Tip #1 - Get organized.
- Set up a calendar, either paper or digital, and chart out all activities for your week.
- Make sure all of the items you need to do your work are together and stay together: computer, books, paper, pen, earbuds and anything else to keep yourself comfortable.
- Set up a comfortable workspace in a location that makes sense for how you learn. Need silence? Make sure you have noise-filtering headphones. Need noise? Keep a radio or stereo nearby.
- Create folders to keep materials for each class together.
Tip #2 - Manage your time.
- Create a routine and stick to it! It's easy to get behind if you don't have set times to do your work.
- Put your assignment deadlines and exam dates in a calendar.
- Set reminders to start working on your assignments or study for exams well ahead of the deadlines.
- Don't forget to schedule time for yourself, but don't procrastinate.
Tip #3 - Communicate.
- Check your course announcements and email every day.
- Tell your faculty member if you are unable to be online or unable to complete an assignment.
- If you are working in a group, stay in touch. Make sure you know your role in the group and don't get behind.
- Participate in online discussions.
- Ask for help when you need it. Faculty are there to support you and help you find the services you need.
Tip #4 - Learn the technology.
- Take the time to learn the different technologies your professors are using before you need it.
- Download software and update your computer or tablet with the latest software.
- Complete the tutorials for the programs you'll be using.
- Practice using presentation software live if you can.
- Make sure you can find recordings, instructions and materials posted by your instructor.
- Know where to find help.
Tip #5 - Brush up on your writing skills.
- Use grammar and spell check on everything you write.
- Look for writing tutorials and guides (The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a good place to start.)
- Find templates for the paper format your faculty requires.
- In an online environment, it's very important that you write professionally and adhere to online etiquette.
Tip #6 - Understand how you learn best.
- If you like to see things visually, seek out the resources that will be help you - charts, graphs, videos, etc.
- If you learn best by listening, find podcasts and recordings.
- If you learn best when you take notes, you can do this while reading or watching videos.
- If you need quiet, find a quiet place to study.
- If you need music, experiment with what genre works best for you.
- The key is to find what works for you.
Tip #7 - Take it one step at a time.
- Don't let yourself be overwhelmed when you look at your workload.
- Start with what's due first.
- If you have time, tackle the small assignments first. This will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Learn one tech tool at a time. Start with communication tools.
- Know where to find help.
Tip #8 - Don't compare yourself to others.
- We all start at different places in our education.
- We all learn differently and at different paces.
- Don't be hard on yourself if others seem to be ahead of you.
- Only you know what's best for you. Listen to others, but trust your instincts.
Tip #9 - Ask questions.
- If you don't understand something, ask!
- Touch base with your instructor if you are confused.
- Ask a classmate if you missed something.
- Search for answers online.
- Ask your parents, a trusted elder, or a sibling.
- Know your campus resources.
- Do not let your questions go unanswered.
Tip #10 - Take care of yourself.
- You can't do your best if you are not at your best.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat healthy.
- Get exercise, even if it's just going for a stroll around the block.
- Get enough sleep.
- Talk to others if you're feeling overwhelmed.
- Know and use your academic, financial and emotional resources.
- Don't procrastinate. Putting things off just makes you feel worse.