Academic Gains through Improved Learning Effectiveness (AGILE)

Succeeding As a Remote Learner

Some students have experience with distance learning, while others do not. Remote learning can look quite different from course to course, yet the strategies, services, and resources needed to be successful are relatively consistent. 


  • Know your course expectations: Check your email and Brightspace daily for important course announcements. Understand your 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. (Planning resources, including our USM Semester-at-a-Glance, are available on our Articles, Videos, and Printable Resources page.)
  • 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, 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. 

Technology Resources

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

Learning Commons YouTube Channel

The Learning Commons YouTube Channel contains dozens of videos with step-by-step instructions on using various academic strategies and resources to help you achieve your academic goals. Visit our technology-related YouTube playlists hyperlinked below or visit The Learning Commons YouTube Channel directly to access our comprehensive list! 

YouTube Series:

UMS Academy

UMS Academy offers university and campus-specific content along with more than 50,000 tutorials featuring college life, academic engagement, and leadership topics, plus over 1,000 technology training modules on applications including Microsoft, Google, Adobe, WordPress, and more! The technology trainings are easy to access through your USM LaunchPad, and content is simplified into manageable chunks for efficient completion. Students can self-select to view a specific part of a training or choose to complete one in its entirety. You can access USM Academy directly here.