First Steps

Follow these steps and the accompanying resources to prepare for distance learning.

Habits of Successful Distance Learning Students

  • With the transition to distance learning, this resource is meant to provide you with strategies to help you feel in control during this time of constant change and adjustment. Since your coursework and learning have become remote environments, these tips will help you maximize your educational experience and minimize the anxiety surrounding the sudden onset of a different type of learning.

  • Break up your study sessions

    Instead of spending 10 straight hours cramming, break your study sessions into smaller chunks of time with frequent breaks. Consider setting a timer to remind yourself to take breaks.

  • Create a study schedule

    Set a study routine that works for you and stick to it. Taking time to write the routine down will help you stay on task.

  • Ask for help

    If you don’t know the answer to something or are looking for clarification, establish the habit of asking your professor and/or classmates for assistance. We are all in this together, and online classes will have a general discussion board to post questions that may be of benefit to everyone. There is a very good chance you’re not the only one with questions!

  • Shut off extra technology

    Put your phone on silent and set up ‘do not disturb’ messages on any online messaging services. Minimizing distractions during your designated class or homework time will boost your productivity and make the most of the time and effort.

  • Take advantage of online resources

    There are tons of apps to help you study, manage your time, and stay on task.

  • Test taking

    Know ahead of time what the format of the test will be. Understand the guideline and expectations of the test – Is there a login? Is there a time limit? Do you need a proctor? Finally, find a test taking spot that is distraction free and youfeel comfortable.

Common Mistakes to Avoid as a Distance Learner

  • Not having a designated study space

    Having a designated space to complete assignments, study, and video in to classroom discussions is essential in minimizing distractions. It can put you ‘in the zone’ to learn and be efficient with your time.

  • Procrastinating

    Create a schedule for yourself and establish boundaries. Holding yourself accountable to a schedule can limit distractions and allow you to complete tasks on time. Waiting until the last minute to do assignments or readings is not in your best interest.

  • Not being an active participant and thinking you’re on your own

    Though it may be easy to disengage, start slow, do your readings, and work your way up from there. Actively make an effort to connect, email your professors and classmates, and regularly contribute to discussions and Webex sessions.

  • Feeling overwhelmed and losing motivation

    Keep the end in mind and remember that you’re living with technology at your fingertips. Schedule video calls with friends and family to maintain the social aspect of your life. Attend virtual office hours to get more help if you’re starting to struggle or fall behind. Remember that this is temporary and take a deep breath.