Articles, Blog

5 Tips For Success In Virtual Learning

March 26, 2020


Hello, Patriots! I’m Melissa Broeckelman-Post, and a professor in the Department of Communication. I have been teaching online for a while and talking to other faculty about what tips they would share with students as we enter this unprecedented time of learning together online. And today I’m here to share five tips for success. First, build a schedule. Most classes that you take in the classroom take about nine hours of work each week, counting the time that is in class and out of classes, and online classes can take even longer. Try buiding yourself a schedule with several short chunks of time to focus on each class throughout the week. Most people learn better when they break their learning into several short chunks over the course of the entire week, instead of all in one big block. Some people even find it helpful to set a timer, so that they can stay focused on the task at hand, and then take a break to walk around, get a snack, and check social media before starting again. Second, study at the right time and place. Most people have a particular time of the day when their brain is at its peak, and other times when learning feels harder or slower. Whether you are a morning person or a night person, plan to do your most difficult writing and studying at the time that you’re most productive. Save your less productive time for easier task, or use that time do to something else entirely. To the extent that it is possible, set aside a study space that’s quiet, distraction free and organized, so that when you’re sitting down to work you’re able to stay focused. Having a particular place where you do your studying also helps cue the brain it’s time to get to work and makes it to step aside and on other things when you’re no longer in that space. Third, use your resources. A lot of campus services have already moved online and are ready to help you. The Writing Center, Communication Center, Learning Services, tutoring services, CAPS, librarians, and and a whole hose of other campuses services are ready and waiting to help you online. Please take advantage of these resources and get the help that you need and can stay connected to others on campus. Many publishers are offering their e-books for free to students for the rest of the semester, in case you left your books on campus. Many internet companies such as Spectrum, Comcast, and AT&T have made either home internet or their wifi hotspots available for students for 30 days for free, incase you don’t have broad band acces at home. Additionally, there’s even a Student Emergency Assistance Fund available through University Life to help if you’re experiencing financial emergancy. We’re all here to support you and try to get through this difficult time together Fourth, communicate with your faculty. Many of us are trying our best to move our classes online as quickly as possible, so that we can help you learn through this difficult time. We understand that many of you have challanges that are going to make it harder for you to engage in class in the same ways that your classmates might be able to. You might be working extra shifts at a hospital, takine care of children or other family members, recovering from a sickness, or struggle to get internet access at home. If any of these situations or a whole host of others apply to you, please reach out to your faculty and help us help you Email, call, visit our online office hours, or reach out in any other way that faculty have made themselves available to you. We’re all trying to help everyone learn as well as possible and to make learning accessible for everyone even through this difficult time. Finally, and most importantly, please be kind to yourself. This is an emerging international health crisis and it’s going to take a long time for us to get through. Please take care of yourself physically and mentally, both to protect your health, and to make sure that you can do the best academic work possible. Take breaks, eat well, sleep, exercise, and stay connected to your friends and loved ones, even if you have to do it from afar. Please don’t be too hard on yourself if everything seems a little bit harder for a while. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself and do what you can to protect your mind and body as we move forward for the long haul. In summary, the five tips for students success are first, set a schedule second, study at the right time and place third, use your resources fourth, communicate with your faculty and finally, be kind to yourself. We Patriots pride ourselves on the belief that Innovation is our Tradition, and we’re going to put that to the test in the coming months more than ever before. We are going to make mistakes and learn a lot as we work through these uncharted waters together. But I believe that if we work together from an appropriate social distance The Patriot Nation will emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

1 Comment

  • Reply King Jr. March 22, 2020 at 4:52 am

    This was very helpful! Thank you!

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