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Tips to Help Students Survive Remote University

March 20, 2020 / PSU-AAUP

  1. Spring term remote teaching is a limited-time response to this crisis. In other words: please give yourself, your colleagues, and your students a lot of patience as we work to continue our educational mission during this time of crisis. We are not developing “fully online” courses for spring term.

  2. The Office of Academic Innovation has a variety of resources available to cope through this urgent need to shift to a remote format. See Keep Teaching Kit

  3. We are also encouraging those faculty members who are able to share tips and suggestions on remote learning with those who are interested, either informally, or by signing our “I would like to support a colleague” form.

  4. OIT has an important new service that allows students, faculty and staff to download and install the latest version of the MS Office Suite, including MS Word, for free. OIT Service Desk.

  5. Just do your best under the circumstances. 

    • This may mean using the first week, or first two weeks, as a “soft start” — to test run technology, adapt to unexpected glitches, think as creatively as possible, and to be as flexible as possible with yourself and your students. (Many of our students will be accessing our courses with just a smartphone!) 

  6. Chairs and supervisors are aware that moving courses to a remote model with 1-2 week’s notice is an extreme situation.

  7. For your students, may we suggest that you:

    • Communicate as soon as possible to your students, on your D2L page messaging, and through email, a note of reassurance, letting them know you understand that they were not necessarily expecting to take your course remotely.

    • Plan to do your best to deliver as much content as possible, to promote as much engagement and critical thinking as possible, and to achieve the learning goals that you usually expect for your “live” courses. But prepare them, however, for the inevitable: glitches will occur, delays are possible, and we all will need to extend patience to one another.

    • Keep in mind, as you plan your remote course, that the lowest common denominator for many students may be a smart phone. 

  8. Here are some cable companies that are offering free internet services to students who need it during the Covid-19 shutdowns:

  9. E-Books: ProQuest is offering free digital access to their holdings.

10.  Yale University Press makes online resources available to students for free.

11. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) developed a remote resources site at for faculty, adjuncts, APs, GAs, students, and other employees. This site will be continuously updated as resources become available. The Library and OIT have collaborated to provide some technology, such as webcams, headsets, document cameras, and laptops available for checkout. Supplies are limited, and the Provost will check with deans and department chairs so that we can monitor the needs of all of our academic employees.

12. PSU Student Legal Services is presenting a series of free webinars once a week that delve into legal topics that intersect with the current public health emergency. Webinars start on April 1st and range in topics inculding, protections for Oregon renters, employment issues, immigration, co-parenting and custody issues, dealing with debt and more. Please head to to learn more and reserve your spots -- Please share these resources with your students!  

13. Taking Computers Home (CLAS)? Fill out THIS FORM. Mac desktop (not laptop) users need to check in with Joseph Bourguignon,, so he can change a setting.

14. PSU Virtual Computer lab (Vlab) - The capacity of the Vlab has been expanded to 1000 users at any time. OIT combed through all physical computer labs on campus and collated all software necessary for Spring term. OIT believes the physical labs and Vlab should have all the software needed for Spring term courses, or a workaround in place. If you have a piece of software that was missed, submit via the same request process OIT uses in a normal term and OIT will get it pushed out to the Vlab.

15. PSU has a Coronavirus Response page it updates regularly with messages from Interim President Stephen Percy, FAQs for students and faculty, resources for faculty, staff and students, and more.


More resources, news articles and other information on COVID-19 can be found on our Issues and Advocacy page. 


Best wishes to you all! 

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