Best Practices for Online Courses

We encourage you to read through the “Best Practices” guide below to help make your online learning experience the best possible.

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Prior to the course date
During the Course
Technical Issues

Prior to the course date

Please test your computer before the first meeting, you can do so by running through these steps:

-Download and install the Zoom application, available here.
You do not need to create an account or Sign-in to Zoom. Installing the application is sufficient.

-Join a test meeting here:

If asked, click “Open Zoom Meetings” near the top, or, download and run the application:

We Do Not Recommend using the “Join from your browser” option unless absolutely necessary. However, if you have issues installing or running the Zoom application, you can join using your browser as a backup.

-We recommend clicking “Test Speaker and Microphone” to start Zoom’s automated Microphone & Speaker Test:

-Zoom will walk you through a series of steps to verify that your Webcam, Speakers, and Microphone are set properly. You may also need to adjust the volume of your speakers if the sound level is too quiet. Once the test is completed, click “Join with Computer Audio“.

If your camera does not start, please be sure you don’t have multiple meeting windows open, or any other programs using your camera. If you’re still not able to turn the camera on, restarting your computer and re-joining the test meeting often helps. Please note that cameras are required and must be turned on during the duration of your course.

Please take some time to test the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window. Note that your Microphone can be muted/unmuted, and your camera turned on/off using the icons in the bottom left.

The test meeting has a time limit of about 5 minutes. If you need additional time, please join another test meeting here. You can exit the test meeting by clicking “Leave” in the lower right corner.

During the course

-Join the course early to allow time for troubleshooting, you can typically join the course up to 20 minutes early.

-Please mute your audio unless you have a question or comment. This helps prevent unwanted noise and distractions to other students.
To mute yourself, click the first icon on the bottom-left menu:

The icon will have a red slash and say “Unmute“. Be sure to un-mute yourself by clicking the icon again if you had any comments or questions, then mute again when finished. You can also hold down your space bar to unmute & mute without clicking the icon.

Technical Issues

-If you experience technical issues during the course, try to restart your computer and re-join the course. You can re-join the course using the link provided in the course logistics email.

-You can use the chat functionality to inform others you are having a technical problem without disrupting the course. Click the “Chat” icon on the bottom menu, type your message in the box, and press your enter key to send your message:

-If you have problems with your audio or microphone, you can call-in as a backup option. Please check the course logistics E-Mail for a call-in number and access code. Please use the mute/unmute functionality on your phone to help prevent background noise during the course.

-There may be factors outside of yours and our control that prevent you from participating in the course. If this is the case, please Contact Us and we can work with you to make up any missed material.

-Please check the E-Mail address you used during your registration for any important course updates.