Getting ready to rock your first week of classes!

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Hey Campus Life & Engage,


Hope you had a fantastic Orientation! Usually, CL&E would take a pause from our weekly emails, but we figured we might give you an extra boost to help you get ahead.


We’ve compiled a handy user manual to guide you through myCourses, McGill’s online learning portal. myCourses will be where your instructors will post access instructions, like Zoom links or other information, for your first class. This is also the place where your instructors will post important information about your courses like your grades, readings, assignments, lecture recordings, and discussions boards.


You’re going to be using myCourses a lot during your McGill degree, but especially during this period of remote learning, so take note of the basics and tips we’ve outlined below! This email contains important pictures, so make sure that your browser downloads all the images below. If you have trouble loading the images, check out the web version of this email.


When you log into myCourses, you should be able to see the courses you’re registered in for the semester. If you currently aren’t able to open a course, don’t worry! All courses will open on the first day of classes, meaning that all the information will be available to you on Wednesday, September 2nd.


You can organize your homepage by pinning courses. Just search your courses using the myCourses widget on the far left, enter the course code, and then click the pin icon. This will place the course on your homepage. If you want to remove a course from your homepage, simply click the pin icon and select ‘Remove.’



The homepage will also connect you to your McGill Office 365 email. You’ll get notifications on the column to the right of the screen.


The notifications bar.


On the top of the screen, you’ll be able to access all the notifications for your courses. This is super useful! There are three ways you can be updated:

  • Message alerts – see who has private messaged or emailed you recently.
  • Subscription alerts – view updates in discussion boards you’re subscribed to.
  • Notifications – this is course content changes such as: new material added to content, grades uploaded, announcements, and assignments uploaded.

Each course has its own homepage with important information and materials. Each course layout will look a bit different depending on the course and instructor, but there are some key components that you will be using frequently.

Course Homepage Basics


Each course has its own homepage and navigation bar. The navigation bar includes links to Content, Discussions, Assignments, Classlist, Grades, Course Evaluations, and Course Admin. However, your instructor may only link to the tools they are using in the course, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see all of these options.


Your course homepage will be organized in a variety of ways depending on your instructors. Two common tools that will often be seen on your course homepage are the announcements and calendars tools:

  • The announcements tool displays any announcements instructors have posted for you to see. Make sure to check this for important updates!
  • The calendar tool shows a list of Upcoming events in a course. You can check class updates day by day to see assignment deadlines, meeting times, and more.




Here, you’ll be able to find your course syllabus, as well as course materials such as articles, books, movies, worksheets, and more. This section may also contain lecture slides, and important outlines for your assignments. Some instructors will post all course materials on the first day of class, whereas others may release materials on a rolling basis.






The discussions tab can host multiple discussion boards. Depending on the course, there may be different discussion boards set for different purposes. Discussion boards can be used for course help, to reach out to your fellow classmates, or for parts of your participation grades.


Lecture Recordings


This is where your instructor may post links to Zoom meetings and/or recordings of past lectures.















This is a space for your instructor to post outlines and instructions for your course assignments. You will be able to submit assignments through this page, however some instructors may require you to submit a copy via email, or during non-remote semesters, a hard copy. You may also receive feedback from assignments here, as well as through the Grades tool.





This is where your instructor can post your grades and feedback on your assignments. The Grades tool allows you to see your cumulative grade over the semester. Some instructors may choose to return your assignments via email, so make sure you know which channel your instructor will be using.



Quick Tips


Stay notified


Sign up for text (SMS) or email notifications from myCourses so you don’t miss out on anything important. Log into the IT Knowledge Base with your McGill email for a full walkthrough.

Subscribe to the calendar


Sync important dates, deadlines, and reminders that your instructors schedule to an external calendar, such as Google, Outlook, or iPhone. Learn about the calendar tool here.


Use Polling @ McGill


In some courses, you’ll be using Polling @ McGill. You can register your account for Polling by logging into myCourses and clicking the “Polling @ McGill” link from the My Home page. Find more information on Polling here.


Access on the go


myCourses is mobile-friendly! You can access it through your web browser, or through the McGill app.



We hope that this email cleared up any questions you might have had about myCourses! If you need any technical help using myCourses, please contact the IT Service Desk. You can also check out their FAQs about myCourses. For other student life related questions, contact!


If you’ve still got questions about anything from course materials, to McGill lingo, to navigating campus, check out our Getting Ready for Fall email, or the Remote Student Life website!





Gilbert Lin

Manager, Orientation & Student Engagement, Campus Life & Engagement | McGill Student Services




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