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Tips for Successful Virtual Learning

Stay in contact with your instructors

If you are having difficulties in a course ask the instructor for help. Remember they are likely new to this too and can use your feedback to make improvements.

Take advantage of remote student resources

Student resources will continue to be available remotely. Resources include: advising, tutoring, and support services.

Encountered a learning barrier? Reach out for help!

If you feel there are barriers that are preventing you from being successful this semester - your instructors, the Cougar Care Network, DSS, staff, or other students all will work together in supporting one another.
Tips for Succeeding in Online Courses

🌱 Be patient and kind to yourself

Please exercise patience and kindness, not just to your instructors, who have had little time to prepare for online but to each other as we all begin adjusting in this new learning environment. Most importantly, be patient and kind to yourself.

This may be difficult or uncomfortable, and that is okay. We all learn in different ways, but we can all make this work with the right attitude and the right strategies for success.

💻 Have access to a computer & internet

You will need reliable access to a computer and reliable access to the Internet - many internet providers are offering free internet and wifi services to new customers during this time. Test your devices ahead of time if you are using any video- or tele-conferencing software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

📚 Have a space to study

Try to set up a physical space that maximizes your ability to learn. This means different things for different students but for many this means a clean and organized surface to work on that is away from distractions. Most importantly, do not study on your bed - it's great for sleeping, not studying!

⏰ Create a schedule

Although remote instruction may appear to allow for a more flexible schedule, it will be best to try and stick to a rigid schedule for your courses.

Schedule consistent, multi-hour blocks of time that you can dedicate to each course. Just like a face-to-face class, you need to schedule time to be “in class” and separate time for studying and homework.

🗓 Prioritize & make a plan

It can be easy to look at the list of all you have to do and get overwhelmed, so make a plan: create a list of tasks, prioritize them, then start going down the list one task at a time. With larger tasks and assignments, break them down into smaller chunks: for example, instead of just “write my term paper,” break it down into distinct pieces, like:
  • research the topic
  • write the outline
  • develop the thesis statement
  • write the first argument
When you finish a task, reward yourself! Take a ten minute break, have a snack, text a friend, watch netflix, anything that can motivate you to finish each task… and then keep working!

👩‍🏫 Communicate with your instructor(s)

Do your best to communicate regularly with your instructor, either through Cougar Courses or directly through email. Do not hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification; if you have any difficulty at all with access to course content, contact your instructor immediately. Don't be afraid to ask for help; pride won't help you pass your class!

💬 Engage with your classmates

Instructors will do their best to continue to facilitate the learning communities you have already built in your classrooms, but it may require extra effort on your part to keep engaging with your classmates. These relationships are vital to your academic success. You can sustain them through social media, email, text, and any of the collaborative tools like Zoom and Teams that your instructors may be using.