Your Support Team
Your support team in the UWW Department of Interdisciplinary Studies consists of your academic advisor, your faculty advisor, and support staff. Your academic advisor will be by your side from day one through graduation. Your faculty advisor will work closely with you as you develop your degree plan and write your prior learning portfolio. We also have a student services coordinator to help you navigate the university. Get to know us.
As a UWW Interdisciplinary Studies student you have access to the UMass Libraries—the largest publicly-funded library in New England. The UMass Libraries provide a wealth of online and on-site resources, technology, expert staff, and a range of services to support students.
Last minute citation help? Need help with research? Ask a Librarian! You can send email or chat with the library Monday–Friday.
UWW's dedicated librarian is Dave Mac Court! You can reach Dave through the UWW library webpage—a portal that connects to everything the library offers and provides resources on topics such as choosing a paper topic, finding sources, and how to conduct a search.
UMass Amherst library books and articles can be mailed to you home for free through Library Express.
If you have a student ID card, your library barcode will be on the back. Or, it’s in SPIRE. Profile > IT Accounts & Certifications > UCard / Library Barcode. On the right side will be your library barcode even if you don’t have a student ID.
To get online writing help with assignments in any of your classes, you can use the UMass Amherst Writing Center. The Writing Center will open for UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff on Monday, February 12, offering Zoom and in-person appointments during the following spring hours:
- Mondays and Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sundays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
All times are Eastern. To make an appointment, please check out the Writing Center's scheduling platform WCOnline. If you see their schedule is full, please join the waiting list. To try to get a drop-in appointment, please visit the Writing Center or their Zoom space during their open hours. Drop-ins will be accepted if there is available space in the schedule. For information about how the Writing Center can support you, check out these videos about the benefits of using the Writing Center as a UWW student and what the Writing Center is like for UWW students. Additionally, feel free to email @email with any questions you may have.
UMass Amherst provides free tutoring for selected online courses each semester. Tutoring for many of these courses is available through ThinkingStorm, which is integrated into Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle. To get started, click on the "Online Tutoring" link at the bottom left of the course page in Canvas or Blackboard. Location in Moodle can vary, and you can ask your professor for the location of the link if you do not see it. Tutoring for some courses is available through UMass Amherst's Learning Resource Center (LRC).
Contact Jonah Carlson at @email or 413-545-5137 if you have problems accessing tutoring.
Tutoring is available through ThinkingStorm for the following spring courses:
|Principles of Financial Accounting
|Intermediate Financial Accounting I
|Anthropology of Childhood: Global Perspectives
|The Solar System
|Introduction to Climate Science
|Introduction to Kinesiology
|Fundamentals Of Marketing
|Introduction to Business Information Systems
|Business Data Analysis
|Intro Physics I
|Meth Applied Stats
Tutoring is available through the Learning Resource Center for the following spring courses:
|Introduction to Microeconomics
|Introduction to Macroeconomics
|Basic Mathematics Skills for the Modern World
|Calculus for the Life & Social Sciences I
|Intro Physics II
|Intro to Statistics
Are you an English as an additional language learner in need of support with any aspect (listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, or vocab) of your academic English? Online ESL tutoring is available in the fall and spring.
Disability Services is committed to full access for all students at UMass Amherst. Direct services are provided for all types of disabilities. Disability Services also provides information and referral on issues of accessibility.
The Assistive Technology Center (ATC) offers instruction, training, and support for assistive technology tools to any member of the University community. The ATC provides a workspace and access to specialized software, equipment, and tools.
Learning Online/Study Tips
Through the Student Orientation and Resource Area, you can learn how to take an online course in Blackboard or Moodle. Access training materials, resources, video tutorials, and more.
Establish a routine.
Fitting academics into an already busy schedule is no easy task! However, it is important to take the time early on in the semester to establish a routine that works for you. Spend time carefully considering your time commitments each week and write them in a weekly planner. Now, identify your 'free time.' Do you have an hour before you need to be at work in the morning? Read an article or two for class. Are you uninterrupted after the kids go to bed? Tackle that writing assignment. The key is to identify pockets of ‘free time’ each week and schedule specific goals in this time slot. If you can find a rhythm that works for you, the routine will be easy to stick to.
Plan ahead; keep track of due dates; create mini-deadlines.
During Preview Week, review each syllabus carefully and write down the due dates for each assignment, discussion post, or exam. Some students find that writing their assignments in a planner or agenda is most productive, whereas others prefer to set reminders in their smart phone of upcoming due dates and scheduled study times. Find something that works for you and stick to it!
By writing out your assignments for the whole semester, you can identify large, time-consuming assignments ahead of time. When you identify that a significant writing assignment is due, break up the work into mini-deadlines. For example, tell yourself that you will start your research project a week early and write 1-2 pages a day. Be sure to carefully consider potential scheduling conflicts like work events or weekend plans with the family so that you can get ahead of your work.
Block out distractions; create a productive work space.
Participating in online classes often means you are completing your assignments at home or at work, where there are many other competing priorities. Create a designated space at home that is known as your 'study space' and do what you can to limit distractions. Creating a physical space for studying can allow you to mentally check-in to your virtual ‘classroom’ and increase productivity. We all know the power of Netflix when sitting on the couch at night! Consider lighting and ambient music – whatever works to help you get into the zone.
Check in with your instructor regularly.
Building connections in a virtual format is difficult, but it can be made easier by checking into your courses daily. Check in with your classmates and instructor as often as possible, via email or discussion posts, in order to stay connected, ask questions, and share your thoughts. Participating in class discussions regularly demonstrates your dedication and engagement to the subject matter and class. As a result, you are likely to make a better impression on your instructor, as well as maximize learning (the ultimate goal!)
Find ways to recognize the work you have accomplished, no matter how small it might be, and reward yourself. This could be as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood after 30 minutes of uninterrupted work or carving out 30 minutes of your evening to watch your favorite show after completing all your reading. When you reward yourself in the moment, you can see the ways in which your efforts result in positive benefits. Additionally, rewarding yourself can increase productivity and reduce burnout.
Get enough sleep.
It may sound obvious, but getting proper rest each night is critical to your academic success. Sleep loss can lead to learning and memory impairment, as well as decreased attention and vigilance. Do you find it difficult to get quality shut-eye? Consider turning off all electronics (phones, laptops, tv) and relax quietly for 15-30 minutes before falling asleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you get sleepy.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You don’t have to do this alone! If you find yourself struggling to understand the course content or are having difficulty navigating your assignments in Blackboard, reach out to your instructor. Your faculty are important people in your support network and are here to help. Any other questions about your academic journey (that are not directly related to the course), should be directed to your Academic Advisor. They will work with you from now until you graduate. Don’t forget to ask family and friends to help in any they can. It takes a village!
Waiting until the last minute to complete your assignments will only increase your anxiety and prevent you from giving your best effort. Sometimes, life gets so busy that you have no other option but to complete your assignment the day before it is due. If you find yourself in this situation, consider using ‘website blockers’ (such as Freedom or KeepMeOut) to curb the temptation of online browsing and allow you to focus on the task at hand.