Remote Learning Resources

Tech Needed for Remote Learning

Each community here in the law school is a little bit different, so we have created this site to communicate the information you need to support how you work; Whether you are faculty, students, or staff,  we are here to help with your digital learning experience. Below are the recommendations and required items needed to create a successful remote learning environment.  These suggestions are based on best practices and comments from our students.


Optimal Internet Speed

We ask that all students test their Internet speed.

The Internet speed you get from your service provider must accommodate what is being accessed on your home network:

  1. Concurrent Zoom Meetings, Netflix streaming, etc.
  2. How far you are from your Wi-Fi router as signals weaken through your home
  3. Environmental factors such as peak times of Internet usage in your area.

Recommended minimum speeds:

Download Speed: (This is what is allocated for accessing remote files to your home.) Minimum of 100Mbps (megabits per second) is recommended.

Upload Speed: (This is what is allocated for streaming Zoom audio and video from your home to the participants in your meetings or classes.): Minimum of 20Mbps (megabits per second) is recommended.

When shopping for an Internet Plan, note that the vendors will only list the download speeds. You may need to reach out to the vendor directly to find the combination of download and upload speeds that meet your needs.

The three biggest vendors in this space are:

Many times, only one or two are available in your area. Use this link to put in your address and it will list the options. We recommend looking at one of the three listed above.

Recommended or Nice to Have

Optimal Screen Usage  

Leverage the smart devices you already own to participate in class across multiple screens.  For example:

  1. Slides and Video on your Laptop and polling and chat on either a smartphone, a tablet, or both.
  2. Purchasing a second monitor to access class slides, video, and note-taking across larger connected screens.

Headset / Microphone

For remote learning, having a good microphone, a high-quality web camera that can be positioned appropriately to capture the right angle can be useful. Depending on your preference, either a USB headset or a desk microphone.

Highly Recommended Audio/Visual Devices:

Tips for better audio/video

Keep your webcam slightly above your eye level:  

Move your reference material to the top of your screen, near your webcam, to keep your gaze there. This means you’ll be looking straight ahead at people in the class, which feels more personal.

Sit facing a light source: 

Sitting with your back to a window or bright light source can negatively impact the quality of the video call by giving you a harsh silhouette effect. Whenever possible, sit facing the window, desk lamp, or other light sources to ensure your face is well illuminated and clearly visible. 

Use headphones whenever possible:

Although some laptops and software can automatically turn down the microphone when other people are talking, they’re not perfect. Using headphones will prevent feedback loops and echo that results from your microphone picking up other people speaking.

Place your microphone 5 to 6 inches from your mouth:

If you can’t get that close or don’t want to use a separate microphone, try to place your microphone in the path your voice normally projects.

Use an external microphone:

Almost any plug-in device, a desktop USB mic, a USB headset, or the built-in microphone on a USB webcam will sound better than the built-in microphone on a laptop. Anything you can do to remove distractions such as inconsistent audio quality increases your ability to interact in a remote learning environment.

NOTE: There may be multiple microphones on your computer in addition to your USB microphone such as your laptop’s built-in mic. Verify your USB microphone is selected in your Zoom settings as the input source to ensure you are using the correct device. 

Tips for a successful class session using Zoom: 

What do you have for a Plan B:

Internet Outage:
What will you do if you are attending class from home and your internet goes down? If your internet goes out, can you easily just power off/on your cable modem? Do you know how to use your smartphone as an Internet hotspot to get back online? Have you tested your smartphone hotspot to know how Zoom operates when you are connected to it?  Working out these scenarios ahead of time will greatly reduce the stress of an Internet issue and streamline a resolution. 

***Communication Plan:

How will you communicate in those first moments when Zoom isn't working? Decide this ahead of time, so you can update those who need to know whether they should be waiting for you to restart Zoom, or looking for updates with your progress on more complex issues with getting back into the class session.

*** Access Canvas via your smartphone if your laptop and/or Internet is keeping you from using its capability to communicate.