As you take classes in WPI's virtual environment, we want to provide the information and resources you need to be ready to thrive in the online space. Below are a list of resources as well as an academic-centered FAQ. Undergraduates taking online classes will receive a weekly email with suggested resources and ideas to be successful that week as well as connecting you to virtual campus resources. You may not be on campus, but all of our offices are ready to support you throughout the term.
Just in Time Tips Newsletter
Welcome to Summer!
We are thrilled you're taking classes or completing project work with us. Each week of the term, you'll receive an email that contains a community check-in survey to tell us how you are, tips that will be helpful for success that week, and more. If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might be wondering if your course happens on a certain day. Online courses do not have scheduled class times; students work at their own pace with available course materials, scheduled assignments, class check-ins, and exams. At the start of the course, faculty will share dates and times for activities, such as office hours or group meetings or check-ins. Typically, these are also recorded for students who cannot attend.
We are available over the next few days for drop-in support. If you have a question or want help troubleshooting something, join us on 5/21 from 12-1pm EST, 5/22 from 9-10am or 3-4pm EST, 5/26 from 9-10am or 4-5pm EST, or 5/27 from 12-1pm EST.
Debra Boucher, Katie Elmes, & Aprile Mero
- Make sure you have checked into the term in BannerWeb.
- Complete the IT Scavanger Hunt! Prizes may or may not be available.
- If you're having trouble with you WPI email, reach out to email@example.com (returning WPI students, make sure you have set up the Multi-Factor Authentication.
- Check out the Virtual Learning Support website.
- Look at the Online Student Center resource in Canvas.
- Look at the Virtual Learning Hub website.
- Review the WPI Code of Conduct. Remember that we expect all students taking courses with us to apply by this code.
- Watch the Orientation Videos (if you have trouble viewing, make sure you’re logged into the Hub)
Prepare for Success Checklist:
- Find a space where you will do coursework.
- Make a plan for how you will work daily.
- Create a weekly schedule for yourself that includes time for classes and taking care of yourself. (Checkout the Online Student Center for ideas)
- Keep your eye on Canvas to see when your professor makes your class available.
- When it is available, check your course syllabus for important information.
We have many resources available to students taking online courses. From scientific or engineering software to the Global Lab (creating videos, websites, and more) to virtual activities to IT and software to project starter ideas and so much more, there is lots to check out.
Take a look at the Virtual Learning Hub!
Take a look in the Canvas Online Student Center!
Have an academic question but not sure who to ask? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ways to Set Myself Up for Success
How do I remember what to do and when for each class? Are there reminders in Canvas?
We encourage you to make a weekly schedule that includes study time and due dates. You can also set up notifications in Canvas to remind you about items like assignments. Take a look in the Canvas Online Student Center under Update Your Profile & Notification Preferences.
How can I handle boredom and stay active to help me focus better on classwork?
We encourage you to make a schedule for the week that includes all academic related items as well as times to be active, do something fun, connect virtually with friends, and more. Connect with Student Activities to learn more about non-academic strategies from them.
How often should I check my classes on Canvas?
We suggest you check canvas several times a day. The more routinely you check Canvas, the less likely you will be surprised by a due date or other important information. We encourage you to set up notifications from Canvas to your email so you also get push notifications (see Update Your Profile & Notification Preferences in the Canvas Online Student Center).
My class isn't showing up in Canvas. What do I do?
If your course is not yet showing up in Canvas, it most likely means that some content is being finalized to go live. You can either check back in a little while or email your professor for more information.
Can my instructor see how often I log onto my class canvas site?
Yes, Faculty and TAs/PLAs (if your course has one) can see how often you login, if you've accessed information, how long you've spent on content, and the percentage of work you've completed, among other things.
Ways to Connect Virtually
Are there office hours?
Many faculty are holding office hours virtually. Check your course syllabus and/or email your professor or TA/PLA for specific information for your class.
If my class has a TA/PLA, will I be able to connect with them?
Yes, if your class is scheduled to have a TA or PLA, you will be able to connect with them virtually. Check out your course Canvas site to see how to best reach out.
How do I work with a partner or team or study with others in virtual classes?
Connect with your professor about expectations for partner and/or group work. Remember, WPI policies around academic honesty still apply. If you are looking to find ways to connect with peers for any of these reasons or more, consider emailing a classmate through the course Canvas site and/or utilizing WPI tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom to virtually connect. Learn more about these tools in the Canvas Online Student Center site.
What are the different ways to communicate virtually for academic purposes and which should I use when?
You can email your professor, TA/PLA, and classmates directly through your course in Canvas (see the Canvas Online Student Center for instructions). You can also connect to other resources on campus (for example, Academic Advising for tutoring or Librarians for research) virtually. Check out their websites for contact information.
How can I make virtual learning feel more personal?
Take a look in the Canvas Online Student Center under Update Your Profile & Notification Preferences and learn how to make your Canvas profile. We also encourage you to reach out your faculty, TA/PLA, and classmates to stay in touch. If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out.
Technology and IT
- I'm having trouble getting into my WPI email or other WPI sites that require your username and password. Who do I contact?
How can I get software for my courses now that I don’t have access to computer labs?
WPI has expanded the number of terminal servers (https://its.wpi.edu/component/77/terminal-services) available to students. View a full list of the Terminal Servers available for WPI public use at the Locations and Servers Page (https://its.wpi.edu/Locations-and-Servers). Each server listed shows the software available on the server.
Use the Software Library (https://its.wpi.edu/Software-Library) to search for a specific application. Each software entry in the library contains information about the application, and it’s availability on remote servers. Use the Advanced Filters, “License Required” and “For use on Personal Device,” to discover WPI-Provisioned software available for installation on your personal machine. Software available for install on personal machines have a related Install Guide explaining how to install and properly license the application.
Do I need the VPN to access terminal servers?
The VPN is not required to access any of the terminal servers.
What if the software I need is not available on a terminal server?
For applications that are graphically intensive (many IMGD applications, Revit, etc.), we will be provisioning virtual desktops in the cloud that can be accessed anywhere without the need for the VPN. We will have more information later this week.
If you are taking a course that relies heavily on Maple, Comsol, Ansys, or Abaqus, we are working with instructors to provide dedicated resources for the course. Check with your instructor for the necessary resource information.
How do I install software on my personal computer?
View all software available at the Software Library (https://its.wpi.edu/Software-Library). Use the Advanced Filters, “License Required” and “For use on Personal Device,” to discover WPI-Provisioned software available for installation on your personal machine. Software available for install on personal machines have a related Install Guide explaining how to install and properly license the application.
General Course Questions
Will lectures be prerecorded or streamed?
Most classes will occur asynchronously, and can be accessible when you have time. If your professor has meetings times they would like you to attend, this will be noted in Canvas and/or on the course syllabus.
Will I get to see my instructor or will I have narrated slideshows?
While narrated slideshows are common, how each professor teaches their course does vary. Many faculty will be able to hold virtual office hours utilizing tools such as Zoom. Check your course syllabus or email your professor or TA/PLA.
How will participation be monitored?
This will vary course by course. We encourage you to read your course syllabus and reach out to your professor or TA/PLA. Professors can see how often you login, if you've accessed information, how long you've spent on content, and the percentage of work you've completed, among other things.
How will time zone differences be addressed?
This will vary course by course. We encourage you to read your course syllabus and reach out to your professor or TA/PLA.
Online Exam Proctoring
I have questions about Honorlock including how it interacts with my internet and others using it. Where can I learn more?
For Honorlock questions, we highly recommend reading through an Honorlock Security and Privacy FAQ developed by Florida State University. This should answer most questions WPI students may have.
Take a look at information from Honorlock as well: Honorlock Protects Student Privacy & Data and Top Six Questions From Students About Privacy and Security