Learning Happens Everywhere: Our educational system is designed around the notion that young people learn in classrooms. However, most of the learning you have done in your life, and that you will continue to do long after you graduate, takes place outside the classroom.
Learning online or remotely can feel isolating, unmotivating, and less effective than learning in a classroom with other students, but there are also benefits to learning outside of a classroom that we can embrace as critical professional skills.
- You decide when you learn. Organization is key to learning online. This is a skill that will benefit you in all other aspects of your personal and professional life.
- Schedule time for each of your classes. Put these times on your calendar.
- Read through the syllabus for each class. Put the due dates for all graded work on your calendar.
- Set a deadline for completing your work and reward yourself for sticking to the deadline.
- You decide where to learn. Finding a quiet place to concentrate can be hard. You may need to negotiate quiet times with roommates or family members. As remote work becomes more common, you may find that your work after graduation means finding a place in your home or in a public place to work.
- Set up a designated space to do your classwork that has as few distractions as possible.
- Silence your phone and other devices and move them out of your eyesight while you work.
- Try to work when you can best concentrate, and try not to skip sleep or personal down time in order to get your work done.
- You decide how to learn. An advantage to virtual learning is that you can set the conditions of learning that best suit you.
- Actively participate in class. If there are virtual meetings, attend them. If there is a discussion board, post to it regularly.
- If your class has recorded lectures, you can set the pace, review what was said in a lecture, and pause a lecture to take notes rather than trying to multitask.
- Keep records of your work. Even if you are required to submit directly to a text box, make sure you have a digital copy of what you submitted and when you submitted it.
- You decide who to learn with. Learning online does not mean learning alone. It may take a bit more effort to collaborate with others, but communication and collaboration are great skills to work on for your future career.
- Be sure to read your instructor’s emails and class announcements on Blackboard. Try to email your instructor once a week just to let them know questions you have and to let them know you are engaged in learning.
- Set up a network of other students in the class who you can learn with. You may need to run this by your instructor, but explain that you are not cheating or sharing the workload, but learning from each other the way you would if you were in the classroom.
- Take advantage of help sessions offered by your instructor, Supplemental Instruction if it is offered for your classes, tutoring services, and the Writing Center.
Course Delivery Modes
Course delivery modes that have changed will be flagged in the schedule and indicated by the naming of the section. (Examples: “CSCI 101, Online 1” and “Hist 101, Remote 3”) Here are the definitions:
- Section – traditional face-to-face instruction on campus at scheduled times
- Hybrid – includes regular, ongoing face-to-face instruction at scheduled times
- Remote – does not require face-to-face meetings, but will include synchronous virtual instruction at schedule times
- Online – does not require face-to-face meetings or pre-scheduled instruction, can require synchronous interaction with instructor at mutually convenient times