Top Tips for Students Studying Remotely

Top Tips for Students Studying Remotely

With the multiple lockdowns, many students have had to study from home or remotely over the COVID-19 pandemic, and for some, this will still be the case at the start of the new academic year.

Distance learning has many advantages, but it also has its challenges. Below, we take a look at these challenges and share some useful tips to overcome them, and help make your remote study successful.

Staying focused
With so many digital distractions around us all the time, it can be difficult to stay on track while studying remotely. So, number one top tip is to turn off all your app notifications, both on your computer and on your phone. You may even want to turn your phone off or put it out of sight. Set up a daily study routine and make sure you get up and dressed - do not study in bed! Your daily routine should also include time for healthy meals, exercise and fun/relaxing activities. Your active study time should be based on the time of day you work best - are you a morning or an evening person, for example? Take regular short breaks, set daily goals and reward yourself when you complete a task. And, of course, if you live with other people, make sure they know when you are studying, so they don't distract you.

Your work space
If possible, set up a dedicated space for your study. This should ideally be a quiet space away from others and clutter-free. Avoid places like your bed or a sofa as these should only be used when you are relaxing. If you can, invest in the right furniture and equipment to ensure you are comfortable and don't develop physical problems. Having the right study tools is important, too - a PC or laptop with a speaker and mic, folders and files to stay organised, adequate lighting etc.

Staying connected
When studying on campus, it's easy to meet up with other students, your tutors, and other university staff. This is even more important when studying remotely, and, thanks to online tools such as Zoom, Google Meet or Skype, there are many ways to stay connected. Don't hesitate to request regular contact with your tutor and lecturers either via video meets or on email. Regular group chats with peers are equally important, and there are many ways to organise these using video meet apps, social media, online forums or online study groups, for example. MoocLab's free Online Study Buddy tool and our Online Study Groups are a great place to start, even if we do say so ourselves!

Staying well and healthy
This is common advice, but studying remotely can lead to bad habits and feelings of isolation. Without the imposed routines of life on campus, it's easy to lose track of time and end up spending long periods in front of your PC, not taking breaks or getting fresh air. Exercise and sunlight are proven to help with stress anxiety, so make sure you set aside time for both. Practising mindfulness can also be a powerful tool to manage your mental wellbeing, and helps with staying stay calm and focused.
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