Switching to an online university format will be a unique experience for most of us, staff and students alike. Knowing many students who have purposely avoided online courses throughout their time at UNB, we thought there might be many students feeling uncertain about how online learning will proceed, and we have put together some tips that we hope you find helpful!
Make sure your device is ready for remote access
The UNB website has provided a helpful link to make sure that students equip their devices with all of the appropriate services. This link will show you how to access UNB Secure Services, what to have on your computers, and where to access free versions of applications like Microsoft Teams and MS Office Suite. Check it out here: https://www.unb.ca/its/remoteaccess/.
Stay in contact with your professors
Cutting face to face interactions with professors and classmates does not mean you won’t stay informed about class content and deadlines. If you have any questions, never hesitate to send your professor an email, and remember to read all updates and announcements sent out by professors too. For many of them, this could be their first online teaching experience, so it is okay if you need clarification or more details; just make sure to let them know ahead of time to keep everything up to date.
Take the courses seriously
As much as it sounds like a no-brainer, it is easy to let tests and deadlines creep up on you without your professor reminding you in class. Even though it’s online, the expectations are the same and it will be as rigorous as it was in-person. It is important to check on course details regularly, complete all assignments, and schedule study time. Being self-motivated and designating study time will keep you productive and on track.
Find your best place to study
Of course, where we are all currently quarantined, this place of study will surely be in your home. However, it is best to avoid studying in bed as it has been proven to decrease productivity. Instead, set up a desk or find a table somewhere quiet in your home to use as your designated study space. It is also best to remove distractions from your study area such as your phone, video games, tv, or distracting lighting. If possible, researchers also recommend studying near windows as natural light is shown to increase energy and productivity.
Ask for help
There are of course more strategies that will work for different types of people, so lastly, we would recommend using this time to figure out what type of learner you are and how to maximize your own study space and techniques. If you are still feeling worried about the transition, you are also able to send an email to our UNBSJ Wellness Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, email your academic advisor, or send an email to the Student Accessibility Center, email@example.com, if you will need additional assistance completing the term.
There is also a 24/7 support line for UNBSJ students called Real Campus, which is an extension of Student Services providing immediate services including mental health counselling, crisis counselling, personal counselling, career and life coaching, virtual group counselling, and mindfulness programs. They can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (1-877-390-7325) or online at www.realcampus.ca/unb.
Best of luck as you finish this term. Though it will undoubtedly be challenging, we can all do it!