We recognize this is a time of high stress and uncertainty. Any change can be challenging, particularly when sudden or unexpected. The shift to a completely-online experience for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester certainly falls within this category.
Some students have experience with distance learning, while others do not. This is also true for USM professors, all of whom will be working hard to help you finish your coursework this semester. During this transition period, your professors will be providing you with the details on how you will be able to complete your courses in an online environment. This will likely look quite different from course to course, yet the strategies, services, and resources needed to be successful are relatively consistent. Please refer to our "Making the Pivot to Online Learning" article and graphic for step-by-step guidance.
- Know your course expectations: Check your email and BlackBoard (or other Learning Management System) daily for important course announcements. Understand your revised course expectations including how and when you will participate, deadlines, and the software programs you will be using.
- Manage your learning environment: Create a dedicated study space with minimal distractions. Have necessary course materials, access to a device for completing work, and reliable internet access.
- Structure your time: It can be easy to fall behind when you are not physically going to a classroom. Create a daily and weekly plan, including specific times throughout the week that you will designate to each of your courses.
- Schedule virtual study groups: Use Zoom to connect with classmates live with audio, video, screen sharing, and document sharing. An additional benefit of group study is that it can help reduce the social isolation that could result from not being in the classroom.
Please explore our AGILE website for additional strategies that would best support your academic efforts in the remainder of the semester, many of which are summarized on our Online Course Tips for Success handout. Also, since every course experience is going to be different, we encourage you to stay in touch with your faculty, reaching out to them with any questions, big or small.
Click the following links* to easily view available appointments and schedule a time to meet with a trained peer:
- Tutoring: Subject-Based Tutoring
- Tutoring: Writing Assistance
- Peer Academic Coaching
- Technology Assistance
*you must use your Maine Street login credentials.
For more information on what Zoom will allow you and your tutor to do during an appointment, including how to work together and details on each of the Zoom functions, please visit the Meet With A Subject-Based Tutor Online or Meet With A Writing Assistant Online pages. Need help? This video, created by one of the Learning Commons tutors, walks students through the process of scheduling an appointment.
Library services remain available to support research, and online instruction, including access to electronic resources. Please visit the Remote Library Resources page for detailed information, including how to connect with a librarian via Ask-a-Librarian chat.
Please also visit the "USM Libraries - Research & Tutoring Assistance" Zoom meeting space, created to serve as the Library and Learning Commons frontline service in order to provide library and reference support, in addition to assisting students with questions about online tutoring and academic support options, scheduling tutoring appointments, and using the Zoom platform for tutoring.
- USM Libraries Research & Tutoring Assistance Zoom link: https://maine.zoom.us/j/344799789
- The Zoom meeting space is monitored by Library staff and student Navigators and will operate Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday 9am-5pm, and Sunday 3pm-7pm.
The online learning environment will require you to become familiar with the technologies and platforms used by your faculty. Please visit the following links to learn more about our most frequently used technologies.
For technical issues, including MyUSM logins, connectivity, or other access issues, please contact the USM Help Desk at (207)780-4029 or usm.maine.edu/computing/helpdesk.
We will continue to update this site as conditions change, as and as more online services become available in the weeks to come.