Student Help: Spring 2021 Online Courses
Spring 2021 Class Delivery
Most classes originally scheduled to be held face-to-face on campus have been moved to an online format for the beginning of the Spring 2021 term.
A limited number of courses and labs that require in-person hours may still meet. Faculty will reach out to students in these programs with more information.
I do not want to take classes online. What should I do?
If you have concerns about taking a class online, please talk to your advisor. You can make changes to your schedule through the add/drop deadline.
I want to switch to online classes for the full semester. What should I do?
If you want to switch to an online section, please talk to your advisor. You can also find online sections of your courses in LEO Online. Keep in mind that some classes may not have an online section, because the change to the beginning of the spring semester is meant to be temporary. Please review the information below on how to switch to online classes for this semester or for the rest of your program. You can make changes to your schedule through the add/drop deadline.
How to Switch to Online Classes
Option A: Take online classes temporarily
If you intend to return to campus in the future, you can switch temporarily to online classes or take a mix of online and on-campus classes. No campus code change is necessary.
If you are not a Virginia resident and you intend to study from a location out-of-state or outside the United States, you may want to consider changing your campus code, as you will be eligible for the tuition rate applicable to students enrolled in technology delivered courses from these locations. Email email@example.com for more details.
You can make changes to your schedule through the add/drop deadline on August 25, 2020.
To find and register for online classes:
- Log in to LEO Online and go to your course schedule in Banner XE.
- Use the search fields to find the classes you want.
- An online section will have "UG in Hampton Roads" or "GR in Hampton Roads" as the Campus. Hover over the class to see the Building -- online classes will say "WC" or "WEB2 ONLINE HAMPTON ROADS".
- If you do not see a meeting day or time listed, then your class will have few or no live meetings. You will access your course space online and complete assignments according to your professor's instructions.
- If you see a meeting day and time, you will be expected to login and attend class at that specific day/time.
- Select and register for the online section you want.
- Don't forget to DROP the section you no longer want! ODU does not automatically remove students from classes if they do not attend.
Let your academic advisor know if you need help with scheduling/registration for online classes as a campus student.
Option B: Shift permanently to online classes for the rest of your program
If you do not intend to return to campus to finish your degree, you can make the switch permanent by changing your campus code to online.
You will need to register for classes under your new campus code, and drop any courses that are not online.
- Check the fall course schedule to see if seats are open in the online section you need.
- If seats are not available, contact firstname.lastname@example.org before making any schedule changes.
- If seats are available, complete the Campus Change Request Form.
- Not all majors are available completely online. If your major is not available, you have two options:
- If your major is available online, your campus code will be updated in 1-2 business days.
- When your campus code is changed, you will also be connected with an ODUOnline Student Success Director for advising support.
Newly admitted students
- Confirm your intent to enroll.
- Complete the Campus Change Request Form.
- Not all majors can be completed online. If your major is not available, you will be asked to select one that is. View online programs here.
- If your major is available to complete online, your campus code will be updated in 1-2 business days.
- You will then complete the checklist for new online students:
- Complete the ODUOnline New Student Orientation (this is different from the virtual Monarch Orientation).
- Contact your newly assigned ODUOnline Student Success Director to schedule a Zoom meeting.
- Complete any needed placement tests for writing, math, and/or chemistry.
- Meet with your Student Success Director to finish your orientation and register for fall online courses.
How is the online course different than on campus?
Your instructors will decide how to conduct class online and contact you with this information. Check your ODU student email regularly for updates.
Here's a quick checklist to help you prepare for online classes:
- I have access to a laptop or other computer with a reliable Internet connection.
- I am checking my ODU student email regularly for updates from my instructors.
- I know where to find my course in Blackboard.
- I have access to my homework files, such as Word documents, either online or on my computer.
- I have headphones to listen to a live online class.
What about quizzes and exams?
Your instructor will decide how to conduct assessments and will provide this information in your syllabus or other class materials. If you have any questions about how you will take a specific exam, please contact your instructor for clarification.
ODU has three main tools for online exams: Blackboard, ProctorU, and SmarterProctoring.
Your instructor has the ability to add assessments in your course's Blackboard area. Some exams may require the Respondus Lockdown browser. If your instructor tells you that you need to use this option, review the Respondus LockDown Browser Guide (PDF).
ProctorU is an online service that provides a human proctor to observe your online exam. It's the online version of having your instructor at the front of the classroom while you complete the exam. With ProctorU, each student schedules a specific day and time to take their online exam. If your instructor wants to use ProctorU, click here to review ProctorU instructions for students.
This is an exam scheduling service in Blackboard that allows faculty to make a variety of proctoring options available to you. Options may include:
- Automated Proctoring
- ProctorU Live
- Third-party proctors
- Testing centers
How can I access academic resources online?
ODU has a wide variety of online academic resources, from library services to tutoring. In addition, campus offices are transitioning to online tools for meetings and appointments.
Do I need new software?
Your instructor will decide which tools to use for your online class and coursework. Blackboard is ODU's learning management system, so your instructor will probably upload materials and assignments there.
For live classes, ODU supports the Zoom and Webex web conferencing apps. Zoom and Webex both work in a web browser, which means you don't have to download any additional software. When you launch Zoom or Webex in your browser for the first time, they will ask permission to launch an add-on to start the meeting. Click OK or Yes to allow the add-on. Zoom and Webex are also available as apps for iOS and Android.
Free Software for ODU Students
All of these apps can be used in a web browser, without downloading or installing them on your computer.
- Microsoft Office 365: Apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be accessed online through your MIDAS login. You can also download and install them on your computer to use offline.
- Zoom: Connect to Zoom meetings for class or virtual office hours, or create your own web conference meetings for group work and study sessions.
- Microsoft OneDrive: Cloud storage to create, edit, store and share files, up to 5TB total. Save and edit Microsoft files in OneDrive to free up space on your computer, access your files from any device, and take advantage of auto-save while you edit.
- G Suite for Education (Google Apps): Free use of Google's G Suite features, including Google Drive and Hangouts.
Web Conference Class Guides
- Getting Started in Web Conference Classes
- Zoom Test Link -- Try out Zoom before you need to connect to class.
- Webex Class Test Link -- Try out Webex before you need to connect to class.
For Technical Support
Tips for Taking Class Online
1. Treat online class like being at school.
Establish a time when you will work on assignments or prepare for class. If you have live online class meetings, get dressed and keep your course materials with you, just like you would for an in-person class. If you are used to taking notes on your laptop or by hand, do the same thing in your online class.
Plan to send more emails or make calls to instructors as needed. Please don't make assumptions about assignments or exams. It's always better to ask! Is something unclear? Ask for clarification. We're doing our best to help you, and your questions will guide us, too.
Ask your instructor and classmates if anyone wants to connect outside of regular class time. With video tools like Zoom or Facetime, you can create a "social hour" to chat with your friends and classmates. If you are used to having a regular class together, this can help everyone feel less isolated. Just don't use it as an excuse to avoid homework.
If you have a live online class, keep these in mind:
- Pauses between questions and answers may be longer than usual during online conversations, due to everyone's Internet speeds.
- Speak clearly so everyone can hear you.
- We recommend using a webcam so you and your classmates can see each other. If you don't have a webcam, attend class anyway! If your Internet connection slows down too much with a webcam, turn it off so you can remain connected to class. You will still benefit from the live discussion.
- If you are using a webcam, make eye contact when you are talking to others.
- Have patience with yourself and your classmates as you learn how the webconferencing software works.
3. Set up your workspace.
Choose a specific place in your home where you can do class work without any distractions. Try to avoid areas that are frequently occupied by others, like the living room or family room. Make sure you have plenty of light. If needed, add a lamp, table or chair to help you stay comfortable while you work.
Use your set working time to focus on school work. Turn off social media and video. If you concentrate only on your classwork, you may finish it more quickly.
4. Take breaks when needed.
It's easy to get so focused that we forget to get and move around. Take a break to check on your family or roommates, get a snack, or step outside for some fresh air.
5. Seek out help if you need it.
Please be in frequent contact with your instructor with any questions about course material or expectations.
If you are having difficulty completing assignments or attending online class due to other responsibilities:
- Tell your instructor and academic advisor.
- Contact the Student Outreach & Support (S.O.S.) and ODU Cares teams at email@example.com. These teams provide services to students who experience administrative, academic, or personal road blocks in their academic career.
Special thanks to Dr. Brittany Samulski for these tips.