Students - Your Classes are Virtual
CSUSB is working hard to keep us safe during the coronavirus by following "stay at home" orders. This guide supports you in shifting your learning from in-person to virtual courses.
You will have many questions as you experience this type of new learning. It won't always be easy, but if you follow these steps, it can be as smooth as possible.
Self care is an crucial part of learning. Below, find resources that can help make sure your basic needs are met, both physically, mentally and emotionally during this challenging time.
- Up-to-date COVID Communication from University and Community
- Emergency COVID-19 Resources for Students
- How to Access Health Services
- Medical Help for Students Feeling Sick
- Virtual Community Building and Events
The one thing we can count on during times of change is that sometimes we may need a little assistance. The services listed below will keep us connected with the resources we need to succeed.
Online learning uses different "stuff" than the in-person classroom. That means there are new strategies for success.
- Free Software
- Training for Software
- Help with your Blackboard class
- Navigating Bb
- Blackboard Calendar
- Using the Bb “To Do” Function
- Attending Zoom Office Hours
- Blackboard Email
- Taking a test on Bb
- Submitting Assignments
- Blackboard Discussions
- Looking at My Grades in Bb
- Help with other tools on Blackboard
- Recording yourself presenting from a Powerpoint
- Post a video recording on VoiceThread
- Post an Audio File on VoiceThread
- Using VoiceThread to post a text response
- Recording yourself in GoReact
Your mindset and your self-discipline are going to be important now, more than ever. It may not always be easy, but education is worth it. These resources are here to support you as you take on this challenge.
- Create a working space at home
- Communication with the Instructor
- Thriving in a Virtual Course (Self-Regulation)
- Building Rapport with Instructor and Peers Virtually
- Time Management in an Online Course
- Using a Task Manager
- Creating and Managing a Study Group on Zoom
- Creating and Managing a Study Group on Slack
- Student-to-Student Tips
Things to Do
- Wash Hands Often
- Practice Social Distancing
- Meet in Groups
- Shake Hands
CSUSB is committed to student success. Given the unusual circumstances that Fall 2020 semester will be delivered in an alternative and virtual modality, this page was made to provide resources and information to ensure our student’s success in learning in a virtual environment.
Free New York Times Subscription
You now have access to the New York Times! thanks to the collaborative partnership between the President’s Office, Associated Students Incorporated (ASI), the Faculty Center for Excellence (FCE), ITS, and the John M. Pfau Library. Activate your access today
HETS Virtual Plaza
The Hispanic Educational Technology Resources (HETS) Virtual Plaza offers CSUSB students free access to over 300 online practice exams including the SAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, NCLEX, LSAT, MCAT, and ASVAB.
You can log-in by visiting the Cengage Learning website and entering the code: calstate2013. Once logged in, select the Testing & Education Reference Center and then College Prep Tools from the menu. Additionally, CSUSB students can explore careers, scholarships, internships and financial aid opportunities.
Free SPSS Software
IBM SPSS Software versions 26 and 27 are now available at no cost to CSUSB students until July 31, 2021. To request the software, students need to click on the following link:
Free Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe has made its Creative Suite available to all students free of charge until August 31, 2021. Please visit our software page to take advantage of Adobe Creative Suite and all the software available at no cost to CSUSB students: https://www.csusb.edu/its/software/student-software
Many of the campus-licensed software such as Microsoft Office 365, ESET Antivirus, HETS Virtual Plaza, JMP, Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor, ArcGIS Online, will continue to be available to students for download at https://www.csusb.edu/its/software/student-software.
Coyote Labs: Virtual Computer Labs
With campus labs being closed to students, ITS has created means for students to access computer lab resources remotely. A number of campus computer labs are accessible from a web browser at https://csusb.edu/coyote-labs. After you log in, you can access all the software in these labs as if you are physically there.
Follow the few simple steps at https://www.csusb.edu/its/support/student-virtual-lab-access to get access to the virtual labs and many popular software packages such as: SPSS, ArcGIS, JMP, R/RStudio, Adobe Creative Suite, and more. The breakdown of available workstations is as follows:
- The Cave (PL-1109): 71 stations
- Chemistry Lab (CS-333): 14 stations*
- Health Science Lab (PS-224): 40 stations
- Mathematics Lab (JB-390): 41 stations*
- Computer Science Virtual Lab: 30 stations*
- COE Lab (CE-205): 24 stations
- Psychology Lab (SB-463): 29 stations*
- Geography Lab (SB-359): 25 stations*
- JHBC Open Lab (JB-127): 72 stations:
- Accessibility Lab (PL-1109): 14 stations
*access limited to certain majors
Laptop Lending Program
The John M. Pfau Library Laptop Lending Program continues to distribute laptops to students who need them for the spring semester. In order to promote social distancing and to reduce lines, students need to fill out a reservation form at https://csusb.edu/laptop-checkout. Laptop reservations are limited to students who do not have access to technology resources at home. Palm Desert Campus students will be able to pick up the laptop at the PDC.
Virtual Library Multimedia Center
The Virtual Library Multimedia Center has just about everything you need to produce great videos for your class assignments: free media production resources, quick how-to videos, and more. Our Media Services Specialist gives you one-on-one help with your DIY video questions and offers online workshops on video production. For more information, see:
Check Out Audio-Visual Equipment
The Multimedia Center also offers an Audio-Visual Equipment Lending program, through which we loan digital SLR cameras, camcorders, GoPros, and more to CSUSB students with valid Coyote ID at no cost. For more information, see:
We have pulled together a curated list of resources at https://www.csusb.edu/its/support/covid-19-internet-access. This includes parking areas on campus that have WiFi coverage, as well as a list of Internet Service Providers and cellular carriers that have expanded their services to customers.
If you would like to request a hotspot for Internet access at home, please fill out the mobile hotspot request form. We have a limited supply of mobile hotspots for students who need them. Palm Desert Campus students will be able to pick up the hotspot at the PDC.
Student Technology and Resources (STAR) Team
This team of ITS student assistants are standing by to answer your technology questions or to direct them to the appropriate response team and resources. The STAR team is available Monday – Saturday, 8am – 5pm to assist you. You can reach them live during this time through the TSC bot on the Technology Support Center website: https://support.csusb.edu, via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 909-537-STAR(7827)
The Technology Support Center will continue to be available 24/7 at (909) 537-7677, email@example.com and on the web at https://support.csusb.edu. Please continue to visit our Student Resources for Virtual Learning webpage as we will continue to post available information there.
Learn About Zoom - Video Conferencing
ITS Training Services offers the campus community assistance with Zoom, CSUSB's video conferencing tool.
Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging. Zoom transforms the real-time collaboration experience and offers the best video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing experience across various platforms. The trainer will guide you through set-up, personal profile settings, and basic meeting scheduling.
In addition, ITS Training Services would also like to offer training sessions for the following tools in order to better prepare students for success in learning in a virtual environment.
Microsoft Word Fundamental
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks
Microsoft Excel Fundamental
Microsoft Excel Intermediate
Microsoft PowerPoint Fundamental
Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Trick
Qualtrics Tips and Trick
Zoom Video Conferencing
Microsoft Teams Intro
Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks
All sessions will be held online, tune-in to the training virtually.
We highly encourage you to pre-register for these trainings before seats fill up!
If you have any questions please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (909) 537-7425.
You don’t need to be a technical expert to succeed in a virtual learning environment or to navigate an online classroom. As long as you are able to do basic things on the internet such as search Google, navigate websites, and send email, you will do fine with navigating through Blackboard, the CSUSB learning management system.
There are many different ways for your professors to deliver content and materials online.
- Synchronous delivery (live or real-time) delivery by Zoom: Your professor will have students join a “live” class using the Zoom web-conferencing app at the scheduled meeting time of the course. They may create breakout rooms during the sessions so groups of students can discuss course content before re-joining the main group.
- Asynchronous delivery: Your professor may post class materials (e.g. reading assignments, recorded lectures, quizzes, etc) on Blackboard where you can learn at your own pace. Assignments may have due dates and times to which you will need to adhere.
Your professors will deliver courses via different methods, so you need to be proactive on reaching out to your professor to understand their teaching method for a specific course.
You will also need to be proactive by reaching out for help. Your instructors won’t know what’s normal or abnormal for you.
One major difference when it comes to online learning is being physically separated from your professor. It makes it harder for them to realize that you may require additional assistance. For example, if you are consistently receiving lower than expected grades on your assignments in a particular course, your instructor may assume that is just on par for the course for you. They don’t necessarily know you tend to perform better.
Students should recognize they may need to connect with their instructor by sending an email or picking up the phone. Online students need to have a certain amount of patience. For example, if you email your instructor, you may not get an immediate response. It may come a day later.
Even though you may be the only one at your computer, you are not alone. Just as with a face-to-face course, interactions with your peers and your instructor are critical to you having a rich, engaging experience in the course. Be sure to go out of your way to introduce yourself to others. These are the people with whom you will work throughout the quarter and it pays to build strong relationships. Don’t just say “hi” and retreat into seclusion. Stay in touch!