ALFA Online

All spring 2021 courses will be online. All courses will be held over Zoom.

Registration

You will register for your courses in the same way you always have. If you are someone who usually sends in a paper registration, we really encourage you to do this online this year.

After you register, you will receive your confirmation by email. Within a few weeks, you will also receive your Zoom Class Invitation that will contain all of the information you need to log into your Zoom class.

Equipment and Tech Requirements

You will need some basic equipment to participate. To fully participate in the video based online classroom, you will need:

  • Computer (Laptop or Desktop), Tablet, or Smartphone.
  • Microphone, Speakers, and webcam. Most laptops, tablets and smartphones have these features already built in. If you are using a desktop computer, please make sure you have all of these elements.
  • Internet/Wifi access

Note: You may also participate with a landline phone but you will only be able to hear the audio and will not be able to gain the full benefits of the course.

Possible Issues

  1. Low bandwidth is detrimental. High speed internet service provides better results.
  2. Audio and Visual issues are mostly the result of using older or lower quality devices.
  3. Best results are achieved on newer laptops followed by tablets and then smartphones.
  4. Phone and video combinations can work but adds to the setup complexity.
  5. Regardless of the device, make sure you are using the latest version of Zoom program or app.

ALFA Student Trainings - Zoom/Online Learning

All of our courses will be held over Zoom and we encourage everyone who is thinking about taking a class to sign up for one of the Zoom and Online Learning Training Sessions that is being facilitated by our new ALFA Technology Committee, made up of some of our own ALFA instructors and board members!

Spring Peer Training session dates are still TBD. Please contact Bill Ayadi at billayadi@comcast.net if you have any questions. 

Zoom Etiquette and Online Learning Tips

Etiquette

  1. Dress as if you are in a real classroom.
  2. Be vigilant about your background making sure that it is not offensive. 
  3. Be cognizant of family members or pets -surprise guest appearances are not permitted.
  4. Be on time for class:
    1. This assists the Technology Assistant to allow participants to enter the meeting in an orderly manner.
    2. The wait to enter the virtual classroom could be longer if you are late for class since class entry won’t be the main focus of the Technology Assistant once class has started.
  5. Use the same name that you used when you registered for class.
    1. This is to promote an ALFA community of learners
    2. To help the technology assistant identify you when you want to enter the virtual classroom.
    3. Provides an additional barrier for security; only those registered for the session may partake in the session.

Protocols:

  1. Only registered students will be admitted to classes. No guests at this time.
  2. Please do not take screenshots, videos, or post to social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.). 
  3. Mute your microphone unless given permission to talk.
  4. Use the Hand icon to alert the instructor you wish to speak.
  5. Stay muted when someone else is verbally presenting or screen sharing.
  6. Use the chat feature to comment or ask questions. We discourage private chats.
  7. The instructor or tech assistant will give students permission to unmute themselves by mentioning it in conversation or chat.

Expert Suggestions:

  1. Position your light source directly in front of you, not behind, to avoid shadowing and contrast problems.
  2. Headsets with microphones can improve your ability to be heard.
  3. Headphones and earbuds can improve your ability to hear.
  4. Stands for iPads (tablets) and mobile phones provide stability.
  5. Upgrade systems especially if they are no longer supported by their manufacturers. New and higher quality devices generally work better.

Resources