Northwestern is committed to ensuring students remain connected to courses and learning resources while participating remotely. This page provides you with a checklist of items to ensure you are prepared for—and can excel at—studies and participation in courses via Canvas, Zoom, and other online tools.
The Coronavirus/COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQ) also continue to be updated at the University level, including specific sections on Academics, Summer Classes and Programs, and more. For school-specific questions and resources, please refer to the College and Schools Coronavirus Websites.
To recommend additional information for these pages, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What technology will I need for my classes?
Check the information below for recommendations to ensure your device(s) can deliver an optimal learning experience. Please also be sure to check with your school or unit for any specific program or course-related recommendations or requirements.
- Download the Canvas app. Apps are available for both iOS and Android devices. Guide to the app.
- Review and modify your notification settings in Canvas so that you receive all notifications right away. View the guide.
- Review the Canvas guide on turning in assignments, so you are prepared for instructors asking you to turn in assignments in Canvas.
- Get started using Zoom. Northwestern provides students full access to use Zoom to stay connected to faculty, classmates, and colleagues, in-or-outside of virtual classes.
- Review the Zoom tip sheet for students.
- Read tips on how to protect against "Zoombombing."
- Check your residence’s bandwidth and Wi-Fi coverage; a stable internet connection of 10Mb/s for download and 3Mb/s for upload (or greater) is recommended. If watching videos or taking part in a web conference is difficult, you may need to notify your instructor.
- If you need internet connection assistance, read more about staying connected or troubleshooting home internet.
- You will have the most success with laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices that are less than five years old and meet the University's hardware recommendations; special pricing is available through Dell, Apple, and CDWG.
- You may also want to have:
- *Speakers, headphones, or earphones
- *Microphone—wired or wireless
- *Webcam (if not already included on your device)
*University preferred vendor CDWG offers discounted accessories for purchase by students. Visit www.cdwg.com/northwestern to view headset, headphone/earphone, microphone, and webcam options. Users can refine their search and shop by price to identify affordable options.
- Check that your web browser is capable of accessing Canvas and CAESAR.
- Ensure you have access to your Google G Suite.
- Download the latest version of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus.
- Protect your computer from cyber threats with antivirus software; view other tips for securing your device.
- Vist the Libraries Remote PC Access page to learn more about options to access workstations and software available at Northwestern library locations.
Where can I get my course materials?
We strongly recommend ordering course materials as soon as possible. When you place an order from any vendor, be sure to check the delivery dates as, in many instances, shipping and delivery timelines are becoming longer. Where possible, consider ordering course materials in a digital format. Please also note:
- For many classes, all required materials may be available on Canvas, so check your course Canvas page.
- The University Bookstore is providing free shipping for Spring Quarter. Choose your bookstore below, and select the “Textbooks” tab on top of the main menu bar. The “Find Course Materials” page will appear. Please follow the instructions to place your order.
- An Amazon Kindle book may be downloaded and viewed on a desktop computer or laptop.
- The Libraries offer remote resources and services to help students complete research from afar. Visit the Spring Quarter updates page for details and recommendations for temporarily free access to e-books and other materials from the Internet Archive National Emergency Library and other sources.
How can I learn effectively in remote classes?
- Learning remotely takes some getting used to. Read about strategies for learning and performing at your best during COVID-19.
- How you work with student groups and class projects is also different, and there are best practices for virtual teamwork. Read more about virtual teamwork.
- Learn about support from the Center for Leadership, including a Teamwork Assessment that helps students apply research-based best practices, provides anonymous peer feedback during the project, and rates each student’s teamwork performance. For advice about teamwork or to use the assessment, contact the Center for Leadership at email@example.com.
How can I get technology support?
- Chat with Canvas Support (Students) - Live chat or call 855-680-0126
- Canvas Learning Center
- Canvas Student Center
Zoom offers 24/7 live support, including national holidays. You will find Support in the upper-right-hand section of your account page or via the blue Help button on the bottom-right-hand side of your screen. We encourage you to bookmark Zoom Support and take advantage of the following support options.
- Zoom Help Center - Provides access to a host of helpful videos and instructions; you can also watch video tutorials on most Zoom features
- Live Training - Allows you to join live Zoom training sessions
- Live Chat or call 888-799-9666
- Submit an Email Request to Zoom Support
In some cases, Northwestern schools offer individualized or supplementary support for students through their IT organizations. Learn more about school-specific support options.