Professors' Tips For Virtual Learning

When classes were unexpectedly switched to online in March, it was a challenge for all of us. It became harder to communicate, to comprehend, and for me, to focus. Many professors mentioned that teaching online required many more hours of work and a lot of patience. During this time, we should be more understanding of each other till things go back to normal.

Woman on Laptop

Some of the tips came from Professor Conrad, Professor Dicken, and Professor Hochberg. Here is what professors would like you to know about virtual learning:

1. Engage in conversation

It’s hard enough to give lectures through zoom, so when students keep quiet throughout the entire class it becomes harder for professors to teach. Professor Hochberg suggested to ask questions and volunteer to answer some. If students don’t engage, professors feel as though they are teaching blindly. They want to help you as much as they would if classes were in-person, so make it easier for everyone by communicating. The lecture will be more effective if students are responding to what is being taught. Not to mention time will also go by faster.

2. Keep your camera on

Another suggestion from Professor Hochberg was if we want to make classes feel as in-person as possible, keep the camera on. This will make professors feel you are engaging in the class. Again, if they can’t see students, it may feel like they are teaching blindly. If professors can see you, it is also easier for them to know whether you are understanding the lecture.

3. Think of this as a great learning experience

Several professors, including Professor Conrad, mentioned that different types of teaching styles and formats is a good thing. This teaches us flexibility and adaptability. Think about it this way, if you work for a company and you switch departments, would you expect your new boss to do things the exact same way as your old boss? Our generation especially needs to adapt to this new normal. Moving forward many things will stay digital. Other professors mentioned they enjoyed teaching hybrid classes because it resembles the workplace.


Classes only meet once a week now, so communicate as much as you can. Let your professors know if you are struggling. Even though most classes a virtual, you can still contact your professors during business hours. Don’t let the fact that most classes are virtual affect how much you communicate with your professor. Professor Dicken said, “as long as you're doing everything you can to succeed in the class, that’s all I want to see.” Communicate with your professor and let them know if you are having trouble. Whether it be with your computer, internet access, or just the class in general.