Resources for Online Learning

Our learning specialists have developed a number of resources to support students in their online learning. We would also be more than happy to discuss these resources with you through a virtual individual consultation.

Essential Penn Resources for Online Learning

The Weingarten Center strongly encourages students to consult Penn’s Student FAQs for Taking Online Classes and the site for Student Remote IT Support. Additionally, the Online Learning Initiative and the Center for Teaching and Learning have developed Learning Online: Tips for Students, which offers useful strategies and resources.

Strategies for Online Learning

Our learning specialists have been thinking deeply about the effective strategies in the context of online coursework. We recently developed Quick Tips for Online Learning in coordination with our colleagues in the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Online Learning Initiative.

Image of Quick Tips for Online Learning Handout

The Weingarten Blog also continues to offer unique and personalized insights into study strategies, organization and productivity, and a variety of tools and resources that can help you meet your goals and find fulfillment in your work.

Strategies for Remote Learning with image of hands typing on keyboardStructure the Unstructured Time with image of dominosPreparing for Open Book Exams Button

Strategies for International Students Button

Additionally, we have developed a learning strategies module specifically tailored for students taking online classes or learning remotely. Preview our video on Flexibility and then check out our full module on Proactive Time Management for Learning Online.

Our Favorite Handouts

Summer 2021 Semester Calendar Utilize this fillable PDF calendar for semester planning as you manage large projects and effectively allocate your study time for each course.
Syllabus Analysis for Online Learning (2 pages) Identify the structure, key components, and expectations of your most challenging courses.
Weekly Calendar Set up your week. Plan study time, but also breaks, meals, and sleep.
Assignment Break-Down When approaching a large assignment, consider how you’ll get started and the smaller tasks that will move you toward your goal.
Priority To-Do Matrix Adapted from Covey (2015), this matrix can help you figure out which tasks are most important.
Daily Goals Whether you use this handout or another method, it’s a great idea to set clear intentions for each day.
Weekly Goals Our weekly goals handout is all about setting clear intentions, particularly how you’ll practice self-care.
Academic Project Checklist Assess and reassess your project plan.
Building Flexibility Into Your Study Plans Overwhelmed? Off-track? Consider these questions and adapt your approach.
Complete Your Incompletes Inventory Use this inventory to create a plan for resolving incomplete assignments and coursework.

Useful Software

Well-designed software can support many aspects of our remote study, work, and communication. Below is some of the software that we find helpful for working in teams, mapping course content and ideas, note-taking, managing references and citations, and expanding our knowledge in STEM subjects.

We also strongly recommend consulting the more comprehensive Penn Libraries Software Search for additional resources as well as utilizing Penn’s access to LinkedIn Learning for all students, faculty, and staff for hundreds of courses and tutorials.

Essentials for Online Learning

Canvas Logo Canvas is the centrally-provided and supported learning management system at Penn. Easy to access via a web browser, but also has a great app.
BlueJeans Logo BlueJeans is a cloud-based cross-platform video conferencing service. You’ll use BlueJeans when connecting with a learning specialist in our office for virtual consultations or workshops. Also integrates nicely with the Outlook calendar.
Zoom Logo Zoom is video conferencing software that several schools are using for synchronous instruction. The Penn Libraries guide is very helpful.
Panopto Logo Panopto is a video creation and storage platform that integrates with Canvas. Consult the Penn Libraries guide to become an expert.


Coggle logo Coggle allows users to diagram information that may be helpful for collaboration, project management, report writing, or just brainstorming.
Simplemind logo SimpleMind turns your device into a brainstorming, idea-collection, and thought structuring tool.


OneNote icon OneNote is web-based, collaborative software for gathering notes, drawings, screen clips, and audio. Offers excellent features for organizing and reviewing notes. Check out the immersive reader function for focused review. Available to all Penn students, faculty, and staff through PennO365.
Notability Logo

Notability allows you to create, illustrate, outline, annotate, record, and capture photos. Great functionality with tablets.

Resources for Reference Management and Citation

Before selecting a reference manager, we recommend consulting the Penn Libraries Overview of Citation Management Tools.

Mendeley Icon Mendeley organizes references, research, and enables collaborative discovery of the latest research. Great integration with Microsoft Word for cite-as-you-write features and bibliography/reference list generation.
RefWorks Icon RefWorks allows users to create a personal bibliographic citation database using this web-based bibliographic management tool.
Zotero Icon Zotero helps you organize online resources, bibliographies, blog posts, PDFs, and other web content in one place.

Resources for STEM Learning

WolframAlpha Logo Wolfram Alpha is a free open source tool, allows users to submit mathematical and computation queries through a text field. Wolfram Alpha computes answers to user queries and displays relevant visualizations that make the answers easy to comprehend and apply to other problems of similar nature.
Khan Academy Icon Khan Academy is a free educational resource that offers video tutorials on a wide range of subjects including mathematics, history, physics, general and organic chemistry, micro and macroeconomics. Khan Academy allows users to develop a personalized dashboard to tag favorites and the most commonly used tutorials.
YouTube Logo The Organic Chemistry Tutor on YouTube offers video tutorials for most STEM courses including statistics. This creator often begins with an overview and prerequisites of the subject matter before introducing content and various practice problems.
Molecular Icon Molecular Workbench is a free open source portal that allows users to launch and customize concepts at atomic and molecular levels in physics, chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Scanning Apps for Uploading Problem Solutions and Converting Notes/Documents

Office Lens logo Office Lens is a great option for O365 users. The app trims, enhances, and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable. Office Lens converts images to PDF, Word, and PowerPoint files, and you can save images to OneNote or OneDrive. This is particularly helpful for students who need to make high-quality scans of handwritten solutions for problem sets.
Adobe Scan Logo Adobe Scan allows you to easily capture and convert documents, whiteboards, and handwritten solutions for problem sets into high-quality Adobe PDFs.