ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES
Contact us at AcademicSupport@Houghton.edu
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?
Email them and ask! Or you can contact us for help by emailing AcademicSupport@Houghton.edu or checking out the rest of 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 email@example.com 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.
Each assessment takes about five minutes to complete. You will immediately see your score along with recommendations.
Need a Tutor?
Check out our Peer Tutoring page that includes our Tutor Request form as well as information on current help sessions!
Change is hard and this unexpected change has be particularly challenging for all of us. The Counseling Center recognizes this struggle and has put together some resources that may be helpful to you….so take a look below for some useful pages, tips and suggestions.
Please remember, the Counseling Center is open and here to support students during this time so don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance to you during this time. Contact us at CounselingServices@Houghton.edu
Improve Your Mental Health
5 Tips for Wellness
We are holistic beings and all parts of our wellness are interconnected. Engaging in one spiritual discipline, in the form of the prayer of examine, has a positive effect on all parts of our wellness. Like breathing exercises engaging in prayer calms our stress responses.
Dis-order makes it very challenging for humans to function. Establishing routine helps you to know what to expect. This routine is beneficial for the brain, body, and your mental wellness. The Design your Days packet is tool to help you think though what is necessary, important, and rhythmic as you adjust to living, working, and being in a new space.
Cognitive distortions are patterns in thinking that cause people to come to inaccurate conclusions about themselves or the world around them. Below are a video and worksheet that show different cognitive distortions. Most people practice some of these thought patterns. However, there are tools to help us to not get stuck in these patterns. The video below offers a few tips to handle cognitive distortions. Examining your beliefs for evidence helps us to see when we are thinking in distortions.
What are Cognitive Distortions:
When we encounter stress our body builds up extra energy to combat it. At times what our body needs is for us to get up and move to burn off that energy in order to feel less stress. This can be in the form of daily exercise but it also can mean taking breaks of walking around the block or even around your home.
Mindfulness is a therapeutic practice that brings what is going on in and around you into awareness. Mindfulness is achieved by an individual focusing on the moment, while acknowledging and accepting thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness helps an individual to not let the external circumstances control your internal self. The work book below is a tool for learning more about mindfulness and exercises to practice.
"Select your time, level, focus, voice, and music, and Down Dog creates a unique, personalized yoga practice every time."Click here to go to the app
"Includes a 10-day beginner’s course that guides you through the essentials of meditation and mindfulness. It’ll give you a solid foundation to build your practice on."Click here to go to the app
Astronauts Share Insightful Tips On Self-Isolation During Coronavirus PandemicRead the article here
The Office of Vocation and Calling
We are still available for appointments!
Sign up for an appointment with a Vocation and Calling Counselor through Handshake. Visit the Handshake log in page, and use your Houghton College username and password to log in.
Make an appointment by clicking on Career Center and choosing Appointments in the top right corner of your profile.
Contact us at VOCA@Houghton.edu
How to Make a Good Impression in a Virtual Job Interview
Follow this guide to prep and perfect your video interview skills.Read the article here