Check and Manage your Email
- Monitor your CU Boulder email account daily to stay up to date with important information from the university, your instructors, or advisor.
- Don’t let your read emails pile up. Create a file organization system within your email to better store and organize your information.
- Example: Create folders for each of your courses, for updates from your academic advisor, and for general campus announcements
Seek Help Early and Be your Own Advocate
- If you haven’t before, introduce yourself to your professor. Especially in a remote class, connecting with your professor can help you stay engaged in class and feel more at ease when it comes to reaching out to them again. See if they would be willing to meet virtually one on one.
- If you are struggling academically, financially, or personally, reach out to your advisor, instructor, or other staff or faculty who can help you discover and utilize campus resources that may help address whatever concerns you may be facing.
- Let your professors or TAs know if you are struggling with coursework or have other obligations or unexpected situations arise that are causing you challenges.
- Communicate with your instructor if you are having technology or connectivity issues. Sharing things like this upfront and ahead of time can help create an understanding relationship.
- Check in regularly with your advisor, coaches, mentors.
Treat an Online Course like a “Real” Course - Because it is!
- Large, online lecture classes can make asking a question feel awkward and asynchronous classes are even more challenging when it comes to asking questions. Try writing them down while you’re in class, then ask your professor at a more convenient time.
- It can be hard in an online class to demonstrate your engagement. If you can, participate, ask questions, and follow up. Professors value knowing you're interested in and are participating in class, even when held remotely.
- In online classes, it can often feel like you’re studying, learning, and working in isolation, which can make motivation levels decrease and make studying or working on assignments challenging. Instead of putting off an assignment when your motivation drops, try to imagine yourself having completed it. Ask yourself, “What will I achieve by completing this assignment?” or try to make the work personally significant to you. You can also study with others! Join (or start) a study group, if possible (see study habits..).
Manage Your Time
- Put deadlines on a calendar as soon as you get each syllabus.
- Sync your Google Calendar with Canvas for all of your deadlines.
- Write in deadlines, even for asynchronous classes, even if you have to create them yourself.
- Hold yourself accountable to deadlines by scheduling smaller target dates ahead of time. For example, set up time to meet with your study group days before your exam, or to meet with a Writing Center staff member about your paper at least a week before it’s due. These "mini-deadlines" can help keep you on track to complete assignments and meet goals.
Understand Your Study Habits and Set Yourself Up for Success
- Determine how you learn best. Are you most productive in the morning or at night? Do you need complete silence, background noise, or music without words playing when studying? When making your schedule, utilize these times and spaces for some of your biggest priorities and tasks.
- Create a routine for yourself to set yourself up for success. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, or studying and eating meals at similar times, for example, can do wonders for academic success and personal well-being.
- Along with a routine, get ready like you're still going to school. Get changed for your classes, eat a healthy, and do all the things you normally do before leaving for school. While it's true no one can tell if you're in your pajamas, going through this routine can help establish the right type of "learning mindset" that can foster success.
- Create a dedicated workspace, separate from where you sleep and free from distractions. When you’re studying, try to disconnect from your phone, social media, or the television so you can focus. And, when in class, turn off your phone to help eliminate distractions.
- Prepare for your online exams the same way you would if they were given in person, giving yourself lots of time before the exam to get prepared.
- Find an a classmate who can serve as an accountability partner and help hold you to certain goals and deadlines.
- Join a study group (they work!) and if there isn’t one, create one yourself or ask your professor to help share your interest in starting one.
- Work with a tutor!
- Suddenly losing access to technology during an exam is not ideal. Talk to your family or roommates about creating a schedule that allows everyone connectivity at the times that work best for them. And, if something does happen, take screenshots to email to the instructor. Not only can this help in making sure that your instructors know of your difficulties, but if you had an assignment due, it can help indicate your work was done on time.
- Make class friends! Your peers can be a valuable resource when it comes to getting information that you may have missed due to connectivity issues or when preparing for an exam. Build relationships with other students by introducing yourself and engaging in any discussion boards that are available for the course.
And Always Make Time for Self-Care
- College is stressful, especially during a pandemic. Be sure to get enough sleep each night, eat well, and stay physically active. Just like in a typical school day, build in breaks for lunch, excerise, or relaxation, like meditation or yoga.
- Practice hobbies (or find a new one!) that you enjoy. It's important to practice actitivies that allow you to destress while remaining mentally productive.
- Connect with friends and family and if you need a counselor to talk to, CAPS (CU Boulder’s Counseling & Psychiatric Services) is always there.
- Be patient with yourself. If you’re new to an online learning environment, it can be overwhelming. Give yourself time to learn and be kind to yourself when you face challenges.
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