First and foremost, we miss you! It’s hard not being able to connect on campus, but we’re here for you even so. Doing work at home is an entirely different challenge from showing up to class. You’ve been at this online university thing for two weeks. How’s it going? Is it challenging?
At home, you might be tempted to sleep later. You’re overwhelmed with the amount of information you’re receiving on social media and the news. Distractions and noise are everywhere. Don’t let the change of location change the outcome of your academic success.
We want you to succeed even if you’re off campus...especially since you’re off campus! You engaging in entirely online courses may be new territory, but rest assured, you are not alone. Here’s some advice and support as we all conquer this uncharted territory together.
#1 Stay Connected - Online does not mean alone. Some of you might even feel more comfortable connecting online than you do in person! Don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors if you have questions. Work on group projects with your classmates via Blackboard Collaborate/FaceTime/Skype/Google Hangout. You may not be in the same room, but your professors and classmates are there for virtual support. Have technical issues? Contact Support Central! We are all still here to help you; we’re in this together.
#2 Participate in Class - Read what others are posting, raise your virtual hand and ask questions. Get clarification when you need it! Try commenting on someone’s paper or asking something that sparks new thoughts and ideas to start a conversation. Also, remember that this online class thing is a challenge for everyone! Be respectful, professional and remember that we still hold you to a high standard in class. Have fun, engage, but be courteous!
#3 Support the Risk Takers - If #2 is not your strong suit, jump in on this one. If someone else is brave enough to toss out a question or comment, crickets are the absolute worst. Respond, reply, for the love of all things academic, say something! Your classmate will be glad you did. Find the mode that works best for you to interact: in the chat, on the mic, in the discussion board.
#4 Eliminate Distractions - Turn off your cell phone during class time so you’re not distracted by notifications. Resist the urge to check email or surf the web. Focus during your class time to work efficiently. Make sure you’re in a quiet place.
#5 Support Your Professors - The COVID-19 pandemic has us all doing things different from before. Be encouraging and offer grace when things don’t go smoothly. Look out for each other as you move through online education during this crisis! Give yourself grace and time to adapt to online learning. Be patient with your professors, your classmates and yourself. This is new territory! And hey, when your professors do well, let them know! They’re worried about doing the best they can for you; let them know when they succeed. Combine these steps with our self-care tips and you’ll be well on your way to social-distancing academic success.