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Graduate Remote Learning Tips

Online education has revolutionized learning in higher education. At Bentley we offer online education in multiple ways. Learn more about those formats and how you will engage with professors and other students no matter where you are located. Here you can also find the basics for adapting to and becoming successful with remote learning as Bentley University graduate student.


Course Formats

Synchronous Online Learning

In synchronous online courses, the faculty member and students are remote but interact in real time at specific class times each week. All students enrolled in a synchronous online courses will complete the entire course remotely. Students are required to attend synchronous online course meetings at specific times as indicated in the course description. Faculty have designed these synchronous classes so that students can interact in real time with their classmates and professors through Zoom, and complete a variety of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Synchronous online classes are labeled SN in their course descriptions.

Asynchronous Online Learning

With asynchronous online courses, faculty and students are completely online with no specific class time assigned for the course. Instructor lessons can include recorded video lectures, interactive simulations, and discussion boards where classmates can share their views or ask questions. Throughout the week students have the flexibility on when to log in and complete their work, but there are specific due dates for participation and assignments. 

Asynchronous online classes are labeled AL in their course descriptions.

Hybrid Learning

Bentley hybrid courses are offered in a web-extended format that allow you the option of attending your classes from an on-campus physical classroom or online from wherever you have an internet connection (with some exceptions). Anything shown to the students in the classroom can also be seen by online students in real time.

Hybrid online classes are labeled HB in their course descriptions.

Getting Started

IT Resources for Working and Teaching Remotely

Bentley strongly suggests the following computer configurations to ensure that you can take full advantage of Bentley’s computing environment.

Falcons Online

According Bentley's CIS Sandbox, a 5GHz wireless connection will be faster than other connections (2.5GHz) but will not give you as much distance from the router. You must select what is best for your particular situation. 

The best connection at home is the Ethernet connection. Every home router (except Apple home routers) has Ethernet ports on the back of the router. If your router at home has an open Ethernet port, connect your laptop to the router using an Ethernet cable to get the most reliable and fastest connection possible. 

Zoom Class

If you have not used Zoom before, you will find everything you need on our Getting started with Zoom page!

You can also download an official Bentley University Zoom Background for extra pizzazz.

Image that depicts learning and working remotely

All students are provided with a student license for Office 365. This includes 1TB of secure cloud storage in Microsoft’s Office 365 OneDrive. Microsoft Office 365's suite of office applications can be accessed from on-campus and from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Man holding cell phone while sitting in front of a laptop

Brightspace is a web-based Learning Management System.

Essentially, it is a website that class participants can access any time from any computer with an Internet connection.

Brightspace is used to find:

  • Uploaded course-related materials, including syllabi, profiles, presentations, audio and video files.
  • Receive updates from instructors about course information. 
  • Access to online collaborative tools such as discussion boards, blogs, and wikis.
  • Submit assignments online, take tests and surveys electronically, and locate grades and anti-plagiarism tools.

For more information on Brightspace, watch the tutorials here.

Online Learning Tips

Creating a Space Conducive to Learning

Create a study space separate from your leisure space. 

Setting up a physical environment or space just for attending classes

Minimizing distractions while in class

Ensure that you have reliable internet access

Check your internet connection. 

It would be a good idea to notify whomever you share your living space with that you will be taking a class or a test. Your connection may become weak if others are streaming or downloading while your in class.

Be Engaged & Avoid Distractions

Take notes during remote classes, including while watching recorded video lectures, and be engaged in the class as you would on campus. 

Do not have any other browser windows open. Have your phone silent and away. Establish guidelines with other people you may live with regarding reduced distractions when you are working (ex. do not disturb unless urgent).

C. Soto
Sometimes it can feel awkward to ask questions when you’re online, mostly because you might think you’re interrupting the class. Find out your professor's protocol - Some use the ‘Raise hand’ Zoom feature; while others would encourage you to speak up, and then let you follow with your question. From there, you should feel more comfortable asking questions.
Cecilia Soto
MS Human Factors in Information Design, Class of 2021

Have A Organization Strategy

Create one organizational strategy for all your commitments (work, class assignments and personal/family obligations) - agenda books, outlook calendars, physical calendars, etc.

Use timers to keep track of time at home. If you take a study break, set a timer so that you know you have a hard stop when it goes off. 

Time Management

Maintain a regular schedule—this includes time spent in online class, doing work, eating, sleeping, and leisure time with friends and family.   

Don’t take this as an opportunity to work more hours at a job or take on more activities

Try not to procrastinate; make a Daily Schedule and stick to it.

Communications Is Key

Just because you are remote, does not mean communication should become less - it should become more.

Find the best ways to communicate with your instructors (it might be listed in the syllabus), find out when virtual office hours are held, and learn how to connect with classmates especially for group projects.

Chase Smith, MBA '20
Every week, I would list in a word document the assignments from the syllabus or shown in the weekly Blackboard Modules (readings, discussion board posts, homework assignments, case studies, projects, etc). An online format can be overwhelming at first, but this helped me to stay organized and to make sure that I wasn't forgetting anything that needed to be accomplished in any particular week. As I finished items on my list, I would highlight them with different colors for each day, so I could see my progress and pace myself with completing my work.
Chase Smith
Accelerated Online MBA, Class of 2020

Learn the technology

Be, or be willing to become tech-savvy.

Learn the technology to continue to work in groups with classmates—Zoom, “Meet Now” through Microsoft 365 Teams, Skype for Business, etc. 


Regularly participate in the online discussions in class—especially with remote asynchronous classes.

Participation is what can help drive a class forward and enhance learning. Also, instructors expect that students will participate as much as in-person classes. 


Get adequate sleep

Nourish your body as best you can to fuel your mind

Check out Bentley's Self-Care Resources.

E. Gjikolli
Group projects! Make sure to communicate clearly with your team members and create “false” deadlines to help the team stay on track. Try meeting with other members every week and make sure that each member knows what they are doing
Ereza Gjikolli
MS Accounting Analytics, Class of 2021

Remote Classroom Expectations

Taking class from the comfort of your home, office or other locations may result in being in a non-classroom mindset.

Try to avoid these remote class don'ts. 

Additional Information

Join our Graduate Admission staff  as they go over the online learning experience for incoming graduate students. This presentation reviews Learning Models, Online Classroom Technology, Student Experience, and Online & Hybrid Demos.