Online Learning FAQ

August 14, 2020

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Q: I am an international student. Where can I find more information?

A: The office of the Vice Provost, Students has a list of FAQs, including for international students. Please see:

Q: Do I have to have my camera on during class?

A: Using your camera is encouraged for most smaller classes so that you can see your classmates and your professor, and classmates can see you.

If you don’t have a camera or are not comfortable using it, that’s ok!

Q: What if I don’t have a private space and you can see my pet/roommate/children?

A: We are all working from home so it is expected that there might be some guests in your video. Please remember to keep yourself on mute when you’re not speaking to prevent background noise on the call.

Q: Is it okay if I eat during class?

There will be breaks during class, and between classes, so it’s likely not necessary to eat during class.

Q: How do I know when it’s okay for me to speak up/contribute to the discussion?

A: This will vary from class to class. If the group is small enough, the professor may say it’s ok for you to contribute at any time. In larger class settings, you may be asked to use the ‘raise hand’ and/or `chat’ feature.

If this is not discussed in the first class session, it’s a good idea to ask!

Q: Someone in the class made an interesting point that I want to hear more about, but I don’t know who they are — how can I connect with my classmates outside of the virtual classroom?

A: In some platforms, you can use the chat function to message everyone, or an individual directly. Please keep in mind that the ability to message an individual directly may be disabled by the course instructor. Depending on the course and your question, it may be appropriate for the Discussion Board on Quercus. Or, you can find your classmates’ contact information in the course page on Quercus under the “People” section.


Course Participation

Q: My course has marks for participation, how will that be impacted if I have poor internet

Q: What happens if it’s not feasible to use my microphone—will I be at a disadvantage if I only type in the chat function?

This may present a challenge for those courses in which there is a participation component of your final grade.  You always have the option of joining the class discussion via telephone, even while also being online.  If there are other obstacles to contributing orally, please contact your instructor to discuss them.

Q: Is there such thing as “staying home sick” from virtual classes?

Absolutely. Just as would be the case for in-person classes: if you don’t feel well, let your instructor know in advance that you will not be able to join the class and consult with them about what needs to be done to make up for your absence that day.


Course Logistics

Q: How do I know if my course will be on Zoom, MS Teams, or BB Collaborate?

A: Most all of IHPME faculty have opted to use Zoom as the learning platform.  If you are taking a course offered through the DLSPH, e.g., CHL5201 and/or CHL5202, these will rely on BB Collaborate. Information on the online learning platforms can be found on the IHPME website pages dedicated to Student Resources.


Q: Do I have to download Zoom or MS Teams if the course will be on either of these platforms?

A: No, you do not have to download these platforms in order to use them. You can join sessions through their webpage option instead. It depends on your preference and comfort level.  Information on the online learning platforms, including downloading Zoom, can be found on the IHPME website pages dedicated to Student Resources.


Q: Where can I find the call-in information for my course?

Zoom meeting details for each course, including call-in information, will be included in a Module on the Quercus course site.

Q: Who should I contact if I am having any technical difficulties?

A: It depends on the nature of the issue.

  • For in-session technical issues (Zoom) reach out via private chat to the session moderator if there is one available, if not, look at the online support resources for the online platform (Zoom, Team. BB collaborate).
  • It might not be possible to get hold of anyone during your online session for technical issues, hence it’s recommended to always test your system prior to joining a class session and if you have any technical issues and need assistance prior to the session or after, reach out to IT Coordinator, Sumeet Sheoran, at
  • If it’s course-related (Quercus etc.) reach out to the Graduate Assistant for your program, contact information for IHPME staff are listed at:


Q: Will transcripts/recordings of the lecture be available to students?

A: Transcripts/recordings of the lectures are not typically available. However, if you are seeking recordings as part of an accommodation coordinated through the Department of Accessibility Services (, please connect with your course instructor before the start of the course to discuss options.


Internet and Library Materials

Q: I don’t have reliable internet access at home, is there somewhere on campus that I can work?

A: As of June 18th 2020, computer and wifi access are available to current University of Toronto students, who require it for academic work, in the Gerstein Science Information Centre’s Wallace Room, the large reading room on the North side of the Library. Students using this space must adhere to current public health requirements during the COVID crisis. For more information see:

Q: How can I access library materials from home?

A: You can access online materials by logging into the library website with your UTORid and password. Curbside pick-up is also available for some print material (See:

Q: My research requires software that is only available on library computers. Is it possible to access it remotely?

A: The RemoteLab provides access to the software and services normally provided via the computers in the Libraries (see:

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