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Tips for Successful Online Learning

In light of the recent events surrounding the nation and our campus, it’s important to understand how to manage courses that are shifting to online instruction. Especially if you aren’t used to taking classes online, this can be a big change. Here are some tips to help you best manage your online learning and ensure your success as you finish out the spring semester:

  1. Check email frequently – While you won’t be having as much face-to-face time with your instructors, they will be communicating with you frequently through email. Make sure to keep an eye on your email for important announcements regarding assignments and exams. And, while instructors may not be hosting in-person office hours during this time, you can still reach out to them if you are having difficulty in the course or need help understanding a concept. Reach out through email and see if your instructor is willing to setup a video call to meet with you!
  1. Eliminate distractions and be mentally engaged – Cutting off all possible distractions will help you feel more relaxed because you will no longer be focused on everything else happening around you. If needed, turn on your phone’s “do not disturb” feature and turn off the TV. If your class is meeting virtually, make sure you are fully present and in a space where you can engage without distractions, like pets, siblings or phones.
  1. Treat studying like a job – Set daily goals for yourself and make checklists of all the items that need to be completed for each course. Creating a plan at the beginning of each week can help you work more efficiently and allow you to accomplish small goals each day. 
  1. Create a plan - Make a plan each week for when and how long you intend to study for each class. Make it a routine and habit so that it is easier to maintain (for example, studying Intro to Biology two hours each day after lunch). Plan ahead and stick to your schedule as much as possible. By creating a plan and sticking to it, you will feel more productive each day and will ensure you don’t fall behind.
  1. Set aside designated times – Since some of your classes may no longer be at a set time each day, it may seem like you have more “free time.” However, it’s important to ensure you are balancing your time appropriately. Set aside designated times to focus on each course. Keeping the schedule consistent with the times your classes met prior to moving online can help you stay in a routine, especially if you are someone who functions better in a structured environment. 
  1. Find your space – Finding the best space to focus on your classes and studying can make a world of difference in your productivity level. Make sure you are able to find space that is away from distractions and allows you to focus. Know how and when you learn and best focus: do you focus better with music or complete silence, and are you able to focus better in the morning or afternoon?

Study Tips for Success