Skip to main content

Tools and Technology

Learn more about the tools and technologies that you'll need to learn remotely. 

Get started in Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing and recording tool that can be integrated with Canvas. UC San Diego offers free Zoom accounts for all students. If your instructor is using Zoom, here’s what you need to do.

Test your setup beforehand

Try the Test Meeting feature to make sure your software and audio is set up.

Find the Zoom meeting link for your class

If the meeting was scheduled via Canvas, the Zoom meeting link is

  • In the Canvas course, under Zoom
  • In Canvas Calendar, as an event
  • In a Canvas event notification (in your email if notifications are on)
  • In the Zoom app

Otherwise, this information will be provided by your instructor or TA, so be sure to check in with them if you're not sure what your Zoom meeting link is.

Join a Zoom session

Before Connecting

  • Update your profile to include your full name
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection
  • Make sure you're in a quiet area
  • Minimize distractions and background noises by turning off notifications on devices, letting those around you know that you're in class, and closing any unnecessary windows and tabs
  • Remember to check your surroundings and what's visible on your webcam to avoid distracting your classmates
  • Use headphones or earbuds. Using an external speaker to listen in may result in echoing and other feedback issues that can be distracting and unpleasant to others

Access the Zoom Session

  • Click the Zoom meeting link several minutes before your meeting, as you may be prompted to  download Zoom to to your PC, Mac, tablet or phone.
  • Follow the instructions to join computer audio and mute yourself if that isn’t default. Unmute when you want to talk.

Participate in a Zoom session

In most cases, your instructor should be recording the session so you can watch it later, but if you can participate, you should try. In order to participate effectively: 

Use the Chat Feature

  • Be respectful and thoughtful in sharing your own questions and ideas. 
  • Avoid all caps, which can be difficult to read and comes across as yelling. 
  • Open the Chat panel - Monitor and use the chat function to ask any questions that you may have. Other students can see your questions, and can respond with their own answers or ask other follow-up questions. 
  • Keep it relevant - Keep your questions and comments relevant. Unnecessary comments, jokes, memes, and emojis can be distracting to others. 
  • "Raise" your hand - Use the "Raise Hand" option in the Participants panel if you would like to indicate non-verbally to the professor or TA that you have an important question.

Talk and Ask Questions

  • Keep yourself muted when you aren't speaking. Background noises like shuffling papers, keyboard typing, and other sounds will come across on your microphone and can be distracting to others. 
  • Introduce yourself - When you unmute yourself to speak, briefly introduce yourself by stating your name. Be sure to pause when speaking to allow for any delays in speech transmission, and to avoid interrupting others. 

Find recordings of a Zoom meeting in Canvas

If the meeting was scheduled via Canvas and recorded, the Zoom recording will be in the Canvas course in the Zoom tool > Cloud Recordings tab a few hours after the meeting ends.

Reach out to your instructor or TA if you're not sure if your course will be making Zoom sessions available on Canvas.

If your Zoom lecture recording requires a password to view, reach out to your instructor or TA for this information.


Will Styler's Guidelines for attending an online course

Stanford - How to Attend Online Classes Using Zoom

Get started in Canvas

Canvas Overview

Canvas  is the official campus learning management system.    Courses that are provided through Canvas make it possible to access assignments, discussions, quizzes, and grades via your laptop, desktop, phone, and/or tablet. 

Accessing Canvas

You can access your courses using Canvas by logging in directly through a desktop or laptop at Log into Canvas using your UCSD SSO credentials (the same login as your UCSD email). 

If you wish to use Canvas on a mobile device, consult the  Canvas Mobile App Guide

Navigating Canvas

Canvas is highly customizable. The video tutorials linked below will show you how to personalize Canvas:

  1. Update Your Profile and consider  Adding a Profile Picture.
  2. Set Your Notification Preferences to direct Announcements and other messages from your instructor to your personal email.
  3. Communicate with Your Instructor and Peers.
  4. Check Your Grades.

View the   Canvas Overview for Students page  for a video overview of navigating Canvas.

Access your Course

When you first log in, you will see an overview of your courses in your Canvas dashboard. Select the course that you want to access to be taken to that course's homepage. From your course, you can view your course content, such as your syllabus, assignments, and discussions. Be sure to check in on your courses every day for new announcements and updates from your instructor!

Canvas Technical Requirements

Canvas supports the current and first previous major releases of the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Safari
Note: Safari 13.1 contains an update that may cause issues with downloading files, chat alerts, and displaying images in Canvas. Canvas engineers are currently working on a solution for this issue. Until then, you can avoid errors with files and images by disabling cross-site tracking prevention in Safari when using Canvas.

You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available. View the   Canvas Supported Browsers page  for more details.

Get Help with Canvas

If you have technical questions with Canvas, click on "?" ( Help)  in the outer-left NavBar of the Canvas window and select the Canvas Help option that best suits your situation.

For help with UCSD accounts, UCSD network, and technical issues:   Contact the UCSD ITS Service Desk .

For more detailed guides and tutorials, view Canvas'   "Getting Started" page for students.

Know the tech requirements

Remote courses will often employ multiple strategies of engagement and interaction that will require the use of technology.  

  • Know what technology is required for your course before instruction starts. Your course may have additional requirements, such as specific software needs. Review your syllabus or reach out to your instructor to make sure you’re prepared. 
  • Most remote courses will require stable internet connection, a primary personal device (such as desktop, laptop, tablet), and a microphone and webcam. 
  • Test your tech beforehand - Have an upcoming video conference with classmates? Make sure your webcam properly picks up audio and video before the meeting!

If you don't have access to a personal computer

Undergraduate Students

Campus administration is working quickly to provide access to students who are in need. Take a look at the following resources  for more information:

The Computer Lab Lookup – this webpage will be continually updated as we work to gain access to computer labs on campus for students to use for remote instruction and finals.
Laptop Loaner Program – students can request a laptop through our laptop lending program. We are partnering with financial aid and ITS to work with students who qualify.

If you have questions, please reach out to

Graduate Students

Graduate students should contact their department chair to request devices needed to access remote instruction.

Access the internet

With the announcement that instruction for the entirety of Spring Quarter will be delivered remotely, and in light of the fact that some students may re-assess where they reside for Spring Quarter, Student Affairs has complied a list of special provisions being taken by internet service providers regarding temporary free service and/or leniency on fee payment.

See the full list of internet and software resources.

Learn to troubleshoot

It’s important to familiarize yourself with common issues that may occur when you’re taking remote courses. Before the start of your course, you will want to ensure that you have access to a stable network connection to minimize potential issues. Below are common troubleshooting steps that you can take if you experience any issues:

  • Test your network connection strength before taking an important assessment 
  • Reset browser caches, try navigating to a website on a different browser, open up a private session (such as Incognito mode), etc 
  • Reach out to tech support, whether it is campus tech support (for UCSD related issues) or your internet provider (for home network related issues)
  • Let your instructor know in advance if you are having issues with your tech

If you experience any issues with your course in Canvas, you should first reach out to your instructor to see if they are aware of the problem and working on a solution. 

For any technical issues with your UCSD account, email, or other services, contact campus ITS:

Self-service portal:
Phone: (858) 246-4357

To check on the status of a suspected service outage, check