Keep Writing and Learning: Designing Your Online Academic Life
Current online learning modes will call on you to use the adaptability that has helped you navigate Carolina thus far. Online support from coaches and peer tutors is available from the Writing Center and Learning Center. Read on for tips to help you design a successful online academic life and finish strong this semester.
Structuring your time may be one of the most challenging aspects of learning remotely. In addition to sorting out where and how to work online, you will also need to decide when to do your academic work. Developing a schedule can help you manage this situation and set you up for success. We’ve got some great tools to help you design your online academic life:
- Spring 2021 Semester At-A-Glance (Word) (PDF)
- Using Planners and Calendars
- Weekly Planner: 60 Minute Intervals
- Goal tracker
- How to Tame Procrastination
On an ordinary day at Carolina we all have many distractions to manage. In recent days, those distractions have multiplied and become more powerful than ever. But remember, you can take control of elements of your academic life and learn to manage distractions—a vital skill that will serve you well now and in your future courses and career. Consider these tools and approaches:
Active learning and studying
There is a lot of research about how we learn and how to study best. This moment may be your opportunity to implement improved learning and study strategies that will help you learn remotely and enhance your academic life in any setting. Take a look at the Learning Center’s online tips and see what new study strategies and approaches you might try as you navigate your online classes and assignments:
- Studying 101 Handout & Video
- Higher Order Thinking
- Online and Remote Learning
- Getting the Most from Lectures
- Reading Template
- Effective Note-Taking in Class
Managing writing projects
The Writing Center has a collection of online handouts to help you with specific kinds of assignments, sentence-level conundrums, and moments in the writing process, including tips for writing in specific disciplines. Take a look at these resources to get started and remember the time management tools described above as you structure your writing projects:
- Understanding Assignments (Video)
- Thesis Statements
- Outlines (Video)
- Why We Cite and How We Cite (Videos)
- Reading Aloud
- Revising Drafts
- Reorganizing Drafts and Reverse Outlining (Video)
Connecting with instructors and classmates
Pay extra attention to the materials posted, course-related announcements, and online resources your instructors recommend. Note that the transition to an online learning environment was unexpected for everyone, including your instructors. Patience and goodwill in the process will be appreciated. Here are some tips you may adapt when connecting with professors, teaching assistants, and classmates remotely:
- Emailing Professors
- Talking with Your Professor
- Using Office Hours Effectively
- Studying with Classmates
- Group Writing
- Getting Feedback
The Learning Center joins with your instructors in Biology, Chemistry, and Math courses to support you as you navigate an online landscape. Visit the STEM support page to sign up for Sakai and Zoom learning opportunities for students taking Bio 101; Chemistry 101, 102, and 261; and Math 110, 130, and 231.
There’s more! Visit our tips and tools pages to check out many more helpful strategies tailored to support your academic success at Carolina. Check out https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/ and https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/
Are you an international student? Click here for additional tips and tools that may support ESL learning.
Are ADHD and/or learning differences part of your academic life? Click here for tips and tools that may be especially useful for learning with ADHD or learning differences.
We welcome suggestions for handouts or resources you wish existed and would like us to develop.
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