Support for Digital Learning at Amherst College

A person presenting in front of a screen showing a digital document A critical part of Amherst’s strategy for remote learning during the remainder of Spring 2020 is ensuring that you have the tools and support needed to continue your Amherst College educational experience. Our entire academic community is committed to meeting student needs for engaging in our digital learning environment while maintaining intellectual engagement and sustaining faculty-student relationships, peer learning, and community. This site offers a central point of information about these resources.

Additional information about finals, grades, graduation, registration, financial aid, and other important questions are being addressed by the College via the COVID-19 FAQ page under the heading “academics.”


Remote Learning Strategies

  1. Practice with the technology: Gain clarity on the technological expectations for each course by carefully reading communications from your faculty which may include emails, the course moodle site, and updated course expectations in the syllabus. Make a list of these technologies and become familiar with and practice using them.
  2. Communicate regularly with your faculty: Be sure to ask questions and take advantage of opportunities to connect with your faculty through email, office hours, and class. Familiarize yourself with netiquette expectations to maximize positive relationship building between you and your faculty as well as with your peers.
  3. Engage with your classmates: The more you engage in class discussions and seek out opportunities for community with classmates both within and outside the formal structures of the course, you will benefit from an increased sense of ownership of your learning. You will also continue to cultivate critical professional and personal relationships.
  4. Develop a structure for engaging with your classes: You may have more flexibility, but the demands of course work within a remote learning environment can be a challenge. Set aside consistent blocks of time to complete course work and identify a location that will be most conducive for working effectively. Additionally, begin assignments and other course work as soon as possible so that you can surface potential challenges and have plenty of time to seek out clarification and support.
  5. Find times for a digital break: In our new digital learning reality most of us will be spending more time online than ever before. Try to avoid digital overload and spend some time outside, hanging out with people in your household, cooking, gardening, or something else to give yourself a break from the digital.
Want more tips? Check out the University of Michigan resource for adjusting your study habits.

Amherst College Support for Academic Success

Academic Support Services

Teaching assistants, faculty office hours, and other modes of academic support will continue to be available remotely. Please reach out to your faculty member if you have any questions about this and take a look at the Academic Advising & Support website.

Peer Tutoring is available to students, free of charge, who are enrolled in Amherst courses and, for a variety of reasons, find themselves in need of tutorial assistance. The Peer Tutoring Program is overseen by the Office of Student Affairs.

Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services is the only designated office at the College for students to voluntarily disclose a disability(ies), submit appropriate documentation for verification, and request accommodations. Accessibility Services coordinates and provides accommodations to students with all types of disabilities, in an environment of mutual respect. If you have questions about your accomodations in relation to the transition to a remote, digital learning environment please reach out to accessibility services via email at accessibility@amherst.edu or by phone at 413-542-2337.

Support for Writing

The Writing Center will continue to offer students one-on-one support for writing and speaking. WCOnline, the Writing Center's appointment scheduler, is now enabled for remote appointments, and associates can work with you through videoconference, telephone, Google docs, email, or other modes of communication. Consultations on public speaking, including speaking and presenting in digital environments, can be arranged by emailing Susan Daniels. The Writing Center also maintains curated lists of resources on various writing and public speaking topics

Research and Additional Library Support

We've put together a guide for Doing Research Remotely, and research help is available (9am - 7pm) via chat, Zoom, and email. Check out our new Research Process guide for a big-picture overview, step-by-step help, and resources.

Renew your own books for additional 3-month loans and bring them back to campus with you (seniors, we'll be in touch), but contact us with any questions. And we're working with your faculty to make print-reserve material accessible.

Staying Connected

Many of your faculty will be using moodle as their main communication platform. Make sure that you are checking your Amherst College email as well as your Moodle course sites regularly.

Moodle resources for students.

 

Software Access

Most of the software used in classroom labs can also be installed on students’ personal computers.

The IT-maintained Available Software web site describes how to access such software, if available.

Support in Quantitative Courses

The Q Center will continue to offer students individual appointments for support in Quantitative Courses. The appointment confirmation will come with a link to a Zoom meeting room. Students should check with their professors about current TA drop-in hours and faculty office hours.

A Note About Video Conferencing

It is likely that many faculty will be using video conferencing as a way to have synchronous communication with you throughout the remainder of the semester. Your faculty will communicate directly with you about how you will engage in the learning for each course. Below are some common tools and information about how to use them.

  • Google Meet is included as part of Amherst’s G Suite. In addition to meeting with your professor through google meet, you might use this to connect with other students whether directed to by the faculty member or as a self-directed way to stay connected with your peers.
  • Zoom is a useful tool for connecting remotely. In addition to being used by your professor for classes, you might also use this to connect and work with classmates on projects, problem sets, or other assignments. Getting Started with Zoom.
  • Be sure that you have access to a webcam and microphone as this will be critical to your staying engaged with and completing many of your courses. Most laptops have these built in to the computer. If you have any questions about this please reach out to askit@amherst.edu

Video Conferencing Options at Amherst