zoom has prioritized enhancing privacy and security controls. 

RIT’s Information Security Officer Aldwin Maloto says even though the university has seen very few Zoomboombing attempts, university leaders have provided security settings to help students, faculty, and staff use Zoom more securely. 

Please review the following Zoom best practices and use them when attending meetings. 

If you experience an issue with the virtual meeting platform, contact the RIT Service Center.

Technical Assistance for Remote Access Software

RIT has established a remote access solution providing student access to certain software available in RIT computer labs for these colleges. Your instructor will let you know if this option is available to you.  Here are the technical support resources in each college who can help with remote access if you need assistance.

College
Email
Name
SCB
Saunders Technical Support
COS
Cheryl Lomedico
KGCOE
Cheryl Lomedico
CLA
Cheryl Lomedico
CAD
Bob Fleck
 
CAD Tech Helpdesk
Magic
Bob Fleck
CHST
RIT Service Center
SOIS
RIT Service Center
NTID
Michael Burns
GIS
Michael Good
GCCIS
Tom Cary
CET
Joel Yates
Mechanical Engineering Labs
Cheryl Lomedico
Industrial Systems Engineering Labs
Cheryl Lomedico
Modern Language Teaching & Learning
Vince Incardona
Electrical Engineering Labs
Jim Stefano
Computer Engineering Labs
Rick Tolleson

Offline and Online

As you complete your coursework, there may be times when you need to conserve available bandwidth, or other times when you don’t have reliable Internet access. Here are some tips for working offline, on mobile devices, and reducing bandwidth consumption. 

If you are working in myCourses, you may download all pages and files while connected to the Internet to review offline later. You may also work in myCourses on your mobile phone using the Brightspace Pulse mobile app. If you’re on a webpage but need to go offline, visit this page for instruction on how to convert a web page to a PDF. 

RIT also offers free software to enable productivity when you’re working offline. For Microsoft Office tools, Office 365 is free for RIT students. You must be connected to the Internet to install, but can work offline once installation is complete. RIT offers other software available for home use. 

When completing your assignment, you’ll want to try to keep file sizes small so they send and upload more quickly. mages (like .jpeg or .png) increase the size of your file. If images aren’t essential for your assignment, just use text. If images are a requirement, crop or resize them to a smaller size before inserting into your document. You may also compress images after inserting them to save space. Learn how to compress images in Microsoft Office programs here. It is also helpful to create a compressed (or zipped) folder of your files before uploading. 

If you have required group work or want to study with classmates, plan for asynchronous (not meeting virtually at the same time) options. Google apps such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides are great online collaboration tools because you are able to track contributions of others.You can also use these tools offline and on your mobile device. Microsoft Lens is also a useful mobile app for scanning.