Student Resources

Beginning in Spring, all classes will be offered remotely. As faculty and students make this transition together, everyone will have to adapt to a new medium of instruction; below are some resources and guides to help students navigate these changes. Students are encouraged to look after themselves and their health; UCI provides resources and information through its Wellness portal.

Getting Started | Online Etiquette | Studying Tips | Video Chatting Tips | Advising Contacts | Zoom and Canvas Tips | Additional Resources

Getting Started

View your schedule in WebSoc where you will be able to find your course instructor name; use this information to search for their email on the UCI directory so that you can contact them to learn how your course will be delivered for spring. All courses will be delivered remotely, but platform is up to each instructor. This means you may have one instructor using Canvas, another on Google Classroom, or maybe another on some combination of email, Zoom and YuJa.

Online Etiquette

The topic of classroom engagement and remote teaching often centers on faculty’s practices to engage students in a lively discussion. Although it is important to plan a clear and engaging delivery, students’ responses to the lecture and their peers must also be productive to foster learning.  As faculty aim to promote positive learning environments, it is important to set guidelines for students regarding properly etiquette and ways to properly interact.

Some faculty may believe their course content is not controversial or has minimal room for debates or misinterpretation. Yet, literature supports that online lectures can lead to miscommunication or misunderstanding. On occasion, discussions can become heated or students may disagree with certain opinions. Please note, all teaching spaces must aim to offer a safe forum of open discussion without inappropriate or hostile comments.  To ensure there is proper Internet etiquette, setting a few guidelines for effective engagement will be useful:


  • Remain respectful of others' views, opinions, and statements
  • Express your thoughts openly while respecting your peers
  • Be courteous and polite
  • Avoid any comments and language that can be offensive
  • Allow peers to finish statements and complete thoughts


  • Use Proper Writing in Discussion Boards
    • Correct spelling, grammar, and style must be considered for posts
    • Address your classmates by name
      • @Julie, thank you for sharing your narrative. I had not considered the impact of siblings’ motivation on college aspirations. 
  • Communicate Professionally
    • No offensive language will be tolerated
    • Share ideas while being thoughtful with your responses
    • Take ownership of ideas – I believe, I think
  • Beware of Camera
    • Most faculty will want to record the session for other students who could not make the class time
    • Know that if your camera is on, you will most likely show up in the recording.
      • If you do not wish to be seen, you can turn off the video
      • Most professors will note their expectations about viewing students
      • If your camera is on and you can be seen by others, be mindful of:
        • what you wear, your surroundings, and anything that might interrupt you, your classmates and the learning environment
      • If you plan to be away for a few minutes, turn off your camera and turn it back on upon your return
      • No need to permission to get a quick bathroom break
      • If you will be away for more than a few minutes, you can write on the chat
        • @professor, I will return in 5 minutes
  • Be Helpful
    • Share tips with your peers
    • Suggest ways to apply the subject
    • Share resources and links as appropriate
    • Craft a thoughtful response
  • Respect Diversity
    • Guard your personal biases and show respect for differences
    • Respect people of all genders, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, religions, and race
    • Be sensitive to other’s socioeconomic class and abilities
    • Show compassion for others’ experiences
    • Derogative and sarcastic jokes are not acceptable
  • Stay Focused
    • All communication must be course centered
    • No spamming
      • Spam is unwanted messages sent to peers
      • Think before sending a random video or picture to classmates – How will this help our learning?
  • No Flaming, Trolling, or Bullying
    • Flaming is to be mean or deliberately hurt someone online
    • Trolls are people who deliberately “flamebait” in a chatroom or discussion board to create conflict
    • No tantrums or criticism will be accepted during academic forums
    • No insults or disrespect
    • Feedback must be constructive
    • Rants are not acceptable
    • No profanity will be tolerated
    • If you are a target to a personal attack, do not respond to it –
      • Professor will address the TROLL

More tips: (Peter Connor, )

Studying Tips

  1. Be sure to have reliable internet access.
    • If you do not, explore the free and discounted options offered
  2. Contact your instructor to learn their expectations for the quarter.
  3. Review your course syllabus to be ready for the online learning experience.
  4. Visit Canvas if one is available for the course.
  5. Practice on Zoom to ensure all is ready for the first week of lecture.
  6. Build a study plan with dates and times.
    • Study blocks are helpful.
    • Don’t try to do all at once.
    • Break down tasks.
    • Ask questions.
    • Set deadlines 1 week prior to final deadline.
  7. Stick to your schedule as much as possible.
    • Minimize distractions during your study time.
  8. Review materials and repeat.
  9. Actively participate.
    • Do discussion boards.
    • Take notes.
  10. Find a study buddy in the class.
  11. Join a study team.
  12. Use online resources.
  13. Create a study space.
    • Try to have a table on which to set your laptop.
    • Consider lighting.
    • Try to be comfortable.

Video Chatting Tips

  1. Use the camera. 
  2. Sit by lighting for best images. 
  3. Pick a backdrop for privacy.
  4. Note the voice control.
  5. Be aware of your body language, attire and surroundings.

Advising Contacts

The Physical Sciences Student Affairs office can be reached for academic advising through ZotChat or over email at

Zoom and Canvas Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with Zoom
  • Learn some great tips on using Canvas
  • Stressing about Respondus LockDown Browser? Check out this helpful video on what it is and how it's used  

Additional Resources

The Department of Earth System Science acknowledges our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples, who still hold strong cultural, spiritual and physical ties to this region.