Online Learning Information

Special Information, Mathematics Department, Utica College, 2020

This page contains logistical information for online classes during the school closure due to the outbreak of COVID19. Students who are currently taking MAT 151 Precalculus and MAT 201 Calculus 1 should read this page very carefully! This document will be updated to include the latest information and decision. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me. If you did not have the chance to attend a training session, please use this link to test the Zoom environment during the spring break to make sure your computer is ready. If you have any issues, please let me know as soon as possible.

Syllabus Updates

  • MAT 201: There will be no Derivative Proficency Test.

Online Classes

  • Regular on-ground classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be replaced with online classes with the exact same schedule (MAT 151: 10:00am to 11:15am MAT 201: 11:30am to 12:45pm). We will use Zoom as our platform. The course home page contains a link “Online Class” and please use that link to connect to online classes. We will use the same link to connect to the online classes for the rest of the semester.
  • When you join the online classes, please remember use your official name in the form of First Last. Do not use any abbreviated version or nick name. Even it is possible to use phone for Zoom, I strongly discourage that unless you absolutely have to. You will get a much better experience if you use a desktop, a laptop, or a tablet. The functions are much more restricted on phones and much harder to maneuver. Please make sure you open a course notes window before you join the class, you will need to refer to the course notes throughout the class. A good practice is to use “side-by-side” window layout, or use a separate device entirely. Switching windows/tabs too frequently in your internet browser will make your learning more difficult.
  • If you plan to use cell phone to connect to the class, make sure that you have connected to a WiFi or you have enough data plan. Video conferencing uses a lot of data.
  • All online classes will be recorded. Recording will be posted on the course home page in the homework section after the class.
  • Online classes will be opened 1 hour before the regular scheduled class time (without my presence). Consider this as a common study area. Everyone is encouraged to join to discuss homework problems with your peers.
  • When connecting to the class, make sure you connect using both audio and video. Do not turn off your camera. (If you don’t have a webcam, please get in touch with me.) During the online classes, students will be automatically muted to minimize background noise. Students can ask/answer questions using multiple ways:
    • 1) Use the raise hand function. I will unmute you and you can speak. If I don’t seem to notice that, just unmute yourself and speak up.
    • 2) Type your question/answer in the chat box. In the breakout room when doing group work, feel free to unmute yourself so that group members can have discussions.
  • Find a place that is quiet with minimal distractions during your class time (such as your dorm or your room) if possible. Make sure that the background does not have anything that you don’t want others to see.
  • In order for me and others to see your work during the class, you have at least four ways to communicate your work:
    • 1) If you have a touch screen laptop, you can use an app (e.g. Paint3D in Windows) as your virtual white board to record your work and share that app through Zoom. To have a better experience, you want to use a stylus. This is because if you use your finger, anything you write down would be way too big and you will run out of space very quickly on your virtual white board. A good stylus can help solve this problem. Zoom has a virtual white board function in share function but it is very hard to save and reload your work. So I will only recommend that you use the Zoom’s virtual white board for some temporary work.
    • 2) If you connect zoom using a computer and have an iPad, you can actually share your iPad screen using the Zoom share function. There are a lot of apps that will allow you to have a virtual white board. For example, here is a free choice.
    • 3) If you don’t have a touch screen device, you can use the common share Google Docs. There is a link on the course webpage called “Online Working Document”. Everyone can work in this same document simultaneously without interfering each other. You can your name in the document and work in that area during the class time.
    • 4) If you prefer to write using a traditional pen and paper, and if you have a webcam, you can just hold your paper to the webcam to share your work. One important advice: make sure you write bold (this is much more important than write large) so your work can still be read with non-perfect lighting. A black sharpie will do a pretty good job!
    • 5) If you have a chalkboard or a white board, you can set your webcam to the board so other people can see your work. Make sure the lighting is good so it is not too bright or too dark. Feel free to be creative. If you can think of other ways that will work for you, please let me know.
  • If you have technical difficulties during a class session and is disconnected from the Zoom room, you should first try to return to the Zoom room. If unsuccessful, please email me as soon as possible for information about what might have been missed. If you have smart phones, please attempt to download apps for Zoom and email. This could help in the event of technical difficulties with one of the platforms. If I have technical difficulties and the class is interrupted, please check your email immediately for instructions.

Weekly Quizzes

  • Weekly quizzes will be posted on the course home page in the quiz section by 5pm on Thursdays. You have until 12pm on Fridays to submit your quiz via email.
  • The easiest way to complete your quiz is to print it, complete it, scan it with your phone, and then email to me. If you don’t have a printer available, please use a blank paper to submit your handwritten solution. Make sure that you clearly label the problem number and the associated goal number so both you and I will know what goal(s) you have scored.
  • Some app suggestions for scan. If there are other apps that worked well for you, please let me know so I can list them here to help other students.
    • iPhone: Notes, Genius Scan.
    • Android: Microsoft Office Lens, Google Drive.
  • If you have an electronic way to complete your quiz such as a tablet with a stylus, feel free to use that.
  • When you send me the completed quizzes, please make sure that it is 1) in the PDF format; 2) in the upright position (no tilted or disoriented). These are crucial steps to help me process the grading smoothly so you can get timely feedback. I will email your quiz back so you can update your goal sheet.

Online Office Hours

  • I will hold online office hours the same time as scheduled (1:00pm to 2:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Please use the office hours link on the course home page to attend office hours.
  • If you cannot make this time and would like to get help, send me an email to make an appointment.
  • The Learning Commons of Library has converted all drop-in tutors online. Here is their schedule. Please email the tutor during their drop in hours to setup a zoom meeting.
    • MAT 151
      • Alex Wang ( Monday and Thursday 3pm - 6pm
      • Diamond Thomas ( Sunday 1pm - 3pm, Monday 3pm - 6pm
    • MAT 201
      • Alex Wang ( Monday and Thursday 3pm - 6pm
      • Clayton Coonrod ( Tuesday 6pm - 8pm, Wednesday 3pm - 5pm
  • School tutoring page.

Special Accommodation

If there are any special needs for you to get proper access of online learning environment (e.g. visual/hear help), please do not hesitate to contact me so I can try to help you.

Derivative Proficiency Test (Calculus 1 Students)

Multiple derivative proficiency tests will be scheduled for the entire class outside of our regular meeting time. The process will be similar to weekly quizzes. I will communicate the exact time after we have completed Section 2.6.