Implement these Tips for Successful Online Learning
- Understand Course Expectation
- Are you and your classmates required to login at a specific time (synchronous) or are you provided course materials to access at your own pace (asynchronous)?
- Are you required to participate in virtual discussions (e.g., discussion boards, etc.) with your peers?
- What are the major course assessments? How will they be administered?
- What are the important course deadlines?
- Establish a Dedicated Workspace
- If possible, designate a space in your home specifically and only for work (i.e., don’t use this space for scrolling social media or watching Netflix).
- Don’t let your mind associate your places of work with places of rest, relaxation, and leisure.
- Actively Engage in Online Learning
- Stay on pace with your instructor’s schedule. Don’t let yourself fall behind on online lectures or skip too far ahead. Watching too many lectures in one sitting will overwhelm you and cause you to miss important information.
- Prepare for a video lecture the same way you would prepare for an in-person lecture. Make sure to complete any assigned readings and preview any materials your instructor provides prior to lecture. Proper preparation will ensure you get the most out of lectures.
- Set the scene. If possible, find a quiet place with minimal distractions so that you can focus when viewing online lectures. Put away or silence your phone, close any distracting tabs or apps, and avoid visiting social media. Continue to take notes as you would if you were there in person.
- Engage. Active participation in online lectures and class discussions will help you master the material. Is there a chat feature to ask questions during an online lecture? Is your instructor encouraging students to post to a discussion board?
- Connect with Professors and Peers. Your instructors and peers are adjusting to online learning too. Support one another by remaining connected. Consider the following ideas for staying remotely engaged with your learning community:
- Are your professors offering online office hours?
- Email professors with questions or to discuss a topic in which you need additional information.
- Create a study group with your class.
- Utilize group text, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts Meet, or shared Google docs for virtual class discussions, study sessions, or group work.
- Understand Course Expectation
Utilize Online Academic Resources
The Center for Academic & Career Success provides various academic support options that can be accessed remotely.
- Need help with a writing assignment? Visit The Writing Center, to schedule a virtual appointment.
- The Math Center has moved online. Virtual drop-in tutoring is available Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m.
- Virtual drop-in tutoring labs are available for modern languages, nursing, biology, chemistry, engineering, psychology, philosophy, and theology courses.
- Individual tutoring is available virtually by appointment.
- Schedule a virtual appointment to connect with your academic advisor or an academic coach.
Schedule for Success
To schedule your day, look at what time you have specific commitments (a class meeting online, a group discussion, a tutoring session, etc.) and what else you want/need to do during the day. Strategies to help you create and maintain a balanced routine include:
- Fill out a calendar or planner with your class time commitments. Don’t have one? Try this schedule template.
- Add in other activities (down time, taking a walk, naps, etc.).
- Note where you have time to complete homework and projects.
- Re-adjust your schedule from week to week as necessary.
- Use The Time-Management Matrix to prioritize important tasks and maintain a balanced routine.
- Pray. (try the hallow app)
- Practice mindfulness. (stopbreathethink)
- Manage stress. There are plenty of proven stress management strategies such as journaling, arts and crafts, connecting with family and friends, exercising, and sleeping well. Try a few and pick what works for you. Not sure where to start? Try Happify, a free, highly rated stress management app.
- Eat well.
- Eating Well: Coronavirus and Your Wellbeing
- National Public Radio: How to Eat Safely Durign the Coronavirus Crisis Tips and Resources
- Stay active. Gyms may be closed, but you can and should still exercise to boost your health and mood. Need some inspiration? There are plenty of free apps to motivate you to move more:
- Run for a cause. Take care of yourself, while helping others. For every mile you log, Charity Miles will donate to a participating charity of your choice.
- Stay connected to other athletes with Strava, a fitness app and social network for runners and cyclists.
- Interested in strength training? Try the Fitbod app.
- Access a variety of popular workouts hosted by celebrity fitness trainers on Fitonapp, including cardio, HIIT, strength training, yoga, and barre.
- Share a Meal
- Movie Night
- Use Netflix Party to enjoy documentaries, shows, and movies with family and friends
- Talent Show
- Game Night (charades, trivia, etc.)
- Workout together
- Study Session
Use Technology to Stay on Track
There are countless apps (many of them free) specifically designed for college students. Find the apps that work best for you in terms of time management, flashcards, limiting phone time, or whatever you need to improve study habits.
Here are a few links to get you started:
- A list of best apps for college students
- A list of Pomodora apps that help you reward productivity with breaks so that you accomplish tasks without burning out.
- An online planner
- The Forestapp keeps you off your phone and working on a task.
- The Selfcontrolapp enables you to temporarily block access to distracting websites, email accounts, etc.