Getting Ready to Learn Online

To prepare for remote instruction this spring, please review the following video and guidelines below.

Getting ready to learn online

To succeed with learning online, make sure you have:

  • A reliable, internet-connected device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone for live sessions
  • Computer or tablet with an external keyboard for assignments. It’s hard to type and revise an essay or complete a project on a phone, so having a laptop or similar will help.
  • A reliable and high-speed internet connection
  • A webcam
  • A set of earbuds with an inline microphone

To the best of your ability, create a distraction-free work and study space where you can attend live class sessions and complete assignments.

If you require additional hardware or technology support for remote instruction, review the Technology Support page for further information from CalArts IT.

Review the Using the Learn LMS and Using Zoom pages for further information.

When learning online, you will need to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and have strong time management skills. It is recommended that you:

  • Check your CalArts email frequently for announcements from your instructors. Announcements and course updates from Learn will come from “Learn CalArts”.
  • Log into regularly to check your course site(s) for updates, discussion forum posts, or new assignments. 
  • Try to schedule or block off time every day and throughout the week to study, for class meetings, or to track deadlines. We recommend that you use a calendar—Google Calendar is a free feature included with G Suite at CalArts
  • Set realistic goals for each day and week of remote learning. Work with your mentor and your academic advisor to create realistic goals for the semester.
  • Be aware that a lot of your interaction in your online course may be through writing. It is important to be able to express your ideas effectively in this format. If you need support, reach out to your instructor or seek support through the Writing Center.
  • Ask for help or clarification from your instructor well in advance. Your instructor likely has set days and times when they are available to check in with their courses and answer questions. Asking a question at midnight for an assignment due at 9am the next day is probably not going to get a response—make sure you plan ahead so they can give you the support you need.
  • Stay social in the midst of physical distancing. Set up side chats and Zoom calls with your classmates, check in with your mentor, or a Google chat with an academic advisor.

In your remote class, you should also be aware that live sessions may be recorded so students who are not able to attend can watch the recordings later. Your instructor may have specific expectations around using Zoom in class, or even attendance and participation. If you are unclear on faculty expectations in class or are concerned about meeting an expectation, be sure to reach out to your instructor directly.

Finally, it’s important to be aware of CalArts’ Netiquette guidelines.

For help with course content, please reach out to your instructor using their preferred contact method.

For technical support please email Staff are on standby to support you through the semester.