Follow the link above to a list of self-assessments. Each assessment takes about five minutes to complete. You will immediately see your score along with recommendations.
Be Successful in your Online Classes
Get dressed for the day:
It’s important to get up and get ready for your day! Get up, shower, grab a bite to eat and get yourself in a mindset to be productive. Resist the urge to stay in pajamas and work from your bed.
Make a to-do list:
When you have a to-do list it can be easier to stay on task and to not forget anything. It is also satisfying to cross assignments off your list as you get them done!
This one is pretty simple – just start! Don’t let procrastination get the best of you. It might help if you set a “start time” for yourself, but when that time comes don’t make excuses – get to work!
Pick a task to accomplish or set a goal for yourself and work on it until you have completed it. Multitasking causes tasks to take longer to complete. Give your scheduled task your full attention!
Turn off distractions:
If you are easily distracted by your devices, turn them off. Set a time goal for yourself (“I’m going to shut my phone off and work for the next 45 minutes”). Put the device away from your study area. If you are reviewing notes on your phone, consider scheduling a “down time” on your phone or switching to your laptop (but don’t open up social media webpages).
Do your work in shorter sections and give yourself breaks:
It might be easier for you to set a goal for yourself such as: “I’m going to work for the next hour” or “I’m going to read 3 chapters in my book” or “I’m going to get through 10 of these questions on my study guide”. After you have met your goal, reward yourself with a break. Get up and stretch, go for a walk, give yourself 15 minutes of social media time, etc.
Look for ways to adapt your usual habits or form new ones:
Ask yourself what kind of environment helps you study. If you usually study in a coffee shop, library, etc. see if you can recreate that at home. Study in a chair instead of on your bed, move to a new spot when you change tasks, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea. If you feel you need background noise, consider a white noise app or try putting on instrumental music that will allow you to still focus on your work. If you always study in groups, consider arranging a virtual or phone-based study session.
Know your test format:
It’s important for you to be aware of your test formats for each exam ahead of time. Knowing the format will change how you study. Is it open book? Open note? Does the professor give you the equations? Is there an essay portion? If your professor tells you things ahead of time, make note of them! These are all important things to keep in mind while you study.
Know your resources:
You don’t have to do this alone. It’s important to reach out if you have questions or need help.
Does your class have a review session set up? Does your professor have virtual office hours?
Don’t forget that the Center for Student Success is still up and running. We are here to help you! Do you need an appointment with the Writing Center? A Career Counselor? Maybe you want to talk with someone in Academic Support or meet with a Counselor (or check out mental health resources!). Resources and contact information for each area and can be found on our resource page!
Claim a Study Space
Find a place where you are comfortable and where you can stay alert and concentrate. Avoid doing coursework in your bed!
Get rid of all the distractions-physical and digital-and only have the resources you need to study. As classes are going to happen through your computer, it is much easier to get distracted. Use tools and Chrome extensions (StayFocused and Rescue Time are two) to help you manage distractions.
Stay Motivated; Stay Engaged
Remember you are earning credits and professors are expecting and planning work for the same time commitment as a face to face class (at least 2 hours of work per week for every credit hour of class).
Communication is Key
Be diligent about checking and responding to email daily---this is the primary way professors and advisors will be communicating. If you are confused or have questions, send an email to your professor and be patient when awaiting a response.
Make a daily schedule for yourself and stick to it. Look at each of your syllabi and make a 2 week plan for your assignments. Pick a day each week to re-evaluate your timeline and then plan the next 2 weeks.
Ask for Help
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help with time management, creating a schedule, and tutoring possibilities.
- Find a quiet place away from others.
- Set up your space to minimize distractions and to help make it feel like a testing environment.
- Turn off your phone.
- Place a “Do Not Disturb” or “Testing in Progress” sign on your door.
- Inform friends and family that you will be taking an exam for a specific span of time to minimize interruptions.
- Use a lock down browser if you’re prone to surfing the internet.
- If it is a timed exam, be sure you know how many questions are on the exam and how much time you have so you can plan accordingly. Set a timer or alarm with a 10 minute warning.
- Know the rules and expectations of taking the exam online. Is it open book/open note or are students held to the honor system?
- Know ahead of time how to contact the professor during the exam in case you have questions.
- Organize allowed materials before starting the exam.
- Study for exams even if they are “open book/open note”. Relying too heavily on allowable materials can take up time.
- Questions may be presented one at a time. It may be more difficult to navigate an exam and go back to review questions. Jot down question numbers and note any questions you have.
If you are prone to migraines or have other visual issues, minimize the impact by adjusting your computer screen and work area.
Arrange your screen directly in front of your face to reduce neck strain. Screen should be 20-40 inches away from your face and at eye level.
Adjust the refresh rate of your screen to it’s highest rating.
Adjust the display settings of your computer to help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
- Brightness: Adjust display brightness to approximately match that of your work area. Do this test: look at the white background of this page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.
- Text size and contrast: Adjust the text size (enlarge) and contrast for comfort. Usually black print on white background is the best combination for comfort.
- Color Temperature: Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. You can download a "blue light filter" to your device.
- Reduce the risk of tiring your eyes: 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object, at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
Click on the following links for more information on that particular subject. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please email us at AcademicSupport@Houghton.edu and we will be happy to talk with you!