How to Tackle Online University Learning in Lockdown
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"Face-to-face teaching should be restricted to those reading subjects in these areas, and only where face to face teaching or placements are needed to deliver learning outcomes. Wherever possible, teaching and learning should be provided online" (Department of Education)
Universities across the UK have introduced a series of changes to university teaching and to the accessibility of facilities / resources for students, in line with government restrictions on COVID-19.
With some students spending lockdown 3.0 pursuing their degree virtually from the family home or from their uni digs, the university experience this term will be different for most students.
That's why we've put together this blog. To help you adapt and respond to some of the key challenges you might be facing. It covers:
Keeping Organised and Productive
This term will be challenging. With changing guidelines in response to the shifting nature of coronavirus, it's important that you take the steps to stay on top of things from the get-go!
#1 Get set-up and connected
First thing is first. You will need a timetable for this term.
As well as the name, date and time of your lecture or seminar, include the 'virtual location.'
With teaching delivered through video softwares (like Zoom and MS Teams), it's essential that you download relevant video meetings apps on your laptop, turn-on audio and camera permissions in your settings and jot down relevant access links/ sign-in details in advance.
If you can't find this information drop your lecturer an email. After all, you don't want to miss essential teaching because of technical difficulties or denied access.
With remote learning, communication is key. So keeping note of the emails of your lecturers in case of emergency or on-the-day connectivity issues, means you can get in touch quick.
#2 Establishing a Routine
We all know that routines are invaluable in providing structure to your day and enhancing focus for important activities. A realistic and consistent routine will help you accomplish your goals, dedicate time fairly to different activities and achieve a good 'work-play' balance.
Here are five nifty steps to establishing a solid learning routine:
Working remotely means you might not have the resources or the optimal environment for effective learning. Whether that's a crowded living space, no Wi-Fi access or a lack of material resources like textbooks, a desk or even a computer or laptop, it's important you speak up.
Many universities have COVID-19 support funds available to students, and staff should support you with accessing the necessary equipment for you to complete your studies.
#3 Maximising Productivity
You have a timetable and planned out a routine. Great.
But if you don't sustain the motivation to keep productive and on-task, things can go quickly go south. Think Estelle's sales for every record released after American Boy. (Ouch.)
Follow these 3 tips so that when you are supposed to be getting on with university work, you are...
Looking After Your Mental Health
Coronavirus has led to a considerable rise in mental health issues amongst young people. Papyrus, a charity for suicide prevention, reported that 90% of contacts using its digital services cite the pandemic as a source of poor mental well-being.
Despite the disruption of COVID-19, there is help and support available.
Remember that you have access to many university support services and wellbeing services remain open to students. You can also reach out to the Nightline Association, a "confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directive and non-advisory support service run by students for students".
You can also reach out to student union welfare officers for university-specific issues.
Here are some ways that you can look after your mental health day-to-day...
Feeling overwhelmed with your workload? You can request an extension to assignment deadlines by reaching out to your lecturer or faculty support services, to help ease the pressure.
For more support and details of helplines that you can reach out to, have a look at a blog we recently wrote: Mental Health: Taking Care of Yourself.
It's been a tumultuous start to 2021. That's for sure.
But we hope this blog provides you with some nifty tricks and nuggets of wisdom to help you transition to the world of online learning, whilst looking after yourself during lockdown.