Prepare for Remote Synchronous Learning

What is Remote Synchronous Learning?

Remote synchronous learning begins March 23
Synchronous remote teaching means that instructors and students are in different locations but are nevertheless meeting at the same time in order to interact and engage in “real time” or “near-real time.” This is accomplished through the use of online tools that allow instructors and students, despite their physical locations, to participate in lectures, discussions, and group/individual work. This guide will provide you with some actions and tips for making this shift quickly and effectively.

What to expect as a student:

  1. Expect communication from your professor

Students can expect that their instructors will communicate any changes regarding courses or assignments. Students can expect to hear from their faculty members by March 23 regarding plans for each course.

Students can expect that their instructors will communicate any changes regarding courses or assignments. This may include a revised course syllabus or instructions on how to complete an assignment in a revised way. Faculty will be available to answer student questions and to make themselves for virtual office hours.

  1. Participate in all required course activities, including virtual course meetings

Moving forward, students should expect to participate in all required course activities, including virtual course meetings, following the established course schedule, keeping in mind that they may have to account for time zone changes. Students who have registered with Student Accessibility Services can expect their instructors to continue to provide approved accommodations. Plans are being made to continue student access to support services, such as tutors or the Writing Center, and details are forthcoming regarding how to access these services and hours of operation.

Courses that have experiential learning requirements:
(e.g., labs, arts courses, community involvement, internships, independent studies, etc.)

The shift to synchronous online learning is a significant change for the University, and this shift requires creative thinking on the part of our faculty and our students. Certain class formats, such as studio art courses, lab courses, or internships, may present special challenges to deliver instruction in a remote format. Trinity University has a dedicated center for pedagogical and professional development for faculty called the Collaborative for Learning and Teaching (we call it the "Collaborative" for short). Personnel in the Collaborative will hold workshops and identify resources that will help faculty think through ways to meet core course objectives in new ways, including the development of new assignments or the use of assistive technologies. Students should look to their course instructor for specific details about how these goals will be accomplished. Trinity prides itself on the talents of its faculty, and we fully expect them to rise to the challenges associated with providing engaging and student-centered instruction in a new format.


Will the University allow students to shift the registration status for current courses to Pass/Fail?

For the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, Associate Vice President Michael Soto will waive University policies regarding Pass/Fail registration. If a course does not fulfill a Pathways requirement or a major or minor requirement, he will approve a request for registration changes immediately. If a course does fulfill a Pathways requirement or a major or minor requirement, he will consult the relevant instructor or department chair before approving the change. Please note that election to the Dean's List requires the completion of at least 15 grade point carrying hours of credit in a semester.

Students may use this Google form to make Pass/Fail requests.

Will students be able to use online courses from other colleges and universities as transfer credit this summer?

Trinity typically does not accept online courses for transfer credit, but this summer is obviously a special case. If a student requests the use of an online course from an accredited institution for summer 2020, Associate Vice President Michael Soto will encourage the relevant department chair to review the course materials carefully to determine whether the course fulfills the appropriate learning outcomes for Trinity equivalent credit. Upon the chair’s recommendation, transfer credit from an online course for summer 2020 will be approved.

Does the University still expect to offer summer session classes, summer faculty-led study abroad classes, summer internships, and the summer research program?

For summer 2020, faculty-led study abroad programs to European locations have been canceled. Programs traveling to Japan and Costa Rica are still under review.

The University will continue planning for all other summer programming and activities on the assumption that they will happen, but with the understanding that changes can rapidly or unexpectedly occur.

Will remote learning affect my credit hours in any way?

Trinity remains committed to supporting students' academic learning and allowing them to make timely progress toward graduation. All efforts will be made to enable students to complete their registered course hours, provided that students continue to satisfy course requirements.

What is the status of my summer research project or summer course

The University continues to closely monitor coronavirus as an evolving situation. At this time, no decisions have been made regarding Trinity's summer undergraduate research program or summer classes. Look for more information soon.

What sort of hours should I expect my student to devote to synchronous remote learning?

As your student returns home, it is important to remember that they remain full-time students. As full-time students, they will be expected to attend scheduled course meetings at the appointed time (keep in mind that this may require time zone conversions). Attending virtual course meetings may require the use of the internet and/or telephone; when the internet is not available at home, your student may need to go to a place with wifi (e.g., local library). In addition to attending classes, full-time students have a variety of other responsibilities to be successful. This could include reading, completing homework assignments, meeting virtually with peers to complete group assignments, meeting with their professor or advisor during virtual office hours, writing papers, etc. At Trinity, we tell students that for every one credit hour, they can expect to spend at least three hours of effort per week inside and outside of class. For a three-hour course, this would amount to nine hours of effort per week on the activities named above. Students have great flexibility in when and how they complete their out-of-course activities. In order to enable your student to be successful this term, please keep this in mind, especially if you ask your student to take on additional responsibilities at home, including child care.

Be Successful. As with on-campus learning, these three principles are key to maximizing your study habits:

Seize the day

Make sure you are dedicating enough time each day to get things done. Don’t sacrifice sleep. Make an appointment for Academic Coaching (see below) if you would like some help developing a new plan.

Be strategic in your learning

Don’t forget to incorporate practices from the science of learning that are proven to improve mastery, including retrieval practice (i.e. self-quizzing) and spaced learning (spreading study out in smaller chunks over time.)

Ask for help

Trinity faculty, staff and peer tutors are still here for you, just from a distance. We want you to let us know if and when you have questions or need help.

The ABC’s for learning at home:

Tips and advice from Trinity's Tiger Learning Commons

A. Attend class during the regularly appointed day and time


Make time to organize and structure your time and assigned tasks. There are several tools for time management available online to help you keep track of your work, including Google Calendar, a great place to start carving up your days into manageable chunks. Most Trinity faculty will deliver their courses using Zoom, so you should also spend some time getting to know this online video conferencing platform.

Set Expectations

Students should plan to attend their scheduled courses—during the regularly appointed day and time (central time)—using the means shared by their faculty members.

Consider your time-zone

Trinity switching to synchronous learning means that if you are in a different time zone, you will need to take that into consideration when logging on to watch live-streamed classes.

Access to Wifi

Consider your access to Wifi- contact your professors if you do not have a reliable connection to the internet.

Information about Textbooks

Textbooks - if you are unable to return to campus to retrieve your textbooks, contact your professor or a librarian for help.

Stay Connected

Check your email, TLearn, and the Trinity site for updates. Trinity will also be updating social media with crucial updates. Keep your faculty in-the-loop with questions and concerns. Take advantage of the vast Trinity resources that are still available to you. Our faculty miss you, and want to help as much as they can.

B. Set Boundaries for yourself


Be kind to yourself and others as we all learn how to do this new thing together. We’re on a short learning curve but we can—and will—do this!

Create physical space that works for you

If you can, don’t work in your bed, on a couch, or any other space you associate with relaxing. Keep the supplies you need in that space.

Communicate with the people you live with

Let them know that even though you are at home, you are still a student, and that Trinity is not closed. You need to continue to work as if you were still on campus. Setting “working hours” with your family may be helpful.

Continue to practice social distancing

If you are healthy and live in an area that is safe to do so, consider working from a coffee shop or local library.

Stay focused during class time

Would you watch Netflix or listen to music or surf the web during an in-person class? No? Then don’t do it while watching a live-streamed class. Stay engaged- multitasking is not your friend here.

Sharpen your communication skills

Brush up on your email etiquette- you will likely be asking more questions via email than previously. Visual and verbal cues you might typically rely on don’t apply here. Make sure you are effectively and respectfully communicating with your professors.

C. Continue to go about your day as you normally would

Get up and get dressed

Go about your day as you normally would- get dressed as if you were going to class, and physically move to a space that is your “work space.”

Take regular breaks

Walk around during your breaks between classes- as if you were walking from building to building

Spend time getting organized

Get organized! Set a schedule and a to-do list.

Take care of yourself

In this newly sedentary period, make sure to stay active, eat healthy, and drink lots of water.

Don't forget, we're here for you

Trinity resources are still accessible- contact the Tiger Learning Commons staff via phone or email for assistance.

Student Resources

Student resources are listed below, in addition to:

Academic Support

Technology Resources

Faculty Resources

Faculty resources for synchronous learning can be found on Trinity's Keep Teaching website:

Student Accessibility Services (SAS), Peer Tutoring, the Writing Center, the QRS Center, and Academic Coaching

Instructions and tutorials using the Zoom meeting platform for scheduled courses