Carnegie Mellon University

Getting the Most Out of Online Learning

The learning environment has changed and you may find that your prior, tried-and-true strategies for engaging in instruction and learning need some backup. This site is designed to help you reflect on how what works for you and how your strengths can translate into the online environment. Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to the resources they need to be successful.

Listed below are Google Docs that contain resources curated by the Graduate Student Assembly and may be valuable to you.


Online learning is a new experience for many members of our community. Here are some resources that can help:

There are methods for actively participating in online classes. Ask your professors how they would like you to participate in each of your courses. Here are other resources that can help:

Visit our resource page Being successful in the online learning environment for more tips and strategies for being a successful online learner.


Try to eliminate environmental noise and distractions as you access your online classes by using headphones and setting up a quiet place for yourself to focus. However, if you would like to learn about more resources that can help, contact Disability Resources or the Student Academic Success Center.


If your situation requires you to remain on campus, know that you are welcome. This is your home away from home. Housing Services, Dining Services, and the Food Pantry have resources for you.


Some students may have left campus without their books or other necessary materials.

  • Student Affairs is assisting students to retrieve their belongings. Contact your Housefellow or College Liaison with any questions.
  • The University is working to make scanned or online copies of texts available where possible. The Library is offering remote resources.
  • Look into the free ebook access program.

Let your professors know if you are experiencing difficulty accessing texts or course materials.


Students’ technology readiness and time zones are being assessed, and CMU is working to collect that information. In the meantime, if you need access to wifi, consider the offer for free internet access through Comcast and contact Student Academic Success. Let your professor know if you are unable to join the class during the regularly scheduled session time.


All of the academic support programs of the Student Academic Success Center are available for you including:


Professors have been strongly encouraged to provide recordings of their classes so that you can review them later. If you are not sure how to locate these recordings, contact your professor.


In this fast changing situation, it is important to prioritize mental and physical health. CMU Health Services and CaPS are open and available to you. Or, if you simply need to talk to someone, reach out to your Advisors, Housefellow, College Liaison, or the Student Academic Success Center, Career & Professional Development Center, or Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion. We are here for you.


All of the suggestions so far can help, but if you need more language strategies to deal with this new and changing situation contact Intercultural Communication Center for a 1-1 consultation.