With the University transitioning most teaching activities to a virtual delivery, many of you will now find that you’ll be required to study remotely.
Adjusting to studying away from campus can be challenging in different ways for different students, so here are 5 tips to help you have a smooth transition from the classroom to the loungeroom/bedroom/living room.
Check your Blackboard site and emails regularly
This is really important. Your teachers will communicate with you via these platforms and this is how you will be able to stay up to date with the course and assessment information.
Once remote study begins, your course Blackboard site will look slightly different. The home page of the site will have an area at the top that shows your weeks of the semester and what content you will be studying in each week. Here is where you will find links to weekly readings, tasks, and assessments.
Blackboard is also where you will find links to Zoom into lectures and classes. Zoom is an online video conferencing tool which will allow you to still learn from your teachers and interact with your classmates.
Set a routine and stick to it
I know this seems obvious but it may prove harder than you think to actually stick to a daily routine in your own home. Since you will still be attending classes and lectures via Zoom, try building your day around that. Create a schedule for your day like you would have if you came to campus. Copy your current timetable and work from that template, shifting things around when you need to. Don’t forget to have some breakfast before launching into your study and give yourself a lunch or snack break when you need it.
We all hear that the number one tip is always to get dressed for the day as if you were going outside. This is great, sure, but if you want to stay in your jammies all day then that’s fine too! Regardless of what you decide, creating a routine will make it easier for you to get a good balance between study and life.
Engage with the University’s online resources
If you feel that studying from home is affecting your academic performance or wellbeing, be sure to access the university’s online resources. For academic support look into Academic Learning Support who provide a team of learning advisors who can help you adapt to studying at home or with specific assessments.
PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) have been moved online to assist you with studying from home. You can access sessions via a Collaborate room in Online PASS in Blackboard. Follow the link, join up to your Course Groups and jump into the Collaborate room at the advertised time (it’s on the Course Group page plus the timetable has remained the same as when it was on campus). Your PASS Leader has completed the course before and did really well so they have great insight into the best ways to study for your course. This is a great opportunity to connect with your class peers and to get study tips and assistance.
The library has resources to help with your learning including a suite of online tutorials and referencing tips. Plus the library is now increasing the number of ‘face to face’ online support sessions with librarians through Library Live, is working to replace physical course readers with online options, and is working with publishers to remove limitations and increase access to ProQuest eResources.
For personal support, you can access online counselling. You can Zoom, Skype, or call into an online counselling session. These can be booked through the website, or there are online ‘drop-in’ hours for students. Checking in with a counsellor online can help you create a balance between study and life in your home environment.
Stay social and connected with your classmates
Don’t forget to stay social and connect with your friends and classmates. Have video chats with your classmates to talk about the week’s content or an upcoming assignment. Use the time to check in on your mates and see how studying from home is going for them. It’s important to support each other as we all adjust to studying remotely. You can use Zoom for video chats (as suggested by the University) or whatever app works best for you like FaceTime or Messenger.
Look after your health and wellbeing
My roommates and I have a mental health checklist on the fridge. Every day it asks us have we had a shower and brushed our teeth? Have we taken our meds, eaten some food, and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air? Set up a reminder like that in your own home and prompt yourself to take a break. This is especially relevant for those of us self-isolating due to COVID-19. If this applies to you the University has wellbeing tips here.
Work your personal wellbeing into your daily schedule. Maintaining a balanced diet whilst at home, ensuring your hydrated, taking regular breaks from the screen and harsh light, and staying hygienic are all important for both your mental health and your study. Feeling clean, healthy, and active will boost your morale and will positively impact your study.
Remember to stick to recommended health tips as directed by the government and university throughout this time – wash your hands regularly (for at least 20 seconds), sneeze or cough into your elbow, avoid touching your face, and stay home if you are sick. Visit NSW Health for more information about protecting yourself from COVID-19.
Those are my tips for adjusting to studying at home! Navigator will have more info in the coming weeks about how to nail studying remotely but for now, remember to be kind to yourself and to support your classmates and staff as we all make this transition.
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