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Strategies for Online Learning

We understand that this sudden transition to online learning may leave you feeling out-of-control and overwhelmed. Academic Student Connections is here to support you as you make this transition during COVID-19. Your study habits may need to change. Be patient with yourself, your classmates, and your instructors during this time. As a Community of Learners, we’ll get through this together! 

Please use this resource as a starting point to start developing new strategies as you adapt to online learning. 

1. Stay Organized

Are in-person parts of the class changing?

  • How can you access the in-person components of the course? 
  • Set alarms to remind you to attend class on time
  • Stay in contact with peers from your class and remind one another of upcoming assignments, classes, etc. 

Are assignments changing?

  • What are the new due dates?
  • How do you submit assignments for each class? 
  • Create a system for staying organized: Planner, Outlook Calendar, Sticky Notes

How to stay organized? 

  • Order your courses in order of difficulty level, and break down tasks into clear, manageable steps. Start a list of upcoming tasks for each course and put it all in one place (journal, planner, piece of paper, sticky notes, etc.).
  • Create email folders for each course and dump any communication into that folder, to manage the huge influx of digital information.

Resources

  • Peer Advocate Tutors: Academic Student Connections can connect you to a tutor who will help you stay on track with all of your assignments through weekly check-ins, text reminders, video conferencing, etc. 
  • Email Amber Hollowood at Amber.Hollowood@arbor.edu to get connected to your peer advocate tutor today. 

2. Avoid Multitasking

If you’re doing more work on your own and your time is less structured, you might be more tempted to multitask. Many people think they can do multiple things at once. But research shows us that only 2% of the population can multitask.

The downsides of multitasking

  • Assignments take longer 
  • You’re more likely to make mistakes
  • You’ll remember less

Study Tips

  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Take breaks between tasks
  • Focus on a task for 25-50 minute periods and then reward yourself with 5-10 minute breaks. 
  • Try putting your phone away for 60 minutes, turning the TV off, and study in a distraction-free environment. See how much more you get done in a smaller amount of time when you take away your distractions. 

3. Make the Most of Video Lectures

Create a schedule and stick to it

  • Staying on schedule will help you have a feeling of normalcy and prevent you from falling behind. 

Find out how to ask questions

  • Is there a chat feature? Is there a discussion forum? Has your instructor informed you when their new virtual office hours are? 

Close distracting tabs and apps

  • Remember, we are not good at multitasking! 

4. Set a Schedule

As the situation unfolds, you may have fewer social commitments, group meetings or work hours. Setting a schedule for yourself can help provide structure and keep you motivated. Try something like the example below to organize your time for each course. Include time for self-care and exercise.

Time of DayScheduled ActivityCourse TasksSelf-care
8:00 a.m.Shower/Breakfast
8:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.Call in for remote lecture
9:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m.Read chapter 3
10:30 a.m.Post in discussion board
11:00 a.m.Break: Video call with friends
11:30 a.m.Read chapter 4
12:00 p.m.Lunch

5. Trade Your Current Strategies for New Ones

Your routines may have to adjust during this time. Look for ways to adapt your usual habits or form new ones. For example:

  • If you usually study in a coffee shop or library, ask yourself what kind of environment helps you study. See if you can recreate that at home. Maybe it’s in a chair, rather than on your bed or couch, or moving to a new spot when you change tasks. If you feel you need background noise, consider using a white noise app. 
  • If you always study in groups, try a virtual or even phone-based study session with your group. 
  • If you thrive on tight timelines, but now have a more open schedule, think about how working with others or setting up a schedule can recreate that for you. If that gets difficult, see if you can do fifteen minutes at a time. 

6. Utilize ASC Resources

Tutoring Services 

  • Email the following information to Amber Hollowood at Amber.Hollowood@arbor.edu and we will get you connected to a tutor via video conferencing ASAP:
  • What class do you need a tutor for?
  • What available days/times work best for you to meet with the tutor? 

Writing Center

  • Students may still receive assistance with their essays in one of two ways.
  • You may email your essay to writingcenteratsau@gmail.com, and a tutor will respond within one business day with comments to guide your revision.
  • You may also make an appointment and a tutor will set up a Zoom consultation to discuss your essay with you through video chat.

Study Skills Consultation