How to carve out a space that’s conducive to learning
Wondering how you’re going to transition from learning on campus to learning at home? Use these tips to set up a learning space that will help you focus and settle into a new normal.
1. Choose your location carefully.
While it may be challenging to find the perfect place to study if you have family or roommates at home, try to find a space that is relatively quiet, comfortable, and roomy enough for your computer and study materials. If possible, find a spot near a window so you get some natural light. Looking outside from time to time can help if you’re feeling boxed in.
2. Have your supplies handy.
Gather everything you would normally take to class and put it in your learning space (your laptop or tablet and charger, textbook, papers, notepad, pens, and so on). Make sure your space has outlets for your computing devices, a power cord/surge protector, and high-speed Internet access. Headphones will come in handy if you’ll be having video meetings — not to mention blocking out the neighbor’s dog or a family member watching TV in the next room.
3. Organize your space.
Keep your new “classroom” and course materials as organized as you possibly can. Develop a system that helps you find what you need when you need it. It doesn’t have to be fancy. If keeping your course materials in a box on the dining room table works for you, go for it. Just figure out what works best and stick with it.
4. Set your schedule.
One advantage of online learning is that for the most part, you can set your own schedule. Choose a time of day that works for you and your household. One thing to be aware of as we transition from face-to-face classes to remote learning: Although you may not have to “attend” your class at a set time as you did on campus, you may be asked to take an exam during that class period. Your instructors will let you know their expectations, so be sure to check email and Canvas for updates and check in with them if you have questions.
5. Try to minimize distractions.
Let’s face it — you can’t eliminate all distractions at a time when everyone in your household is home trying to focus on work and/or school. However, think about those you can control. Block out time to study and turn off your phone, disable notifications, stay off social media, and let your friends, family, and roommates know that you’re going into study mode. Unless you live alone, you will have times when you get interrupted, so just try to roll with it. It’s good to get up and stretch every so often anyway.
6. Recharge your devices — and yourself.
Get into the habit of recharging your devices every night so they’re ready when you need them. You have enough to worry about without your phone dying in the middle of a video chat. Most of all, take time to recharge and relax when you can. Get some fresh air every day. Check in with friends and family. Read or watch something that makes you laugh during this challenging time. As we all try to find a new normal for Spring 2020, remember that you are NOT alone — we’re all in this together, and support is available.
Visit the Keep Learning website for resources that will help you transition to remote learning.