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Online Teaching & Learning Guide: Online Learning Basics

Online Learning Basics for Students

This page will help you with some questions you may have as you get started with online learning, including:

Where will my online classes be held?

Your online classes will mostly be held on the Canvas learning management system. Students taking summer 2020 JMU courses will practice using Canvas once they are added to the Student Success in Online Learning site. Check your Dukes email for an invitation to Student Success in Online Learning and Ask the Library if you think you should have access to it, but don't.

What if I am worried about internet access?

First, please let your professor know you are dealing with a problem related to internet access.

Second, you may need to park in a car near a local library, coffee shop, or another public place that offers internet access. Please continue to practice social distancing and prioritize your safety if you do this. Maps of locations to do this:

Third, you may want to look into one of these offers:

Please chat with us or send us a message if you need more advice on internet access and we will do our best to help.

What about using MyMadison with limited internet access?

Mobile MyMadison (the version of MyMadison that works on a phone) is under revision. Until Mobile MyMadison is ready, it is best to use MyMadison on a computer. If you don't have internet access on your computer, you could try using your mobile phone as a "hotspot" to connect your computer to the internet. If you have questions about any of this, please contact the JMU IT Helpdesk.

What technology is needed to complete an online course?

A dependable computer and a reliable network connection are very important to your success in completing an online activity or course. Let your professor know if you are dealing with a problem with either of these.

  • For JMU students enrolled in online classes, please check your computer and network facilitation by referring to the following JMU computing network standards for connecting and completing online coursework and for a list of technology requirements. 
  • Students may also download course-related software with their Dukes eID.
    • To download course-related software like SPSS or Nvivo, please make sure to check the computer requirements by the software company. Knowing what specific functions will be needed for your online classes will help you use the computer space and capacity wisely. Contact your instructor and carefully review the courses syllabus will help you make the decisions.
  • You will need to enable DUO authentication, which is required to access the JMU computing systems, including Canvas and MyMadison
  • Please refer to the RunSafe resources provided by JMU to help ensure online security.
  • Please chat with us or send us a message if you need more advice and we will do our best to help.

How will I get important information from my instructor?

Your course will likely be on Canvas. It is very important that you review your Canvas notification settings and enable notifications from your instructors. Click here to view the instructions for enabling notifications. Also, please check your Dukes email account regularly. 

What if I need to print something?

If you don't have access to a printer where you are, try calling a nearby Staples, FedEx or Kinko's to see if you can print there. Please continue to practice social distancing.

What about my health and well-being?

Paying attention to your well-being is essential, especially in times like these. Please practice self-care and seek resources available to you should you need assistance:

What if I need other academic assistance?

The Learning Centers and Libraries are here to support you! The Learning Centers are continuing to offer online tutoring, consultations, and study sessions. 

Likewise, we in JMU Libraries continue to help you find information for assignments and projects, as well as provide you support for online learning. The other resources in this guide include: