Online Learning  /  Resources & FAQs

Resources & FAQs


The resources below assemble in one place the answers to questions about online learning and connect you to the many people on campus whose programs are designed to provide assistance. Some of you may have most, if not all, of this information. For those who do not, we hope this is helpful. If you still have questions, please send them to


Students facing challenges with internet accessibility related to financial need are encouraged to contact the Deans' office:, 626.395.6351.

Every course will have a Canvas Course Site on which faculty have been asked to share, at a minimum, a syllabus and links and instructions to the online resources you will be using. Canvas sites that have been published by the instructors are open to students one week before the term begins.

Regardless of whether you are in class or working remotely, you remain members of the Caltech community. It is still the case that "No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community." Students should be thoughtful and deliberate as they adjust their work habits and collaborative practices to an online learning environment. Review course collaboration policies carefully, and consult a course instructor or TA if you have questions or concerns.

If your professor has not contacted you, email the professor with your information. Many faculty are creating content that can be viewed asynchronously. Check the Canvas course site for more details.

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that will allow you to join the class. Once you receive a Zoom invitation, click on the link and follow the instructions to join the meeting. Select one of the audio options ("Phone Call" or "Computer Audio") and be sure to test the speaker and microphone. The phone numbers are listed in the Zoom invitation and when selecting "Phone Call." You can also join a zoom meeting by using a meeting ID. Go to; Select join; Enter the Meeting ID you were given to join.

See this helpful link from Humboldt State University for tips about how to use Zoom. Especially useful is the section, "Preparing for a Zoom Meeting."

The IMSS website provides How To tutorials and support for Zoom. Students can also contact the IMSS Help Desk for a variety of technical computer support services. The phone number for the IMSS Help Desk is 626.395.3500.

The Committee on Reconstituting On-Campus Instruction, with input from Academic Media Technologies, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach, Export Compliance Office, International Offices, and Office of the General Counsel, provides these guidelines <Caltech credentials required> for students outside the United States on accessing content and associated risks, a travel advisory, and resources.


These offices and programs are continuing their work with you now and through the spring term:

  • The Caltech Center for Diversity is available via phone/email/and zoom. Educational programs and virtual group sessions will be offered daily starting March 30, 2020.
  • The Hixon Writing Center will provide one-to-one support to students. All appointments in spring term will be synchronous, online meetings in Zoom. If you cannot attend a synchronous appointment due to your location or technical issues, please email us at to discuss support. Appointments can be made through the "Writing Center Scheduling" link under Academic Services in Access.
  • Deans tutors (peer tutors) will continue to be available.
  • Caltech Accessibility Services for Students continues to work with students on accommodations and accessibility.
  • Student Wellness Services is offering Counseling and Occupational Therapy support via telephone and the after-hours service. Telephone crisis consultation is available after business hours on weekdays, weekends, and holidays by calling the Counseling Services main line at (626) 395-8331 and pressing "2" when prompted. Further information can be found at and
  • Vice Provost for Education: Cindy Weinstein will be having weekly office hours throughout the quarter and hopes you will sign up at If, however, you need to schedule time outside of those office hours, she is more than happy to accommodate you.
  • The Caltech Library's wide range of digital resources--eBooks and journals, databases and online help--continue to be fully available and have been enhanced with the addition of many new resources. Digital Course Reserves are available through Moodle, or your instructor, and include many course textbooks. Library guides and reference consultations continue to be available online and through email. DocuServe, our ILL and document delivery service, continues to be available in digital formats only.


Learning online may be a new endeavor. Here are some resources that offer friendly tips and strategies for being an online learner:

  • Rice University has a presentation in which they present some tips for learning during disruption, which includes some strategies for keeping engaged and healthy while learning remotely.
  • Northeastern University gives 8 strategies for getting the most out of an online class.
  • Humboldt State University has a student guide for using Zoom. Students should be encouraged to use their own Zoom accounts to actively collaborate with each other outside of class. Students can also use whiteboard software on their own tablets / iPads and have their tablet also 'join' the Zoom meeting, such that they can easily share screens with each other while collaborating.

Please find more information for Caltech students at Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Students and Parents and at Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs.