How to study at home during coronavirus – by online students and tutors | 18 January 2021
Here’s how to study effectively from home, according to those who have been doing it all along.For Dafydd Evans, 21, who studies media production at De Montfort University, online teaching has got off to a good start. “I didn’t think the new systems would cope, but they have,” he says. “We have contact with academics as normal and I really don’t think there’s much I’m missing out on.”
Others, however, say it’s been an uphill struggle. “The sites are crashing and lecturers are struggling to turn face-to-face interactions into online discussions,” says Isabel Thomas (not her real name), who studies international development at the University of Sussex. “We don’t all log on at the same time as some don’t have stable enough internet connection for live chats. Everything is slower.”
Scott Henderson, who studies e-sports at Staffordshire University, feels he’s missing out on valuable experience. “A big part of what we were doing this year was running a live event and we obviously can’t go forward with that,” he says.
What should students do during the restriction period?
Create a study area …
Although you may be competing with others in your household, try to mark out a work space. “Even if this is temporary each time you use it, place some physical objects around you to customise it. Make it comfortable,” says Martin Weller, professor of educational technology at the Open University.
Set boundaries with others. If your study space is now the kitchen table, try to get an agreement that it is yours alone for a set time period.
… and keep it tidy
It’s hard to be disciplined to work at home, and even harder if the place is cluttered. “If you have piles of dishes or laundry around you it can be difficult to focus. I like to set a timer for 15 minutes and do a quick blitz of a room. It makes for a calmer environment,” says Kimberley Lowe, who studied Spanish and English at the Open University.
Although you may miss school and socialising in person, reaching out and connecting with staff and other students can maintain a sense of community. Use the online systems to maintain social contact. Stephane Bignoux, senior lecturer in management at Middlesex University, says although it can feel lonely, posting on discussion boards and reading other student’s posts can help. Set up informal discussions via Skype or FaceTime if you can.
Manage your time
Recognise that different tasks require different levels of concentration. Watching a video can be easier than reading a complex text and taking notes. Divide your work in to manageable time slots and take proper breaks.
Plan your day
The fact that you can put off lessons until later can be dangerous. Set a routine to use time efficiently, says Jack Yarrow, 28, a final year engineering student at the Open University. “If you’re tired or not feeling great don’t just sit there – go tidy up, and when you’re feeling more awake, apply yourself then.”
Source: The Guardian