Rock Valley College

Online Learning FAQs & Resources

Updated 1/21/21 at 9:59 a.m.

The Center for Learning in Retirement is happy to offer an online spring semester this year! We had a very successful online fall semester, but we know that this is still a big transition. We want you to know we are here to help you and guide you through this new process! 

This page was created to answer some frequently asked questions, regarding our online semester and our use of Zoom. If you go through this page and do not find the answer you need, reach out to the CLR office at (815) 921-3931 and we will be happy to assist you!

General Questions

Will there be any in-person classes this spring?
  • Spring 2021 will be online instruction only.
Is there a catalog for the spring semester?
  • There will not be a catalog for the spring semester. A schedule of online classes for the months of February and March will be available in the CLR newsletter mailed at the end of December. A schedule of online classes for the months of April and May will be available in the CLR newsletter that will be mailed in March. Both of these newsletters will also be available online at the end of December.
How many classes will be offered for the spring?
  • There will be over 70 CLR classes offered online this spring via Zoom. 
How will we register for classes?
  • Once you receive the CLR newsletter in the mail, you will find a class registration form inside. You can also find these forms using the blue tabs on the right of this page. Fill out the form, attach payment in the form of a check and mail to: Rock Valley College - CLR, 3301 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford, IL 61114.
  • You can also bring your registration form with check or cash payment to the CLR office and place it in the black drop box outside the west door. We will be checking this box frequently.
Is there a registration deadline?
  • The registration deadline for online classes is the day prior to the scheduled start date by 3:00 p.m. If you are registering the day before a class starts, you will need to bring payment in the form of cash or check to the CLR office at the Bell School Road Center. CLR does not accept credit/debit payments. 
Will we be able to pay for our classes online?
  • CLR is not currently set up to take online payments. You will need to fill out the registration form, attach payment, and mail to the CLR office or  bring to the CLR office and place in the drop box outside the west entrance of the Bell School Road Center.
Will I get a schedule of my classes after I register?
  • Yes. Once you are registered, you will receive a mailed copy of your schedule, just like the previous semesters confirming all of the classes that you are registered for from Rock Valley College. The day before your selected class(es) begin, around 3:00 p.m., you will receive an email with the Zoom link to your class along with any handouts that have been provided by the instructor. NOTE: Please do not share this link with other students as our CLR facilitators will be checking students into the class using the CLR registration roster.
What about handouts for classes? How will we receive them?
  • Handouts for each class will be emailed with the Zoom link the day before a class is scheduled. You will receive these by email unless otherwise requested. 
What if I am unable to attend a class due to unforeseen circumstances?
  • Almost all CLR Zoom classes will be recorded. If you are unable to attend a class that you signed up for, send Allison an email at or call the CLR office at (815) 921-3931 explaining your situation. You will receive an emailed link to the recording, if available. NOTE:  Not all CLR classes will be recorded. It is highly recommended to contact the CLR office prior to your class meeting date/time to ensure that there will be a recording of that specific class. These recordings will only be available for seven days after the class has ended. Once the week has elapsed, the link will no longer be active and you will not be able to watch the recording.
Can we use the CLR library?
  • At this time, the CLR office is closed until January 4, 2021. We will re-evaluate the use of the CLR library at that time.
Will there be any bus trips or social events for the fall?
  • Bus trips and events through the end of 2020 have been cancelled/rescheduled. We will re-evaluate the situation at the beginning of the new year. 


What is Zoom?
  • Zoom is an easy-to-use video communications tool that has become the standard for connecting with others face-to-face virtually. This online service is useful in business, education, and personal settings providing a way to communicate with friends and family remotely. This technology, that nearly anyone can access, allows users to meet with or without video and participate in virtual meetings or classes from their computer, mobile device, or phone.
  • Learn the story of Zoom here --> Zoom Story
Where can I download the latest version of Zoom?
  • You can download the Zoom Client for Meetings application from the download center at
How much does a Zoom account cost?
  • A basic Zoom license is free. A paid account is only needed if you are setting up your own meetings.
Do you need an account to use Zoom?
  • An account is not required to join a class, however, if you plan to take multiple classes, it is highly recommended to create a basic, free account. You can sign up for an account at
How do I join a meeting?
  • The easiest way to join a meeting is by directly clicking the link sent to you via email by CLR. If this does not work for you, you can join a meeting manually by entering your Meeting ID and Password that is also included in the email sent to you by CLR. Instructions on how to do this are located at the bottom of this page. Links to these instructions will also be included in the email sent to you containing the Zoom information for each class.
If I do not have a computer or tablet, can I still join a meeting?
  • Zoom is available on a wide variety of devices including laptop or computer (Windows or Apple/Mac), tablet (iPad), smartphone (iPhone or Android), and telephone (cell phone or landline). If you have further questions on how to join a meeting using one of these devices, contact the CLR office and we will help you.
Do I have to have a webcam or microphone to use Zoom?
  • You are not required to have a webcam or microphone to join a Zoom meeting. NOTE: You will be able to listen, but others will not be able to see or hear you.
When will I receive the Zoom link to my classes?
  • Zoom links for each class will be emailed the day before the class is scheduled at 3:00 PM. If you have a class that is multiple sessions, you will receive a new Zoom link each week for the class. 
I'm clicking the Zoom link, but nothing is happening. What do I do?
  • If the link does not work, you can copy the link and paste it into a web browser search engine such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. You can also try joining the Zoom link manually using the Meeting ID and Password. Instructions for this process are located at the bottom of this page.
What if I don't receive the Zoom link to my class?
  • If, for some reason, you do not receive an email with a link to your class the day before it is scheduled around 3:00 p.m., contact the CLR office at (815) 921-3931.
What if I sign up for a class, but the link doesn't work and I cannot get in?
  • If you have any trouble signing into the class on the day the class is scheduled, please contact the CLR office at (815) 921-3931. NOTE: You are encouraged to sign into Zoom 15-20 minutes before the class is scheduled to begin.

Zoom Instructions

Here are some step-by-step instructions on using Zoom to attend CLR classes. These are provided and created by CLR for the use of our members.

CLR YouTube Channel with Zoom Tutorial Videos

CLR is now on YouTube! Our volunteer computer instructor, Bob Bertolasi, has created a few different tutorial videos, specifically geared to help our CLR community navigate through our online Zoom classes. These tutorial videos are located on the NEW RVC Center for Learning in Retirement YouTube channel!