Keep Learning

Information about Learning Remotely


Help! My class has transitioned to a remote course. Where should I start?
Hopefully by now, you have heard from​ your instructor on how your course will proceed. If you haven’t heard from your instructor, please check your UIS e-mail address. You should also log into Canvas to see if the instructor has posted an announcement for your course. If you can’t find any communication from your instructor, you should first e-mail them. Their e-mail address may be available on the UIS Directory or in the UIS Exchange Directory in email. If you are still struggling with how to proceed, e-mail

I’m worried about learning online.  Should I be concerned?
There are a lot of myths surrounding online learning.  Listen to fellow UIS students debunk some of those myths. OpenSUNY also provides some resources and advice for succeeding in an online environment.

What tools are commonly used during remote courses?
The most commonly-used tools used at UIS are CanvasZoomKaltura Personal CaptureGoogle Apps for Education, and Box.  Students have access to software that can be used in their classes. A full of teaching and learning software is available.

I’ve never used Canvas. What is it and where can I find help?
Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) used at UIS to provide online learning for students. It is also used to supplement on-ground courses.  Your instructor may use the Canvas course site to send announcements, post course materials, administer exams, assign and collect assignments, and provide grading feedback. View our Introduction to Canvas website for an overview of how to use Canvas.

My instructor is going to use Canvas to teach remotely. How often should I log-on?
Your instructor may provide more specific instructions, but it is generally helpful to log in at least 2-3 times per week to ensure that you stay up to date.

I’ve never used Zoom. What is it and where can I find help?
Zoom is a video conferencing platform available to faculty and students. View our Introduction to Zoom website for an overview of Zoom. Zoom also provides a video showing how to connect to a Zoom session.

I’ve never used Kaltura Personal Capture. What is it and where can I find help?
Kaltura Personal Capture is a program that makes it easy for users to create and upload videos to Canvas. View our Kalture Personal Capture website for more information.

I’ve never used Google Apps for Education. What is it and where can I find help?
Through the Google Apps for Education, students have access to various software programs including GoogleDocs for word processing, GoogleGroups for collaboration, GoogleDrive for file storage, and more. View our Google Apps for Education website for more information.

I’ve never used Box. What is it and where can I find help?
Box provides online file sharing and storage. View our Box website for more information.

How should I communicate with my instructor and classmates?
Your instructor should provide guidance on how your course is proceeding, including their preferred communication methods.

How do I create a presentation or video for my class? 
Kaltura Personal Capture can be used to create and record a video presentation. Videoconferences using Zoom can be recorded.  GoogleSlides could also be used.

How do I collaborate with a group?
There are several options for collaborating with a group. Your instructor may create a Group for collaboration within Canvas. If your instructor does not provide specific guidance on how to collaborate, you may choose to use Zoom for videoconference or Google Apps for document sharing.

How do I get math and writing support while I’m off-campus?
Students can reach the Learning Hub via e-mail at to access virtual and telephone tutoring appointments, assistance with online learning and communication with faculty, and virtual supplemental instruction sessions for designated courses.

How do I get technology assistance?
ITS is available via phone at (217) 206-6000, toll-free at (877) 847-0443, and via e-mail at​. ITS also has limited walk-in hours as posted on the ITS website.

How do I get assistance with library resources?
Brookens Library resources and librarians are available remotely. See the Fall 2020: What to Expect at the Library website for more information.

How do I access other student services, such as the Career Development Center, the Counseling Center, or Health Services?
Many Student Affairs Offices and Centers can be reached via e-mail or via voice message.

What should I do if I don’t have a reliable Internet connection at home?
The following companies are offering free or low-cost internet service during the crisis (subject to change at the companies’ discretion):

  1. Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile will not disconnect anyone for the next 60 days. They participated in the “Keep Americans Connected” Pledge.
  2. Comcast is offering an Internet Essentials package for free for 60 days during the coronavirus outbreak. For new customers, call 1-855-846-8376 (English) or 1-855-765-6995 (Spanish).
  3. AT&T “will continue to offer internet data to qualifying limited income households for $10 a month.” “AT&T is waiving fees for going over data caps.” Call 1-855-821-2962.
  4. Verizon “will waive upgrade fees starting March 18. This applies to all purchases and service-only activations made through and the
    myverizon app.” [Verizon] “will waive late fees for the next 60 days [starting March 20—so until about May 18].” “Its home broadband plans already come
    with unlimited data.”
  5. T-Mobil will “be providing unlimited data on all mobile plans for the next 60 days. This includes T-Mobile and Metro customers. It will also be providing an
    additional 20GB of its mobile hotspot service for the next 60 days.”
  6. Sprint will “offer unlimited data for 60 days starting… March 19, and … will also provide customers with an extra 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for the
    same time period. Sprint is also waiving late fees from [March 13 on], and won’t terminate services if customers are unable to pay their bill due to the impacts of
    the coronavirus.”
  7. Charter Communication announced it will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription.

If you are still struggling with how to proceed, e-mail

What should I do if I don’t have a computer at home?
Students may make arrangements to checkout a laptop at the ITS help desk if they do not have access to one. If you are still struggling with how to proceed, e-mail

Who do I contact if I have a question that isn’t addressed in this site?
For questions specific to your course, like how an assignment or exam will be handled or what to expect from the class during this period of online instruction, contact your course instructor. For additional help, access the UIS A-Z Index.