Online learning and working from home is new territory for most students, faculty and staff. There are many distractions and unknowns right now, but there are a few things you can control. Take care of your wellbeing first, and make a plan to adjust your study habits during this time.
Our current environment is rapidly evolving. Stay organized, and know what is expected of you during this time. Have course due dates and project deadlines changed? Mark important dates in your calendar or planner.
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to virtually distance. Keep in contact with your instructors and classmates through technology tools and apps. Check Blackboard and your student email frequently. You may miss seeing your classmates each day, so keep in contact with group chats. Stay in the loop with your instructor by attending virtual office hours.
Create a Schedule
Make, and keep, a routine. Set your alarm each weekday, and set aside time to study and perform school work. While practicing social distancing, you may have less commitments, group meetings and work hours. Keeping a schedule for yourself helps provide structure. Remember to include time for exercise and self-care.
Set Up Your Study Space
Establish a place where you will study and complete coursework at home. Look for a quiet place with few distractions. Try to recreate your typical study environment. If you normally study at a table at the library, study at your kitchen table or desk. If background noise is helpful for you, consider a white noise app. If you study in groups, keep it up through FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Zoom!
Preview the Course
Your instructors are busy during spring break preparing courses. Since UA’s student spring break is extended, spend the last few days getting prepared for your online courses. Once your instructor has your course set up, it’s a good idea to look ahead to plan for what you’ll need to complete in the course.
Check to see if you need to download any software for the course, such as Zoom for virtual class meetings. There are a lot of tools available that can make studying and course collaboration simpler.
Check the Library
Remember, you still have access to the UA Library website, and you can find a lot of helpful information there. Librarians are available to help you discover sources and materials through Scout.
Read Instructions Carefully
Before you start an assignment or test, read the instructions carefully. Keep in mind that tests may be timed, and the timer will start as soon as you open the test.
With less structure, it seems easier to jump from task to task and assignment to assignment. Instead, focus on one thing at a time, and take breaks between tasks. If you’re watching a video lecture, close distracting tabs and apps!
Ask for Help
If you’re not sure about something, ask your instructor or classmates for help! This is a new and different experience for many of us, it’s normal to feel a little unsure about it. You’re not alone, and your instructor and classmates will be happy to help if you ask. Take a deep breath, wash your hands and do your best!