Tips and Strategies for Student Online Learning
Get ready for an online class session like you would an in-person class. Dress in classroom-ready clothing and have items you typically bring to class like a notebook, pens, water bottle, coffee, etc, on hand. If you usually review your notes before heading to class, consider implementing the same routine before you log onto Zoom.
If you have the option to, consider turning your video on while participating in an online class session. Being visible to your classmates and instructor(s) can help you feel more present and engaged in class. It may also help you feel more attentive knowing you are visible on Zoom.
Silence your cell phone and put it out of reach during class to eliminate possible distractions. Consider closing browser tabs not required for the course. Have your class materials ready and easy to access so that you don’t have to get up constantly during an online class session.
You may need to set boundaries with those you share space with. It is helpful to make others aware of your schedule; they may not know when you have online class sessions and when you are planning to do coursework. Communicate your needs and expectations, especially when you need quiet time or space to work.
The transition to online learning may increase both the time you spend sitting in one place and the time you spend looking at digital screens. Remember to stretch often, stay hydrated, and rest your eyes/take a break from digital screens.
Set up a dedicated learning environment for studying and/or participating in your online class session. It can be helpful to establish a routine for studying especially when libraries and coffee shops are no longer available spaces. Whether your workspace is your kitchen table, your desk, or another designated spot in your living space, figure out what best enhances your focus.
If you are experiencing difficulties with time management due to the transition to online learning and the closure of campus spaces, it may help to establish structure in your daily life. If you typically go to the library to do coursework after your morning class, consider setting aside the same hours as designated “study time.” Sleeping, waking up, and eating meals at the same time every day can also be useful strategies for establishing a consistent routine.
If you typically study with friends on campus, consider studying together over Google Hangouts or a similar platform. Being in your friends’ presence over video chat while you work may help you feel more connected.
It is not unusual to feel unmotivated, stressed, or confused (or a whole range of emotions) during this time. Recognize that these feelings are valid and that it may take some time to get used to online classes and studying off-campus. Utilize resources like the Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Furman Counseling Center, the CARDS Office, and more, if you need additional support.