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Five tips to stay on track in online classes

Online learning can be a challenge to students here at the University of Denver and across the nation. Lack of interpersonal interactions, limited time with friends and endless at-home distractions are some of the few obstacles that college students face when trying to remain motivated for remote classes.

Whether you have a partial or full online schedule, here are five tips to remain successful with remote learning:

(1) Wake Up Early

Set a morning alarm for online classes as if you had to commute to the classroom. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes before your first class. This will give you time to get ready for a successful day of learning. Take these extra few minutes to prepare your workspace, eat a hearty breakfast, check your assignments for the day and calmly prepare for your class.

(2) Turn On Your Camera

A commitment to turning on your camera will keep you accountable during class and facilitate a more interactive learning environment. Part of the challenge of virtual learning is replicating face-to-face discussions. Something as simple as showing your face can improve a class’ dynamic. Not only will your learning improve by being visible to your classmates, but your professor will surely appreciate it.

(3) Prepare Your “In-Home Classroom”

Setting up a distraction-free learning space at home has been proven to improve concentration, attention span and productivity. While your bed and your couch might be comfortable, they are not the best places to learn. Try to set up your working space on a desk in a quiet part of your living space.

(4) Take A Walk

It has been proven that short walking breaks can boost your attention, improve cognitive abilities and restore your mental endurance. While it might be tempting to check social media during breaks or between classes, consider taking a 5 minute walk outside, especially on long virtual days.

(5) Set Up Virtual Meetings

Online classes result in decreased student and faculty interactions. Consider committing to visiting virtual office hours for online classes at least once every two weeks. Online study groups can also boost motivation and general understanding of materials while building student relations.

If you are struggling with online classes, remember that you are not alone. Both students and faculty are learning together in these unprecedented circumstances. The entire DU faculty is committed to your academic success and mental well-being.

If you need support, please reach out to your advisor or the DU Health and Counseling Center at 303.871.2205 any time to speak to an on-call counselor. All degree-seeking students also have free, 24/7 access to tele-mental health support through DU’s My SSP: Student Support Program online or via telephone at 1.866.743.7732.

Mayordomo’s blog was part of an assignment and blog contest in the Daniels communication courses BUS3000. 

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