Information about Taking Courses Online

For the time being, most of our courses will be held online with a user-friendly program called Zoom. Brookline Adult & Community Education are unable to offer technical support for online courses, so we are providing this series of links to help you get started and have a successful online course experience.

While we would love everyone to participate in our online courses, we want to mention that it is essential that you have some basic computer skills, e.g., downloading files, email, and audio/visual functions.

You will need to download Zoom onto your computer HERE. And to test your system, Zoom offers a test site HERE.

Here are some instructions from Zoom’s website on how to join a meeting with special instructions for Mac and Windows computers.

Lastly, we have compiled some guidelines for your online class meeting below.


Some General Guidelines for the Virtual Classroom:

  1. Do not share meeting links with anyone outside of the class group.
  2. Inform others in your household that you are on a video course, so they know that if they walk in the room, they will be on camera (even if you navigate away from the video by searching for something on an Internet browser).
  3. Be aware of your background on your screen. 
  4. Turn your camera on and have it at eye-level.
  5. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking so that other students are not distracted by background noises.

Some Guidelines for Students:

  1. Sign into the video conferencing platform using your full name, so that instructors can admit you to the class meeting.
  2. If the instructor is speaking and you don’t want to interrupt, most platforms have a chat window. This is a great way to get your question down (so you don’t forget it), without interrupting the class.
  3. If you are finding your home network has delays or interruptions, you can turn off your video function and just listen and speak. 
  4. Please be sure to use the same name for Zoom as you did to register for the course, so the instructor can compare to the roster.

Some Guidelines for Teachers:

  1. Email communication may be more frequent when leading an online course, especially to share a syllabus, reading materials, or other resources. When your class is online, you might find it useful to send a weekly email to your students, even though you might not normally do this.
  2. Explore the video conferencing capabilities and adapt them to fit the needs of your class. Whether that is how you want students to appear on the screen, or how you want them to ask questions, you should practice high-use features. Major video conferencing platforms have features guides online, but you can always reach out to your Program Manger with specific questions.