Jan. 4, 2021

New Year New Structure

Last semester, many of us noticed that one of the greatest pros of online learning, its flexibility, can also be one of its biggest challenges. If you found it difficult to structure some of your asynchronous time last semester, here are a few helpful tips to help you plan your daily routine!
School supplies
Last semester, many of us noticed that one of the greatest pros of online learning, its flexibility,
  1. Make a plan

Create a routine by determining when are you going to study, and then stick to that time. Set yourself reminders if this is helpful.

Plan which course you are going to study and how long you will study each one. Will you be doing readings? Working on a paper? Reviewing material? Plan all of this out before you start studying so that you do not face the dreaded “I don’t even know where to start” mindset. Reflect on how you work so that you can set manageable goals, anything more than what is realistic will only discourage you.

We can’t always control what our at-home work space, but there are a few things that we can control, such as indicating to your family or roommates not to interrupt you during certain times, turning off social media, and studying in the space where we have the least amount of distractions. Come up with a reward system that appeals to you (whether that’s a relaxing bath after a few hours of studying, watching something engrossing on Netflix, or going outside for some fresh air).

  1. Follow the plan

Take breaks to let your mind rest, but don’t do anything too fun that will pull your focus for longer than a 5-15 minute break.

Start when you say you are going to start (to avoid procrastination and distraction), and end when you say you are going to end. Too much studying at once can leave you feeling burnt out!

Don’t add to your study plan on the fly – if you find yourself getting distracted by other projects, jot them down and incorporate them into the plan for your next study session.

  1. Revise the plan:

What worked/didn’t work for you?

Was your bedroom too distracting, or was it ideal because it is quiet?

Did you understand the material, or do you need to email your professor with a question?

Was there a subject that was more time consuming than others?

Are you more focused during the morning or the afternoon?

Consider all these factors for your next study session and revise your plan. This should be a continual process for future study sessions – constantly checking in with your study methods and how they are working helps to build successful habits.

Bonus Tips!

  • For classes that do not have synchronous Zoom meetings, use the block of time intended for the class to focus on coursework for that subject. This may mean reading notes the professor has posted, posting on discussion boards, or working on readings and assignments for that class.
  • For an online study environment, visit the Student Success Centre’s Virtual Study Hall. It is a flexible online learning environment run by Student success Success Ccentre staff and volunteers, who is there to answer questions and provide assistance with online learning.