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Spring 2020 – Technology FAQ

Can I take my classes from a computer with a wireless connection?

Learning online using a wireless connection is not recommended. Whether at home or on campus, your experience online has a greater chance of success if you are using a wired connection. If you are at home with your laptop, use an Ethernet cable to plug directly into your router, rather than using Wi-Fi. If you are unable to connect with an Ethernet cable, make sure to be as close to the wireless access point as possible. If you need an Ethernet cable, you may acquire one from virtually any local store that carries electronic equipment (Yes, Walmart included!).

Are there things I can do at home to optimize my online classes?

Yes. In addition to using a wired connection, limit or prohibit (if possible) other users’ online activity while in class. This is especially important regarding online video streaming or gaming. They are notorious bandwidth hogs. If you are having problems with connectivity, go to and check to see what throughput you are getting with your ISP. You can report your speed test numbers to the help desk for analysis.

Also, when using Google Meet, mute your microphone except when speaking.

If I lose connectivity during class, what should I do?

Expect that this may happen. Remain calm. Do not become frustrated. Try to troubleshoot and reconnect on your own first. You may call the help desk if you need technical support (434-947-8103).  Someone will be available to the phone from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekdays. Those hours will be extended if necessary. While the help desk phone line is a resource, it is not a call center. With social distancing, it is likely to be a single onsite person, who is also doing fieldwork. The help desk may be closed temporarily while the person on call is attending to a matter elsewhere on campus. Often there may only be one person at the phone, who will only be able to take one call at a time, in succession. Immediate support may not be available when most needed. This is when alternate methods of acquiring class materials will be of paramount importance. Be sure to communicate with your instructors regarding class time missed due to technical difficulties.

Why are you using Google Meet for classes?

The most important reasons are for simplicity, consistency, and cost. Google Meet is simple, easy to use, and easy to troubleshoot. If everyone is using the same tools, both you and your instructors will get faster, more efficient tech support if something goes wrong. Connecting and taking classes online, will be much simpler for everyone if every class is using the same interface for online classes. Plus, Google Meet integrates smoothly with your other Google software already in use.

Can I record my classes?

No. Only class instructors have the ability to record their classes.

What about captioning?

You can turn on live captioning to view what is being said along with the video stream. However, if your instructor is recording classes and making them available for later viewing, there is no way to save captioning with the video at this time.

Are there any security concerns using a webcam?

Yes. Anything internet connected can be hacked. When not in use, you should turn off your computer, unplug your camera, or cover the camera lens (microphone is still active). While someone hacking your camera feed is unlikely, it’s not impossible.

If I have technical difficulties, who should I contact?

The help desk is still available to assist, however, immediate assistance may not be available. Contact the help desk via phone (434-947-8103) and leave a message if no one is available to take your call, or communicate via email to: You can also find help on our website at



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