We surveyed TU students and faculty for feedback on how students can successfully transition back to in-person classes after being virtual during the pandemic. Here are their suggestions (bolded are the most heavily endorsed):
- Above all else, read the syllabus early and often. The syllabus is your map for the class and will answer the majority of questions you have. Read it at the start of your classes and refer to it regularly.
- There are two key places to monitor and check regularly in Harvey for your classes: Syllabus & Details (left menu) and Course Content (left menu). You should find important dates, deadlines, and assignments in these two areas.
- The expectation is that classes will be in person. Select classes that are offered virtually if you prefer this. It is not sustainable for classes to be offered with a choice of in person or virtual because this takes a lot of extra time and planning for faculty and the content is not always suited to a particular method.
- Your faculty are looking forward to visiting with you. Take advantage of instructor office hours and email. Reach out with questions or for help early and often; they are here for you and expect your interaction with them. When possible, meet with them rather than email as your requests could be misunderstood in an email.
- TU is a special place where It is okay to ask faculty if there is something that could help you. When making a request, use your self-advocacy skills to ask, but remember not to demand things with an entitlement mindset. Explaining why you are making a request and how it will help you can often result in faculty willingness to assist you. Help them understand the benefit to you.
- Attendance is crucial. In the remote environment, you were perhaps able to attend class at any time you wanted. In person this will not be the case and important learning and interactions happen in class, so you are expected to be in class on time.
- Establish a routine now. Remember important things like getting enough sleep, eating healthily and regularly, preparing class materials in advance, etc.
- Work on your focus. Schedule time in your planner to study each day. At home you may have had distractions, been on your phone, or doing other things while listening to lectures. In class, you need to be attentive, turn off devices, and actively participate.
- If you were a new student last year, seek out peers who attended TU prior to the pandemic. Last year was a very different experience than is typical, so get advice from friends.
- Send professional and courteous emails to your instructors when you have questions or need help. Address your instructors with a title (such as Professor or Dr.) rather than using their first name.
- Recognize that with the change back to in person, everyone is going to be extra busy during the transition. Allow your instructors a little time and grace to get back with you and know that it may take a little bit longer to respond than typical. Provide patience to everyone as this time may be stressful all around.
- Check out other tips for working successfully with your instructors.
These tips were prepared by the Accessibility Standards Committee, made up of students, faculty, and staff.