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Recent events have forced students to adjust to various aspects of life in unanticipated ways. Classes have moved online and many students are taking social distancing or self-isolating measures. Campus closures can present a stressful challenge for everyone. It’s important to take care of yourself and be flexible with yourself and others. Routines will change. With the transition of moving coursework to an online platform, you will need to find ways to create structure for yourself in order to succeed as an online learner. You will also need to recognize that you, your classmates, and your instructors will have to be patient and work together during this time. If some of your classes move to a format that does not require you to be online at a specific time, you may not feel the same pressure to structure your life around your coursework. Try to develop new strategies and adjust your strengths to complete your assignments and prepare for tests and exams. To adjust to this new way of learning, below you will find some guidance on how to succeed as an online learner. For further support and resources book an online appointment today!
Develop good habits to manage your workload.
Treat an online course like a “real” course: Devote consistent chunks of time to the class. Online courses are attractive to students because they offer flexibility in learning. However, this flexibility can cause students to delay working through the course material, thinking they’ll find time later in the week. Online coursework requires you to make the time for it.
If you find yourself procrastinating, sometimes it just means you are unmotivated to do something. It could also mean you are just too overwhelmed to do a good enough job on an important assignment or exam. For small, "trivial" tasks, it's important to think long-term. Do your small tasks contribute to your long-term goal? Work on smaller tasks for at least five minutes. Often, this will help you find the momentum you need to complete a task. If your task is a regular weekly task, plan to do it at a regular time each week. For big tasks, break them down into smaller manageable tasks, don't expect yourself to be perfect and make sure you ask for help. For further support with time management and procrastination, check out additional resources here or book an online appointment!
With the shift in learning online, it is not only important to develop good habits and a daily structure, but it is also very important to set up a productive environment to study and access your online material. When creating your study environment ask yourself:
When accessing online classes, prepare your mind the same way you would for face-to-face classes. Think about what space is right for you and take time to organize it.
Having a structured space will help you to stay focused during your "online class time".
Students are doing more reading online through digital devices than they ever have before. Even with the recent shift in learning online, instructors are using more online resources for in-person and online classroom instruction. It's important to develop online/digital reading strategies to ensure that you are engaging deeply with the digital text in the same way you would when reading information printed on paper.
Those who prefer to read print material often have a more interactive, linear experience because they can flip pages, remember where information was located on a page, highlight and write in margins. In contrast, digital reading is non-linear because it takes place on a flat screen and reading often takes more self-control and focus to navigate through hyperlinked information.
The key to getting yourself to read deeply in any reading format is to ensure you:
The important point of reading, whether it is through digital or print, is to ensure you have a deep understanding and ability to remember the material. Please see the link below for an effective reading strategy to help you make the most of your reading! For more resources or support, book an appointment today!
When writing online or "take home" exams, it is important to review and understand the format of the exams. Clarify with your instructor the format of the exam, type of exam, specifications, software that may be required and how it works, and the time allotted. Some exams may be timed or not timed, scheduled at a particular time or available for a range of time (open for a few hours, while others may be open for a few days).
When preparing and writing an online exam be sure to:
If your exam is only open for a few hours, you should prepare for the exam as you would for an in-person exam. Create some practice exams by using old assignments or tests and practice writing them under time constraints to practice your recall of information.
If your exam is "open book", be sure to spend the time to organize your notes, study notes and resources (i.e. textbooks, online materials, etc.) so that you can easily reference materials when necessary. This will help prevent you from using up time unnecessarily by having to look up information that could have been easily organized ahead of time.
If your exam is open for a few days, treat this exam like a final project or essay. Before the exam is released, do some research and preparation on potential topics. Be sure to budget some time before you start your exam to do an outline and budget time to proofread and edit your work before your final submission.
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