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Virtual Learning 101: Engaging in the Online Classroom

This is meant to be a very basic, supportive space approach for learning the basics of virtual learning platforms and strategies to be an active, engaged student in our current virtual learning environment.

This workshop is open to all Stanford students including undergraduates, graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral scholars.

Note: This workshop was previously titled "Virtual Learning 101: A Zoom & Canvas Classroom Primer"

Zoom Recording


About this Event

Worried about engaging in the virtual classroom? Unsure how to use Zoom effectively to maximize class participation, or how to navigate Canvas? This workshop is designed to offer a supportive space to make sure you are able to engage fully on the platforms we’re relying on to keep our learning going. We’ll discuss the features of Zoom and Canvas for productive class usage, as well as Stanford Zoom etiquette norms, using Zoom for out of class study purposes, and will make sure you’re comfortable interacting on Canvas. Participants will be expected to actively practice the skills as we discuss them.

We will practice in zoom:

  • Creating a name/pronoun/position for your screen to foster community and equity in and out of class 
  • Accessing sound/visual/background options to insure optimal class engagement 
  • Practicing hand raising and lowering/using reactions to facilitate active class participation
  • Reviewing chat etiquette and Stanford usage norms for confident in class conversing/responding/engagement
  • Discussing bandwidth troubleshooting to maximize your class involvement
  • Creating new zoom meetings to arrange study groups
  • Using breakout rooms for ease with in class panels or professor-led break out room movement

In Canvas, we will work on the following basic skills to ensure your success with this education platform by reviewing:

  • Locating the page and your courses
  • Accessing materials in the files
  • Finding files/videos
  • Locating course Zoom links

Time will be dedicated for specific questions that may have arisen as a result of specific course/faculty expectations for these platforms, to discuss individual questions or concerns about the virtual learning environment, and to troubleshoot on campus resources for more technical assistance.


This workshop is presented as part of the Peer Learning Consultant Program at the Center for Teaching and Learning. For more information about the program and upcoming events, visit studentlearning.stanford.edu.