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Updates and Announcements

OLLI@SCU Online Classroom Guidelines

1. When you log into your ZOOM class, please mute your audio, if it has not already been done by the instructor. If you unmute yourself to ask a question, please put it back to mute.

2. We ask, that if you are planning on having a meal, at any time during the lecture, you turn off your video. This is very distractig to everyone in the class. Please stop eating while the lecture is going on, or make sure we can't see or hear you eating or drinking anything (other than water). The same thing applies to our face-to-face instruction.

3. Do not use the "chat" function to have a conversation with others in the class. This is for the instructor to see your questions. It is not a forum to criticize an instructor or start chatting with friends. If you have anything you would like to address regarding an instructor, save it for the class evaluation.

4. Please take note of your background. The people in the ZOOM class can see everything in your space, including but not limited to, other people walking around unaware they have no privacy with your camera on. You can avoid this by turning off your video.

5. Please be respectful to the instructor. Again, if you feel the need to multitask during a lecture, disable your video. This is new to everyone, and they are trying their best.

What is Zoom? 

Zoom is the video conferencing tool you'll use to participate in a live-streamed OLLI course. Extra bonus: ​You don't need a Zoom account to access the class​.

What equipment do I need? 

You need one of these:

  • Computer ​(desktop or laptop, Mac or Windows)

  • Smartphone ​(iPhone or Android)

  • Tablet ​(any)

    Optional equipment - not required, but nice to have:

  • Headphones with a microphone​: This will let you hear and be heard more clearly. Simple headphones you'd use with your phone will do the trick.

Click here for a 1-minute video on how to check your equipment

Once classes start, how do I join my Zoom class?

For first time users: Do this before your first class

  • Laptop and Desktop users: The first time you click on the Join Zoom Meeting link, it will download a free program to your computer. Click on the download, then follow the prompts to install the program. If you would like to download the program ahead of time, click here, then click "download" under the "Zoom Client for Meetings" subsection

  • Tablet and Smartphone users:  Download the free Zoom app from your device's app store (app you are looking for is 

Click here for a 1-minute video about joining Zoom  

For returning users:

  • Join the meeting from your computer (works best), tablet, or smartphone.

  • You will receive an email from your instructor and you can click on the meeting link or call the number indicated.  For your protection, you will receive by default an embedded password protected link that grants you access to your class, you will NOT be required to type a password, this process will prevent intruders from entering your class session.

  • Log in at least five minutes before the start of class. Attendance will be taken during each class session.

What if? 

Anything Else I Should Know?  

What to Expect in Your Live-Streamed Class  

If you arrive early (meaning you click the Zoom link long before the start of class), you'll get to hang out in a virtual waiting room. You will be admitted into class as soon as everything is set up and ready to go. All members will be muted in the classroom. That means, you’ll hear the instructor and only the instructor.  

Instructors have their own preferences when it comes to Q & A. Some may invite you to ask questions via the Zoom chat function. Others may ask you to raise your virtual hand. When called upon, you'll be unmuted so you can ask your question.


Important Notice: Spring Course Registration will begin, Tuesday, April 7 

First and foremost, I hope that this message finds you and all of your loved ones well. It has been an unprecedented time in our community's history and our focus has appropriately been on keeping you our OLLI members engaged as much as possible. 

That being said, as we head into online spring registration on Tuesday, April 7, I want to remind you that you will continue to register in TWO sessions as stated in the spring catalog. That has not changed.  The only change is the registration start date and time.  We do not anticipate the “surge” because we have fewer courses, but we want you to become familiar with the process so in the fall, when we do expect more courses and more signups, we are all up to speed.   If there are glitches now, we can correct them before the fall surge. 

We are splitting the membership alphabet equally into two registration sessions:

• Session 1 and Session 2 will take place on the same day but at different times.

• Seat capacity in each class will be divided equally to ensure both sessions have equal access.

So what is the BIG CHANGE? 

The way you get the registration link and the time you register.

All OLLI members, whether in Session 1 or Session 2, will receive a registration link directly by email on Monday, April 6 at 1 p.m.  Keep this email in your inbox so you can access it when it’s time to register.


MONDAY, APRIL 6  | Registration Link is Emailed

• All OLLI members, whether in Session 1 or Session 2, will receive the registration link directly by email on Monday, April 6  at 1 p.m.  The time slots for the two registration sessions will be specified so keep this email in your inbox so you can access it when it is your time to register.  Please have all your classes selected before you start to register on April 7.

AFTER 2 PM Monday, April 6

• If you did not receive a registration link we encourage you to email the OLLI office at – not call – so we can send you your designated registration link. 

TUESDAY, April 7  | Registration Day

• Session 1: Members with last names that start with A-K will register from 10 a.m. -11 a.m. with the appropriate registration link for this time slot. (This link closes at 11 a.m.)

The registration system will close for 30 minutes from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

• Session 2: Members with last names that start with L-Z will register from 11:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. with the appropriate registration link for this time slot. (This link closes at 12:30 p.m.)

If you miss your time slot or decide to add another class, course registrations will re-open to all members after 1:00 p.m., and remain open until the end of the quarter. You can register on the home page, and select “register for courses.” 

Thank you,
The OLLI @ SCU staff

Spring Quarter Annoucements:

  • Email with your course registration start time will be sent, Friday, April 3
  • Online Course Registration Begins, Tuesday, April 7th  
  • Online Courses Start Monday, April 13th

Online Spring 2020 Courses:

Below are the classes that we believe, and our instructors believe, will work well in an online environment and provide the kind of OLLI learning you know and love. The Curriculum Committee's exhaustive efforts have made the following selections possible. Please remember, this is contingency plan "B" for OLLI, or can we say plan "Z". 

  Long Courses:    

  Short Courses:

How to Zoom 


For a beginner's guide to Zoom, please click here to access OLLI's How-To guide for first-time Zoom users. It includes installation instructions, tips and tricks, and answers to frequently asked questions that may arise during classes.


How and When to Go to Class

Different courses will have different formats: some will be live-streamed, some will be recorded. 


This means, you can 1) watch the live-stream on Zoom (instructions below) and participate in a Q & A with instructors on a set day and time, and/or 2) watch a video of the class at the scheduled class session. 



Pre-recorded videos will post at the scheduled time and will NOT be recorded or available for viewing later.   

  • Early Christian and Byzantine Art (Kathleen Maxwell)



These classes will be live-streamed, which means that you must be present in the Zoom meeting at the time of the class.

  • Cuba Enters the Seventh Decade of Its Revolution (Michael Conniff and Anne Fountain)

  • Jazz, Politics, and Society in America (Clifford Brown, Jr.)

  • Reading Vergil's Aeneid (Barbara Clayton)

  • Einstein's Theory of Relativity for Everyone (Awanish Mishra)

  • The Trojan War: The Myths, the Facts, & the Gossip (Mary Lynn Wilson)

  • Immigration & Nativism in U.S. & California History (Glen Gendzel) 

  • Congress vs. the Presidency (Matthew T. Harrigan)

Dear OLLI Members,

Thank you so much for your patience these past couple of weeks as we work on (and quickly revise) our spring term courses and plan for the quarter. Our top focus is to keep our OLLI community together and engaged moving forward, however that may look right now.


On March 16, 2020 the President of the University announced that spring quarter will be completely online, and all courses will be virtual through the end of the academic year.

We are working on our Spring course line-up and have reached out to those instructors willing to work with OLLI to move their courses online given our new direction. At this point, some courses will be video-taped and posted for easy viewing, others will be lived streamed. That means, you’ll log into a class on a set day and time, and engage as you would in a classroom environment. We are hoping for a mix of both live and pre-recorded classes.


ZOOM is a video conferencing tool you will be using to log into a live-streamed class. It may sound daunting, but it is actually fairly simple to navigate. We are sure most of you have never used this program, but look at it as an opportunity to say … ”I haven’t tried it yet”. 

As with any new tool we use at OLLI, we will send instructions on how to log into a class, what to expect and of course the course schedule. 


We want to remind our OLLI members that our small team is currently working from home while we are asked to practice social distancing and keep group gatherings to a maximum of ten. 

We decided to embrace that restriction and work on making all the classes online and distance ourselves from having to be physically on campus to ensure our safety and health.

Until our OLLI community can be together again, face-to-face in a classroom, technologies such as ZOOM can help everyone stay connected and continue our lifelong learning. 

Stay tuned for more updates. 

Thank you, 

The OLLI@SCU Staff

Hello OLLI Members,
Santa Clara University and OLLI are closely monitoring the COVID-19 global pandemic. The university is working closely with government and public health agencies and continue to follow the guidelines from the U. S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. 
The situation remains fluid, and university guidelines may evolve. We will continue to provide regular updates to our members.
OLLI has made the decision that will have an immediate impact on your spring quarter classes.
  • The March 19, 2020 spring registration date has been cancelled.
  • Beginning on April 13, 2020, most OLLI @ SCU classes will meet online virtually through ZOOM. Information will be forthcoming at a later date regarding this application.
  • Additional information on OLLI @ SCU summer courses will be shared at a later date.
  • All OLLI Special Interest Groups (SIGs) should be put on hold until restrictions for group gatherings is lifted
  • A full list of on-line courses available for Spring is being put together this month in a survey format. Please be patient as we compile a list of instructors who will teach a course online.
  • Classes may, or may not be held in their original time slot and dates. We are working on keeping consistency, but cannot guarantee this as an option.
You will receive email information from the OLLI office as this new instructional plan gets implemented.
Thank you,
The OLLI @ SCU staff