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Working Around a Classroom Outage

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Working around a classroom outageAn online education has a lot of positive aspects to it, availability, work at your own pace, and no commute. At times though the classroom may be down for maintenance for unforseen issues, but while your university fixes the issues in a timely manner, there are ways you can be prepared in the case of classroom inaccessibility.

  • Bookmark the side door to the classroom.  Many times there is an alternate login page for students at an online university, as a backup in case the main page is down for maintenance. I usually go in through the front door (that is through the login page on the main APU website). However whenever there are scheduled (or unscheduled) classroom maintenance or system upgrades, there is also a classroom back door where you can reach your classes; you can get this by contacting the classroom technical team at your school.
  • Be a little less classroom dependent. I have formed a habit around copying information I need from the classroom such as assignments, or quiz questions, or the discussion topics for the week, and paste it into a word document that I keep on my computer. This allows me to work on my answers while being outside of the classroom. Whenever I decide to go into the classroom to submit my work, I only have to paste my answers in the right place. Worst case scenario if the classroom is still unavailable when it is time to submit your work, you can always email it to the professor (that is if you kept record of his contact details outside of the classroom).
  • Be proactive. Get into the classroom when it isn’t as crowded. Busy time could be around a typical deadling for assignments. For some schools its before midnight during the week or weekend. I am not making excuses for the system (it should be able to support peak times), but have you considered turning in you work early? Personally, I try to organize my weeks differently. My weekly deadline is Saturday. On Sundays, I start working on my next week’s class(es). It is a little hard the first week, since you only have 6 days to complete all your work, but it does work out in the long run and if needed, it buys me an additional day on busy weeks. By changing my week’s schedule by one day, I am posting items outside of the peak hours in the classroom.
  • Stay connected. The university’s IT and Classroom Support department are monitoring the classrooms closely. If you are experiencing issues, contact the technical team know. If you are wondering if the issue you are experiencing is related to your own computer or network, check the school’s Facebook pages to see if others are responding with the same type of issue. If there is a classroom issue, going to Facebook is a good way of finding out or confirming it, but also remember most schools have a classroom support team that is handling and monitoring the classroom around the clock so keep them in mind when you’re reporting an issue.

[related: 4 Tips for Succeeding in an Online College Course]

By Isabelle dV
Online M.B.A. student at American Public University

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