Remember how the beginning of school felt? When you had to learn where your class was, pick your seat and get to know your professors? The next week or so may feel the same way. There will likely be a learning curve as we all transition from in-person to online and remote learning.
We asked Loren Bumbalough, senior academic advisor at the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, for a few tips to help all students through this change.
1. Create a routine.“After the first week or two, creating a routine will help you accomplish tasks more effortlessly,” explains Bumbalough. “You’ll have more energy for comprehension and idea creation. But, be aware of the extra energy you’re going to spend setting up your new routine. It’s the middle of the semester but the beginning of something new. Build in extra time to recover, and be kind to yourself.”
“Make a plan every day; don’t just log into Canvas and assume you’ll remember what to do and in what order. Purposefully gather all of the things you need to do, put them into a calendar and then make a plan of what you’ll work on each day or week and for how long.”
2. Make the most of your online class time. “Sit down with a notebook for each class. Read anything and everything posted from instructors about how the syllabus, assignments or classes are changing. With everything moving online, more and more instructions will be shared in written form, so master the ability to read and comprehend instructions before asking questions.”
3. Set up your space for success. “Make sure you have headphones with a microphone, a clean background and a supportive and comfortable place to sit. If possible, you may find it helpful to have multiple computer screens. Create a new study area. You already know where and how you like to study, so create that space at home! Also, think about the mental load of being removed from classes and friends. Fill your study area with pictures or other décor that reminds you of your social network.”
4. Focus. “When you sit down to study or attend class, gather all the things you’ll need like water, coffee, phone, pen, notebook, headphone, pillow, etc. Limit the number of times you have to get up to get something, which increases the chances that you won’t come back to it. More than ever, don’t try to multitask! Without students or faculty there to pull your attention back, the TV or phone or games will distract you for longer than you intend to. Especially when you sit down to listen to recorded lectures, do it in a way so that you can really focus.”
5. Read, and read again. “Read the instructions more than once — I can’t stress this enough. Students will need to take MORE responsibility for reading instructions and executing them without reminders or verbal explanations.”
6. Teamwork still makes the dream work. “You may not be able to meet in person, but you’re going to still want to have regular check ins with your classmates. I’ve been teaching BUS-X 103 Business Learning Community for many years, and they always have a group project. Students tell me that Canvas Messaging is NOT a great way to keep a group moving forward. Establish a group chat in GroupMe or Vimeo. Set up weekly meetings to check in virtually. Allow someone to take a leadership role to keep track of the big picture, but DON’T make them do all the work.”
7. Remember take time for you. “Every 45 minutes (at the most), you should take a break of 10 minutes or so. Your mind and eyes will tire, and you won’t retain what you’re learning. Build these breaks into your schedule. Do not assume you’re going to do schoolwork for six or eight hours straight. Set up blocks of time to work on one subject, with mini breaks in the middle, then go do something else before the next block/subject. “
Remember – Kelley Indianapolis Career Services and all of our advisors (graduate and undergraduate) are available to you whenever you need them. Contact your professors, your advisors, or your fellow classmates if you’re struggling. And, more than ever these days, remember to breathe. You got this!
By: Sara Griffin and Loren Bumbalough