Find your voice in person and online.

Engaging in classes online can be tricky: here are a few suggestions for effective participation.

  • Make time in advance of an online lecture to get set up: find a quiet and comfortable space, gather your materials, check your internet connection, and make sure your computer is charged and is compatible with the online platform.
  • Investigate the online platform controls and test your computer’s camera and microphone. When you turn your camera on, behave as if you were in class: pay attention, and be respectful of others in the virtual room. Avoid backlighting so that you are fully visible, and if you are attending through your phone, put it somewhere stable.
  • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking if you need to reduce noise interference. When you want to speak, try to avoid talking over other people. Many platforms have a chat function so you can ask questions: try to phrase your statements as clearly as possible for someone reading your message at home. If you are using Zoom, you can use the “raise hand” function to tell the instructor that you’d like to participate. Be sure to put it down when you’re done!

Please check out our Writing page for tips on writing reflections and discussion questions. Our Critical Thinking page has strategies for online discussion.


Online resources Online resources to guide your learning
Apps and tech Technology to support your learning needs
Helpful services Additional services and resources at U of T

Online resources

Creating academic posters

Ryerson University’s Online meeting room etiquette

The University of Connecticut’s Remote studying checklist

Queen’s University’s section on Group work & discussion boards at their Online learning page

Apps and assistive technology

We have used some of the apps and websites listed below, and others have come to our attention from students who have found them helpful.

Disclaimer: the University of Toronto does not officially endorse the apps and sites listed here, and  may not be held responsible for any technological problems that arise from their use. Please use at your own discretion.

Students with disabilities may receive academic accommodations including the support of assistive technologies. Please contact Accessibility Services for more information.