Study Space Environment

Expectations and Environments for Online Studying

Your family and friends will follow your lead – let them know that you need to prioritize your coursework but that you also consider their needs and schedules. Working out a ‘new normal’ with your roommates or family requires some open conversations about adjustments.

  • Allow yourself time for relaxing and being with family and friends, even if it is only digital communication. Knowing that you have made time for socialization will make it easier to get down to the hard task of reading or reviewing slides.
  • Think about the type of tasks you will be doing. Will you need to engage in online class discussions with a speaker and microphone? Identify 1-2 goals for each session to keep on task.
  • Your family or roommates will be better able to support your learning if everyone is aware of each other’s needs. You might want to consider working during the same hours to reduce the temptation to socialize rather than study. Plan ahead to share technological resources or favourite working spaces. Clarify child-care and household duties.

Prepare your study space

Keep your learning materials handy to make it easier to complete assignments. If possible, keep paper, pens, chargers, laptop and other materials together to make work convenient. If you have a dedicated space to set up your work station do so, and if not, try keeping it together in a ‘desk in a bag’ with a spare backpack or box.

  • Do you have reliable internet access? The library remains open virtually Are you comfortable with Moodle? There are lots of resources available under the first course category ‘Student Services’. The nature of technology is to expect the unexpected. There may be glitches so ensure that you keep copies of your work (preferably time and date stamped) even after it has been submitted.
  • If you need quiet space to engage in online classes and there is background noise, make a ‘class in session’ sign for your door. Remember to mute the microphone as needed. If you have trouble shifting your focus away from your apartment, dorm or roommates, try quiet breathing exercises or mindful meditation as you sit down. Take a few minutes before each study or class session to think about what you will be covering. Try to review the learning objectives or learn how to make study questions to keep your learning on track and manageable.
  • Proactively create ‘plan B’ options to deal with glitches and minimize temptations
    • Make “If _____, then ______” statements for anticipated distractions (e.g., If my mother calls, then I will have my phone on silent during my study cycle. You should only be studying for 30-50 minutes at a time and the crazy world can wait that long.)
    • Phones and social media are huge distractions, so turn off notifications and close tabs.
    • Keep your learning plan in sight as a reminder to keep on task.