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Strategies for Distance-Learning Courses

Most of these recommendations will serve you well for any course, whether in person or remote. However, they can be even more important when the course is taught remotely.

  1. Treat a distance-learning course like a “real” course. You need to have the discipline to sit down and say, “I am going to work on this,” as well as the dedication to actually follow through. You must “show up” if you’re going to be successful in your class.

  2. Be a student. Get up! Get dressed! Treat your day like you would if you were on campus.

  3. Manage your time. Having good management is always good! It is essential for a distance-learning course. Don’t procrastinate. Stay on top of assignments. Create a schedule in which you have blocks of time to do work for each course.

  4. Find a quiet space and eliminate distractions. This will be a challenge since you are not the only one at home. Perhaps your parents are also working from home and/or you have siblings who are also doing school work remotely. It will take time to figure this out but do your best.

  5. Stay connected with the professor and the other students in the course. Take advantage of the professor’s virtual office hours. Find ways to connect with other students in the course. You are not alone in the course so don’t isolate yourself. If you had a study group for a course while you were on campus, set up that group now.

  6. Understand the format for each course. Your professor will be giving you information about how that course will be structured. Information can be presented synchronously (live streaming) or asynchronously (pre-recorded lectures or demonstrations, like Panopto). What is happening during the regularly scheduled class time? What are you expected to do prior to that time block?

  7. Know what technology you need. Do you have a laptop and internet access?

  8. Know what other computer resources you need. How will you connect to the professor and the other students, what software will you need to access, and what other resources are available? For example, will the course use Google Meet or Zoom? Do you need VPN (virtual personal network), Remote Desktop? Your professor will be letting you know what you need and you need to let the professor and class dean know if you are not able to set up your computer to do the work needed.

  9. Be kind to yourself and to others. This is going to be a challenge for all of us. Support one another. Patience, flexibility, and resilience will help us all get through this together.

  10. Reach out. The resources that you had on campus are here. Contact your class dean when you have issues with your courses. Other resources have information on their website for connecting with remotely. Here are the links for ASLR, Library and the Writer’s Workshop. We will update you with other resources later.