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In an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, all Harvard Law School classes have been delivered online, since March 23. Harvard University’s decision to shift to remote teaching, learning, and work is designed to reduce the number of interactions on campus, slow the rate of transmission, and protect our community.

We understand the tremendous effort required of all students, faculty, and staff, and we are here to support you. In addition to the general FAQ page, the following resources may be helpful as you transition to remote learning.

Digitally Accessing Materials, Classes and Study Tools

Digitally Accessing Materials, Classes and Study Tools

You will use your Harvard Zoom account to attend your classes.  You may also set up study groups and schedule meetings with your peers and student organizations.

Zoom resources

I started to watch a lecture video and took a break. When, I returned to my computer, it was gone. How do I get it back and do I have to start watching from the beginning again? (added 4/1)

Try reloading the page. If that does not work, click on the original Zoom link to the recorded lecture. Once in Zoom you can navigate within the recording to find the spot from which you like to begin watching the lecture.

Access your class sessions

  • Find the link to your class in the course Canvas page:
    • Canvas Calendar – Just click on the meeting in your calendar.
    • Click on the Zoom tab in your Canvas course site.  On the Zoom page, click on the “meeting” scheduled for your class.
  • If you encounter issues during the class session:
    • Wait 90 seconds, Zoom will automatically try to reconnect you
    • Move closer to your Wi-Fi router
    • Turn off video
    • Sign out and sign back in again
    • Join by phone

What happens if I am unable to access my course materials from home? (added 3/26)

Please:

Course reserves material

Anything that was placed on reserve in the library for your specific class (not the text book) should be in the course Canvas site. Look for the Library Reserves and/or Modules in the left navigation of the site.

Textbooks, bluebooks and study aids

Information on getting access to these materials can be found at the HLS Library Services for Off-Campus Students.

Zoom Screen Views During Class Sessions

Zoom Screen Views During Class Sessions

The Zoom control ribbon keeps disappearing from my Zoom window. Where did it go? (added 3/26)

To see the Zoom control ribbon, move your cursor to the bottom of your Zoom window and all of the commands will appear. When you move your cursor away from the bottom of your Zoom window the control ribbon disappears (unfortunately). You cannot “pin” the control ribbon.

Interacting in the Digital Classroom

Interacting in the Digital Classroom

I am presenting in the live Zoom class. Do I need host privileges? (added 3/26)

No. You can present as a participant. Your faculty will provide the guidance needed to participate. A host controls technical aspects of Zoom.

Can I use my smart phone to attend class? (added 3/26)

Yes. You can use your smart phone to attend class but first you need to ensure that you have claimed your Harvard Zoom account. Open the Zoom App. If you get a screen that says enter SSO type “Harvard” in the SSO box. You only need to claim your Harvard Key on each device once.

Note: Breakout Room functions may not work on the smart phone.

Do I need to wear a headset? (added 3/26)

Not necessarily. However, it improves the audio quality and cuts down on any background noise making it easier for your classmates and professors to hear and interact with you. Normal earbuds are fine. You don’t need a special or fancy headset! 

My internet connectivity is very poor. I can only join by phone. Does this limit how I can participate? (added 3/26)

Joining by phone may limit you from being unable to view the class and be seen by the instructor.  You may also be limited in the interaction like hand raising.  We recommend letting the instructor know you have unreliable internet and may to phone in to class meetings.  Unfortunately, to participate in Breakout Rooms you must be using an internet connection. Please try to email your professor in advance if you know connectivity will be an issue.

Recordings

Recordings

Zoom class recordings and privacy policies

  • You do not need to request a recording from DOS or the Registrar’s Office. Teachers will be recording each class session in Zoom for the remainder of the term.
  • Links to class session recordings will be posted in the Zoom meetings section of the Canvas course page. Teachers may post class recordings only inside of the Canvas site for the course.  To find the recordings, click on Zoom in the left navigation and then the tab for Cloud Recordings. Note: Videos will be published to the class site as they are processed, which may take up to 24 hours.
  • Zoom automatically has default settings that provide audio and visual indicators to inform you when the recording starts, stops, is in progress, and is paused or un-paused.
  • Students are not permitted to record a class session or any portion of a class session via any technology for any reason.
  • Students may not disclose the link(s) to class session recordings or copies of recordings to anyone, for any reason. Recordings are strictly available for class participants only. (See HLS Handbook of Academic Policies for Class Recordings, specifically noting that “no person is permitted to post, distribute, or otherwise make available any recordings produced by the Harvard Law School Information Technology Services Department without the permission of the Harvard Law School Communications Office.” For the purposes of this provision, all class recordings produced through Canvas will be considered produced by the HLS ITS Department.)
  • Zoom provides the option to appear in an audio-only mode, such that your webcam is disabled (turned off) during the class.  Please discuss your decision to activate that option with your teacher before doing so if you intend to participate in that mode for your class in general.  If you need to switch to audio during a class session due to technical problems, you may want to send your instructor a message after the class session with that information.
  • Zoom provides the option of participating in class sessions using a pseudonym. If you have concerns about using your name in the online learning environment, please discuss this with your teacher before adopting a pseudonym. Any pseudonym will need to be provided to your teacher in advance of the class.
  • Links to Zoom class session recordings will be removed and videos deleted at the end of the academic term.

Where can I find my recorded classes?

You do not need to request a recording from DOS or the Registrar’s Office. Teachers will be recording each class session in Zoom for the remainder of the term.  Links to class session recordings will be posted in the Zoom meetings section of the Canvas course page. Teachers may post class recordings only inside of the Canvas site for the course.  To find the recordings, click on Zoom in the left navigation and then the tab for Cloud Recordings.

When will class recordings be available? (added 3/26)

Most class recordings will be posted and available 24 hours after the class session.  Some faculty may take longer to publish recordings.  If you do not see a recording,  you could email your faculty or their assistant.

Why are classes being recorded? (added 3/26)

HLS has mandated that all classes be recorded so that those students who cannot attend the class during its officially scheduled time will be able to watch the class and still have full access to their classes.

When will the class recording start? Or what is getting recorded in Zoom during class? (added 3/26)

Unfortunately, due to Zoom settings, the recording starts when the first student enters the room, not when your professor enters the class. This means that if a student has entered the class early the class recording also starts early. Please ensure that you are dressed appropriately anytime you enter the Zoom classroom regardless of whether it is the official class start time.

What is recorded in Zoom Chat? (added 3/26)

Private conversations between participants are never recorded (assuming that the professor has enabled this function). If the class is being recorded in the cloud than only the public chat will be recorded.

Can I download a recorded class? (updated 3/26)

No. Recorded classes can only be streamed. Students are prohibited from downloading class recordings.

Can I share the class recording link with others?

No. Students may not disclose the link(s) to class session recordings or copies of recordings to anyone, for any reason.  Recordings are strictly available for class participants only. (See HLS Handbook of Academic Policies for Class Recordings, specifically noting that “no person is permitted to post, distribute, or otherwise make available any recordings produced by the Harvard Law School Information Technology Services Department without the permission of the Harvard Law School Communications Office.” For the purposes of this provision, all class recordings produced through Canvas will be considered produced by the HLS ITS Department.)

How long will class recordings be available? (added 3/26)

Links to Zoom class session recordings will be removed and videos deleted at the end of the academic term.

Can I record a class myself? (added 3/26)

Students are not permitted to record a class session or any portion of a class session via any technology for any reason.

Breakout Rooms/Small Group Work and Discussions in Zoom

Breakout Rooms/Small Group Work and Discussions in Zoom

My professor pre-assigned me to a Breakout Room but I can’t seem to join. What can I do? (updated 3/26)

Try troubleshooting with the following:

  1. Log into Zoom via Harvard Key to claim your Harvard Zoom account. You must do this so that Zoom will recognize you for pre-assigned Breakout Rooms.
    1. Go to zoom.us
    2. Click the blue button “Sign-in”
    3. You will be prompted to login with your Harvard Key.
    4. Find your class in Canvas
    5. Once in your Canvas class website, click on the Zoom link at the bottom of the left column
    6. Now you have joined the class in a way that you should be able to participate in pre-assigned Breakout Rooms.
    7. You will only need to authenticate yourself one time.
  1. Make sure that you have enabled the correct Breakout Room settings in Zoom.:
    1. Login with your Harvard Key at zoom.us
    2. Go to settings
    3. Scroll to “in meeting advanced”
    4. Where it says “breakout rooms” toggle on, and check the pre-assignment checkbox.

You should now be able to join pre-assigned Breakout Rooms. If not, please let your professor know.

Are Breakout Room sessions recorded? (added 3/26)

Class recordings saved to the cloud do not record Breakout Room sessions regardless of the host’s location. Zoom only records main room activity.

Passwords and Zoom

Passwords and Zoom

Now that a Zoom generated password is required for class entry I have had trouble accessing class. What can I do? (added 4/9)

Follow these steps:

  • Confirm that you are using your Harvard Zoom account.
  • Log in to Canvas
  • Enter the class session by going to the class page
  • Select Zoom link on the left hand side to access the class
  • Remember that entering class via the calendar may not work as those links have not been updating consistently.

Note: Students received both global Canvas notification as well as a message sent to their in-boxes on April 9, 2020.

I need to dial into my class. How can I access the password? (added 4/9)

The host (instructor) needs to provide the student with the password. Also check in the TA’s or FA’s as the instructor might have shared the password with them.

When I dial into class is there a specific format for entering the password? (added 4/9)

Yes. Enter the Zoom provided password as one single number without any dashes (even if the original password contained dashes).

 

Troubleshooting Zoom

Troubleshooting Zoom

Can I join by telephone? What happens if my computer audio doesn’t work or I can’t join online? (updated 3/26)

Yes, you can join by telephone by using any number in the below list to dial in. After you dial into the meeting you will be prompted to enter your Meeting ID that you received from your professor (host).

If you need your Meeting ID # go back to the original invitation your professor sent you.

: I got “bumped” out of class. What can I do? (updated 3/26/19)

First try to rejoin the class using the same method you did initially. If that doesn’t work, try to asses why. Try to rejoin without using video. If you are still having computer issues join by telephone. Make sure to have your meeting id # ready.  (For access phone numbers see the question, “Can I join by telephone? What happens if my computer audio doesn’t work or I can’t join online?”)

 Something seems to have gone wrong with Zoom. What can I do? (added 3/26)

Here are common Zoom problems tips:

  • A student is lagging in the video view.
    • Have the student switch to audio only and close down any other unnecessary applications and open windows.
  • A student joined using a Zoom mobile app for IOS or Android but are having trouble with audio.
  • My connection is slow or isn’t working very well.
    • If possible, try to connect hardwire rather than wirelessly.

Technical support

If you have a question about using Zoom, contact the HLS Service Desk at 617-495-0722, or submit a request at the Services Hub.

HLS Resources

HLS Resources

Library

While the physically library is closed, remote reference is available. HLS students looking for course reserves and other library student services should start with our Remote and Off-Campus Services Guide.

Career Services

During this period of remote learning, the Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA) and Office of Career Services (OCS) will be open to you as a resource for information and advising. For more information about accessing the offices and general FAQ visit OCS and OPIA Remote Operations & Advising.

Graduate Program

J.D. Student Financial Services

  • Contact Student Financial Services at 617-495-4606 between 10am-2pm EST
  • For LIPP/SPIF-related questions, call 617-495-0643 between 9:30am-11:30am and 1:30-3:30pm EST

We will continue to check email throughout the business day. Please email us if you need to schedule a phone appointment.

 

Online Learning Practices

Online Learning Practices

Keep to a schedule

Whether you’re attending live-streamed classes remotely or watching recordings, it’ll be useful to make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. You won’t have the daily rhythm of campus life, so use calendaring tools or other means to keep track of everything. Harvard’s Academic Resource Center offers a portfolio of great suggestions.

Learn Remotely

The Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) and Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) have created a Learn Remotely website with helpful advice and resources. Remote learning resources are also available through the Harvard Academic Resource Center.

Health and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of our students is of utmost priority. By reducing the number of people on campus, we seek to slow down the potential transmission and reduce our collective risk. We know, however, that this is an incredibly stressful time for everyone. The following resources may be helpful.

Manage stress, anxiety, and fear

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Stay connected and motivated while remote

The following Harvard resources may help you adjust to an abrupt remote learning environment and stay connected amidst ongoing social distancing measures.