Remote Learning Tips (This is adapted from a resource that has been provided by the University of Kansas Medical Center Educational Support Services)
Make a Schedule
Map out exactly what tasks are to be done when on a calendar (physical or digital). Start by filling in events that are required at certain times. After that, fill in when you are going to complete tasks that need to be completed, but can be done any time. Finally, fill in the breaks, rewards, rest, fun, exercise, etc. Treat classes like a real, live course with regular meeting times for lectures.
Plan in Buffer. Sometimes tasks take longer than planned, so make sure you are keeping some extra time in case things need more time.
Transition time. Remember to include “transition time” when you are switching tasks or locations. If you finish writing a paper at 4:00, you will not be ready to start watching a lecture at 4:01.
Be realistic. When building a schedule, make sure it fits you and your needs. Planning too optimistically will likely result in failure, frustration, stress and struggle. It is better to finish early with extra time than finish late or run out of time.
Set a Timer
Based on your schedule, if you planned an hour to complete a task, set a timer for 60 minutes. This will give a deadline to complete the task as well as motivation to keep focused and work hard to keep a good pace. Using timers for your breaks is also a helpful way to get you back to work once the break is over. One popular method is the Pomodoro Technique.
Plan your breaks.
You know yourself best, so plan your time based on whatever schedule makes you the most efficient. Some people like a break every hour, some need more shorter breaks while others like to “get in the study groove” and study in large chunks of time.
Create a Dedicated Space for Learning
Don’t study in bed, or on the couch where you watch TV. Make a space designated to focus. Make a home office in a room or corner of the room. Or clean off your kitchen or dining room table to make room for schoolwork.
Designate an area exclusive to learning/ studying: Remove distractions. Turn your phone OFF or move it to another room. Research shows a significant reduction in productivity when it's within eye (or ear) shot. Block apps or websites that you tend to move you off task. Consider headphones or earplugs if your study environment has extra noises.
Communicate with “Interruptions”. Communicate with those people around you about the times that you are studying and need to not be interrupted. Make sure to reserve time in your schedule to connect with those people at a designated time.
Network with Peers: Use Skype, Facetime, Zoom or other web programs to connect with peers to study or help keep each others accountable. Many of these options allow you to share documents or use a digital white board that you can use to study content together even if not in the same physical space.
Ask for Help
Peers - If you need some accountability or a study buddy, reach out to your peers and plan on regular digital check-ins.
Instructors - Email, call, video conference with your instructors if you have questions about assignments or content. Ask questions if you do not understand something. Waiting until you return to ask is not an excuse for being late.
Education Support - Reach out to your learning specialists at your school who are available for questions or video chats to help you determine how to study or be a remote learning student.
Stay Up to Date
This is not a break or extra time off; you need to make sure that you are staying on top of your content. Complete all work as soon as possible and plan as if everything will be due the day you return. Anticipate that there will be a lot of new assignments upon your return. You will not want previous assignments still needing to be done once you get new assignments.
Ultimately, this is the most important thing; keep yourself engaged by tailoring your needs to you. With virtual learning students gain additional freedoms they did not have with fewer restrictions to time and class location. Plan your breaks accordingly, make sure to study where your brain can focus, study hard content at times of day that your brain is most alert, make sure to go to bed at a healthy time, exercise/ move daily, and eat plants and other healthy foods. Take care of your body and mind and it will take care of you in turn.