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As more and more people are working/studying from home, this guide will provide resources to help students make the transition.

Change Can Be Difficult

We know that change can be difficult. Change can mean facing a lot of unknowns and disruptions. We’re changing too. As Red River College shifts to an online course environment, that means changing study habits and changing the way we access resources. Our advice is to be patient and to take care of your wellbeing first, then try out the tips below to get you started.

Stay Organized

Avoid reliving the first week of class confusion by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What parts of my course were in-person?
  • How and when do I access my course? One example of a way to keep track is to create a table with each column being one of your courses. Then, have important dates, big changes, and important links each their row.
  • Is my course being recorded for later viewing?
  • Are assignments and due dates changing?
  • Are assignments being submitted differently?
  • Are any quizzes or exams being offered virtually?
  • What should I do if I need help?
  • Is my course offering virtual office hours?
    • When and on what platform?
  • Is there an online forum for asking questions?

Avoid Multitasking

Avoid multitasking because you'll remember less, you're more likely to make mistakes, and because assignments will take longer to do.Instead of multitasking:

  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Take breaks between tasks
  • Consider the pomodoro method
    • Focus for 25- or 50-minute periods
      and then reward yourself with 5- or 10-minute breaks.
    • Use this timer to help.

Make the Most of Video Lectures

  • Stick to your instructor’s schedule as much as you can.
    This will provide a sense of normalcy and prevent you from falling way behind.
  • Find out how to ask questions.
    Is there a chat feature or discussion forum?
  • Close distracting tabs and apps.
  • Continue to take notes as you were there in person.
  • Watch recordings at normal speed.
    Research shows that playback speed of 1.5x can lower your retention and can result in lower scores.

Set a Schedule

One example of a schedule is to create a table with each row being an hour of the day. Then, have scheduled activities, course tasks, and personal/self care each their own column.Staying on a schedule will help you have a feeling of normalcy and prevent you from falling way behind. It can also help provide structure and keep you motivated. If you don’t already keep a weekly or daily calendar, try something like the example below to organize your time. Make sure to include time for exercise and self-care.

Develop New Strategies

Some suggestions for how to swap your olds habits with new ones:

Click here for more

If you study in a Library or coffee shop, try studying in a chair. If you enjoy background noise, try a white noise app or playlist. If you study in groups, try virtual or phone-based study sessions. If you thrive on tight timelines, try working with others to set up a schedule. If you use in-person tutoring, visit ASC online. If you speak with Librarians in the Library, chat with Library staff online.

Do Remote Team and Group Work

Remote collaboration looks different, but is definitely possible.

  • Try not to procrastinate.
    Resist the urge to put it off. Make small progress and stay in touch.
  • Meet regularly.
    Use regular group chat video conversations any week you’re working together.
  • Set a purpose for meetings and use a shared notes doc.
    Set the purpose of your meeting in advance. Use a shared doc so you can all contribute and follow along.
  • Keep videos open when you can.
    You’ll be able to see expressions of your teammates and stay connected to each other.
  • Check on each other and ask for backup.
    Speak to a team member directly if they are consistently absent. Let your instructor know if you don’t receive a response.
  • Click here for more

Stay Connected With Others

Connecting with family and friends might be more important than ever. And staying in touch with instructors, classmates, and group mates is still important for continued classwork.

Here are a few ideas: WebEx and Microsoft Teams Logos

  • Schedule video calls with friends and family.
  • Use WebEx or Microsoft Teams to connect with classmates, and tutors to talk through a tough problem.
  • Attend virtual office hours, study groups, and workshops so that you can stay up on your coursework.

Please remember, this will pass. If the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted your travel plans, ended a lab experiment you were excited about, or for any reason feels like it came at the worst possible time, remember: this is temporary. You’ll find your way when it settles down. You’ll get back on track, and things will get back to normal. We don’t know when, but it will happen. Until then, please visit this page for well-being resources.

Adapted from: by the “Centre for Academic Innovation”, University of Michigan. Licensed under CC 4.0.