Synchronous FAQs

COVID-19 signage outside Bellarmine 

The following answers to FAQs serve as a starting point for all Albers courses. You should use these to guide your initial preparations for online class sessions. Instructors will make the final determination to clarify these and other course-specific policies in their course syllabi.

Do I need to attend synchronous class sessions regularly?

Yes, if required by the instructor.

The expectations for attendance in synchronous online sessions are the same as a face-to-face class. Please check SU Online for when your synchronous online (or hybrid) course meets and confirm these meetings with the syllabus for the course. Successful students have recognized that regular attendance dramatically helped them on their assignments and exams. As is long-standing policy, some instructors may grade on attendance and report regular absences to the University. If you must miss a synchronous online session, please notify your instructor in advance. You may be able to get notes from a peer and then make an appointment with your instructor if you have specific questions after reviewing those notes.

What if I live in a time zone that makes attendance difficult?

Consider your options.

Please review your course options on SU Online. Another section of the course may be offered in a synchronous online format at a different time, in a hybrid format, or in an asynchronous format. If you identify a more suitable course section, please communicate with Albers Advising in advance and state your concerns regarding the time difference.

In some instances, there may be no suitable alternative. You should consult with Albers Advising about taking the course in another quarter, when there may be sections taught in a different format. If taking the course in another quarter is not a suitable option, reach out to your instructor and explain your concern and what you’ve done so far to address it. Instructors may be more accommodating if your request is reasonable and they know you’ve exhausted your other options.

Will synchronous classes be recorded?

Instructors will decide on a case-by-case basis.

Instructors will determine what best suits the learning environment for their courses. Some instructors may choose to record online sessions routinely. Other instructors may choose not to record, and in such cases, those instructors may upload onto Canvas other materials that may be useful but not replace participation in class.

Do I need to have my webcam on and mic ready during class?

Yes, but troubleshoot any specific concerns about this with your instructor so that you can meet course objectives and practice professional skills.

We're members of a shared community of learning, and this means that we're fully present for one another through visible and vocal participation. You’ll need voice to interact in real time with your instructor and your classmates and to participate in class and small-group activities. And showing your face in the meetings helps build community, enables greater communication, and demonstrates professional courtesy.

Requiring meeting participants to share video is a complex issue. If you have any specific concerns about sharing your video feed, please discuss those concerns with your instructor well in advance. Just as in face-to-face courses, your instructors are here to troubleshoot with you so that you’re able to meet course learning objectives and practice professional skills. If you would like to protect your privacy during a recorded portion of any synchronous online session, you can turn your camera off, use a pseudonym, and post private questions to the instructor in the chat during the recording.

Of course, any one of us can suffer an occasional technology fail, but we make apologies and have a plan for fixing it before the next meeting. For important meetings in a professional setting (clients, investors, etc.), we even have a backup plan. Look for what in the course might be equivalent (midterm exam? final exam? day when you're presenting?) and consider early on what your backup plan might be. Please raise any individual concerns with your instructor well in advance.

Webcams and mics are often sold as a single piece of equipment and start around $30. The University Library is loaning laptops with webcams and mics, as well as internet hotspots, to qualifying students free of charge. Another alternative is to join Zoom with one device (e.g., desktop) to hear the session audio, and then join Zoom with another device (e.g., a smartphone with a functioning camera and mic) to turn on your video and audio. Consider practicing this alternative ahead of time.

What is similar between room and Zoom?

How you conduct yourself and develop your professionalism.

In class, you'd be dressed appropriately and sitting at a table or desk. You'd also refrain from distractions such as other electronics, non-course activities, or food. In class, you’d also raise any individual concerns with your instructor well in advance. It's the same in Zoom. And the revised Code of Student Conduct applies to University-related online and virtual programs and activities.

Many companies are looking to hire graduates who can be professional and focused in an online setting, so the etiquette practiced here contributes to your professional formation. In an effort to promote a shared learning experience, instructors may address concerns about disruptive or distracted students in synchronous online classes just as they would in a face-to-face class.