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Live trainings, tutorials and more available for students ahead of fall semester

Live trainings with technology experts are among the resources available to students as they prepare for distance learning this fall.

Washington State University’s student guide to distance learning includes tutorials on Blackboard Learn – the university’s learning management system – among other online tools to make classes delivered at a distance more manageable.

The first living training for students is taking place at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 3. Registration is not required and questions can be submitted in advance.

Subsequent trainings will take place Aug. 6 at 1 p.m., Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. and Aug. 14 at 1 p.m.

Students will notice instructors taking different approaches to distance learning in the fall. Some faculty will choose to host live lectures and discussions with students. Others will make lessons, lectures and assignments available for students to complete on their own schedule.

The best bet for students is to check their Blackboard course spaces frequently to ensure they are on track with their classes. It may also help to set scheduled times when they plan to work on specific courses, and to assume they’ll need to dedicate the same amount of time to their classes as they would if the fall semester was taking place in-person.

The student guide also includes information on Panopto and VoiceThread, which allow students to participate in distanced classes through video and audio recordings. The Cougs Online Toolkit features instructions on using video chat platforms like Zoom, which faculty can use to teach classes live with the opportunity for discussion in real time.

Technical support staff are available to assist students if they call 509-335-4320 or 800-222-4978 and selecting 2, then 1. Those with technical questions can also email