Online Learning FAQs for New Students
In case you missed our Zoom webinar, here are some online resources and FAQs designed to help new students transition to online learning.
Will there be any courses or labs online in the Fall term?
The vast majority of Science classes (including lectures, labs, and tutorials) will be offered remotely. There are some exceptions, particularly among 300 and 400 level courses, but for incoming students it is most likely all your Science classes will be online. A great resource is the course outlines page, where you can search any course at SFU to see how it is being run this Fall.
Why aren’t more in-person courses being offered?
The health and safety of our students and instructors is our highest priority. We are following guidelines set out by the Provincial Health Officer and as such are adapting our courses to remote instruction to allow the many thousands of students who would typically be on campus each day to stay safely distanced.
How are labs different while we’re remote?
While each professor is adapting their labs in their own way, we’ve seen some truly innovative labs so far! For example, some professors are adapting labs to be completed with basic household items, while others are having their students focus more on the data-analysis side of lab work. Rest assured that your professors want to ensure you have the most robust experience possible under the circumstances.
How do I make friends while remote?
There are so many ways to connect with your fellow students even while taking classes remotely! While completing SFU101 from mid-July through August, you’ll be introduced to some of your fellow incoming students, and get to know our current students as well.
During Welcome Day, you’ll be paired with a senior student to help show you the ropes of being in university. And of course, connect on social media! Get to know the whole SFU community on our New Undergrads 2020 Facebook page, and your fellow Science students on Discord.
What advice do you have for successful learning while at home?
One of the best ways to manage studying remotely is to set a schedule and stick with it. This means plotting out time each week not just for your classes, but for studying, working on assignments, or writing papers. Don’t forget to schedule the fun stuff too! Make time to meet with friends (remotely or safely if in person), and to participate in all the extra-curricular activities that will be going on this Fall.
In addition to keeping a schedule, try to have a designated study space (such as an office or even a dining room table) to help maintain consistency.
What student organizations are still active right now?
The Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) has transitioned to an online Discord and from there you can link to many other department-specific channels. Many clubs have also moved online, and the SFSS has a full directory. Most Departmental Student Unions has remained active throughout the summer, links to each DSU page can be found on Science’s Student Life page.
How can I get help making decisions about course enrollment?
Any tips for creating a schedule? Balancing my workload feels harder when the course is online.
A good rule of thumb is to plan to spend as many hours per week studying, working on assignments, or writing papers for each credit you are in. For example, if you are enrolled in 12 credits (approximately four classes), plan on having about 12 hours per week dedicated to work outside class time. The Student Learning Commons also has many helpful tips and workshops to help you stay on top of your courseload.
How do we access course outlines?
Course outlines can be found here.
My department has provided a lot of resources for course enrollment and program completion but where can I get advice about WQB requirements?
If I know of some fields of study I might want to minor in, how should I start exploring those options?
It is a great idea to explore other departments and faculties outside your own! Nearly all programs at SFU have at least one first-year class that is open to anyone so that you can try out different areas of study. Once you’ve decided on a minor or two you are interested in studying, simply contact their departmental advisor for more information.
When will we know what instruction will look like in the spring?
We’ve been advised by the President of SFU that a decision regarding Spring semester instruction should be made by late August/early September. This will allow plenty of time for you to plan your courses for Spring, as enrollment is not until November.
- Science Undergraduate Society & their Discord Server
- The Faculty of Science Student Life page
- Sign up to be matched with a peer mentor here
- Click here for a range of online learning resources and strategies, for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction
- University Prep, an online course that will help you navigate enrollment
- Launching soon, SFU 101, is an online orientation course with tips on how to survive and thrive in your first year of study
- Science Academic Advisors
- General Academic Advising
- SFU Clubs List
- Financial Aid & Awards
- SFU Co-op
- SFU Course Outlines
- SFU Community Connections Events Page
- Register for a June 25th or July 4th Super Advising Session OR
small group course planning sessions happening throughout the next two weeks
- We also recommend that you follow the SFU Faculty of Science Facebook page for academic, social and sometimes silly news and the SFU 2020 New Undergrads Facebook page.