Sept. 25, 2020

Connecting with the professors and classmates you’ve never met

In the online learning space, the immediate connections you are able to make with professors and classmates are no longer a given.

In the online learning space, the immediate connections you are able to make with professors and classmates are no longer a given. It’s still possible to make meaningful virtual connections, it just takes a different approach! Start with the following three resources to expand your online communication with classmates and professors.

1) D2L

If your professor sets up an online discussion board through D2L, take advantage of it! Discussion boards are a great way to bounce ideas off other students and your professor and create a dialogue that more closely resembles a physical classroom. You can find more information on using D2L here.

2) Email

Use the D2L class list to reach out to your classmates by email. Consider asking to see if anyone is interested in forming a study group. Mass emails can be annoying after a while, so if you’re interested in this, try to get engaged sooner rather than later. Be sure to follow the university’s Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources and Information policy and ensure that your emails are related to academics. 

Emailing with your instructors is also super important, since miscommunication can be possible in an online setting. Your instructor may also be new to online learning, so making sure you are both on the same page with expectations will help you start the semester off right. If you are an international student and are curious about Canadian email customs, check out this handy tip sheet.

3) Zoom

Zoom is great for studying together, working on group projects or meeting up with your classmates for a “coffee.” It’s hard to go without seeing friends and classmates every day, so keep some semblance of normalcy with coffee or study dates. For information on how to use Zoom, watch our tutorial video on how to make a Zoom meeting.