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Remote Learning Tips

Advice from the Center for Learning and Academic Success Services

Managing Time

How should I be organizing my time with the switch to remote learning?

Use both a weekly planner and a quarter calendar to organize your time. Versions of both calendars are available in the CLASS Resources:

  • A weekly planner allows you to plan your days week by week. You should block off all of your class time (just as you would for face-to-face classes) and account for additional hours to preview/review materials and study. Don't forget to add in time for other obligations and to set aside time for breaks!
  • A quarter calendar allows you to take a high-level view of due dates and deadlines. Use this calendar to bring together the major deadlines, exam days, and due dates from all of your classes in one place. This will help you identify busy weeks. A downloadable quarter calendar is available in the CLASS Resources.

Being Productive

What should I do to set-up my study space?

Find a location where you can reduce distractions, stay focused, and adapt the environment to your task. For example, try to avoid rooms where other people are gathering or passing through frequently. Have a desk or table where you can spread out materials as needed. If possible, avoid setting up workspaces in rooms where you typically relax (like your bedroom). Assigning separate spaces for working and relaxing gives you places to retreat to when you need a break!

I need help staying on task now that my schedule is so different. What can I do?

There are lots of different techniques that can help you complete tasks:

  • Try to implement a daily checklist or to-do list. Organize the list based on deadlines or importance of the task. Keep the list focused and manageable, so you don't get overwhelmed.
  • Focus on the 4 Ds: Define (use your syllabi, assignment sheets, BlackBoard shell and other class resources to determine what is being asked of you for you assignment); Design (break assignments and projects into smaller parts and give each part a deadline that leads to the final deadline and figure out a plan to complete each part); Develop (do the work!); Deliver (Submit the assignment in the format requested by the due date).
  • Try the "Pomodoro Method" to structure your work time. This method structures your time into 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break. Repeat the 25/5 pattern four times and then take a longer break. There are many apps and online timers you can use, but a kitchen timer works well and reduces your use of technology and the distractions that come with it!
  • Take Breaks! Plan for breaks (even short ones of 5-10 minutes) that allow you to walk away from your technology for a short period of time. Use this time to hydrate, move around, and give your eyes a break from the screen. Taking breaks can help you to be more productive in the long term.

Accessing Resources

Are the tutoring centers still operating?

Yes, many of the tutoring services and academic support centers you typically visit on campus have moved their services online! To contact specific centers about how they are adapting to support remote learning, visit the Learning Alliance website.

Where should I go for academic support?

In addition to the tutoring and academic coaching services available through the Learning Alliance, you should also keep in touch with your faculty, TAs, and your academic advisor. Check with your faculty and advisors about their preferred method of communication and how they are adapting their office hours for the remote learning environment. If you would like to meet with an academic coach to develop your personal online learning strategies, please visit the CLASS Academic Coaching page.

The Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence has additional tips available on their Resources for Online Learners page.