We are facing uncertain times right now. Every day new guidelines are coming out on what will be happening in society in response to social isolation and infection control.
As these guidelines are continually changing, I won’t rehash them here as they will probably be out of date from the moment we press post! You can find the latest information on the University’s COVID-19 page.
As an online student, I thought I would share some tips for those on-campus students who will be making the transition. Here are my top ten:
- Dedicate time to study. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you don’t study. Set a schedule and use that time to watch lectures, read, take notes and write. Find out what time your online sessions will be scheduled and put them in the diary. If you have kids, that adds an extra layer of scheduling. If schools close, that means they will be home with you. Negotiate with your family a schedule to give you time to study. Find what works for you, maybe that is getting up early or staying up late.
- Online sessions: Test out your connection before the online meeting starts. Log in early to check your sound, microphone and camera (if applicable) and if you can’t enable the microphone/camera don’t stress. If the presenter is expecting large numbers, microphones and cameras may have been disabled. However, you can still test your sound connection in the settings.
- If your microphone is on, remember to mute your microphone when you aren’t talking. Muting yourself limits the background noise and reduces possible feedback.
- Find the chatbox early so you can have it open when you need to ask a question or respond with information. Say hello so others know you are online.
- Be present. Turn off anything that might distract you like your phone. Close your other browser windows. Take notes and ask questions.
- ‘What if I can’t attend the scheduled online sessions?’ This is a valid occurrence for online students. Not everyone will be able to attend the scheduled session as you may have other commitments. Hopefully, all the sessions will be recorded. Check with your teaching staff on this. If there is something you wanted to ask and you know you won’t be able to attend, email the question ahead of time. Be sure to watch the recording as you can after the session, so you don’t fall behind.
- Be patient. Remember this may be all-new for your lecturer as well. You are all learning together. If you have some constructive feedback to give, then email the lecturer.
- If you need extra time for assessments due to unexpected circumstances, then get in touch with your lecturer as soon as possible to discuss.
- If you need support, then reach out for it. The University provides several Student support services.
- Be social. Well, online social. As you can no longer hang out in person jump on the discussion boards or create your own group Facebook group to ‘hang out’ with your fellow students.
Remember you are not alone in this as many others are going through the same thing. Social isolation doesn’t need to be socially isolating.
Wishing you all the best with your studies.