Resources for Online Student Success

  • Note-Taking Tips

    Before Class

    • Use the course syllabus to prepare for the class.
    • Review notes from the last class.
    • Complete pre-class readings.

    During Class

    • Stay engaged, alert, and participate.
    • Date and title your notes to keep track of lectures.
    • Allow extra space so you can add to your notes later. Use abbreviations, symbols, and examples to help jog your memory later.

    After Class

    • Review your notes within 24 hours to retain and not relearn. 
    • Highlight or underline important points in preparation for a quiz/exam.

    Overcoming Procrastination

    The Ugly Truth

    It is estimated that 90 percent of college students procrastinate. Of those students, 25 percent are classified as chronic procrastinators, and are the ones who end up dropping out of college.

    What is it?

    Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. Procrastination has a high potential for painful consequences and interferes with the academic and personal success of students.

    Why do it?

    Procrastination begins with some kind of negative feeling that distracts us. However, negative is often just a label put on top of neutral energy.

    Problems

    • Unrealistic expectations

      You may believe that you must read everything ever written on a subject before you can begin to write your paper. You may think that you haven’t done the best you possibly could do, so it’s not good enough to hand in.

    • Fear of failure

      You may think that if you don’t get an “A,” you are a failure; or, if you fail an exam you are a failure, rather than that you are a perfectly okay person who has failed an exam.

    • Difficulty concentrating

      When you sit at your desk you find yourself daydreaming, staring into space, looking at pictures of your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. instead of doing the task.

    • Finding the task boring

    • Poor time management

      You may be uncertain of your priorities and objectives. You may also be overwhelmed with the task. As a result, you keep putting off your assignments for later, or spending a great deal of time with your friends, or worrying about your upcoming exam or class.

    • Fear and anxiety

      You may be overwhelmed with the task and afraid of getting a failing grade. As a result, you spend a great deal of time worrying about your upcoming exams, papers, and projects rather than completing them.

    • Personal problems

      For example, financial difficulties, problems with your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.

    Solutions

    • Let go of those beliefs. Start early, do the best you can at the moment. Review and revise later.

    • Reframe failure—use it to learn. Move on to the next event. Compete only with yourself! Visit the professor: “How can I do better on the next exam?”

    • Focus on your priorities and goals. Apply material to yourself.

    • Seek counseling.

    • Make a weekly schedule, daily priority list, and monthly calendar.

    • Keep a record of how you are using your time.

    • Break the large task into small parts. Set specific goals. “Bite it off, one small bite at a time.”

    • Summarize your time usage by categories.

    Purdue University Academic Success Center
    Adapted from Univesity at Buffalo Counseling Center

    Why Practicing Self-Care is Important

    What is self-care, and why is it important?

    Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. Taking breaks and caring for yourself helps restore energy, produces positive feelings, and boosts your confidence. Practicing self-care reminds yourself and others that your needs are important too.

    Are you thinking self-care sounds indulgent and will use up time you don’t have?

    Don’t, it’s not! Self-care is an important part of your health and is crucial to your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It helps you recharge and be a better and happier you.

    Ready to start practicing self-care, but don’t know how? Here are some ideas to get you started!

    • Go for a walk/hike
    • Play with a dog
    • Clean and reorganize your room
    • Read a book
    • Meditate or do deep breathing for five minutes
    • Start a journal
    • Do something that brings you joy
    • Listen to your favorite playlist
    • Call someone you love
    • Have a hot cup of tea
    • Binge-watch your favorite Netflix show
    • Do a digital detox

    Adapted from “Practicing Self-Care Is Important: 10 Easy Habits To Get You Started”

    Tips for Online Instruction

    Establish an ideal study space

    Set up a work environment that will promote a successful academic experience.

    Create a weekly schedule

    Map out blocks of time dedicated to each class and specific class assignments.

    Begin your day just as you would if you were going to class

    Get up early, eat a healthy breakfast, get dressed as you normally would for class.

    Communicate with instructors

    Utilize the expertise of your instructors by reaching out for assistance with course assignments and course content.

    Engage with classmates

    Connect with your classmates by posting to discussion boards and social media outlets related to course assignments, content, and readings.

    7 Tips to Help You Embrace Stress

    1. Reflect on Your Values and Goals: Reflect on your values and goals to use as a reminder of what is important to you. This can help motivate you when feeling overwhelmed. Writing about your values and goals for 10 minutes can help improve your mental health, boost your GPA, and help you feel capable of managing your stress.

    2. Manage Your Time: Use a planner or priorities chart to help schedule your days and time.

    3. Break Down Large Assignments/Tasks into Small Steps: If an assignment has you stressed, break it into small steps. Each step you complete is a success—build on your successes to complete the task!

    4. Engage in Self-Care: Indulge in some “me time” to recharge and refocus. (Using an app like Focus Keeper will help you schedule breaks in your studies.)

    5. Take Care of Your Physical Self: Make sure you eat healthy foods, drink enough water, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Sleep supports memory consolidation and recall, increases your learning abilities, and increases muscle growth and tissue repair. Long-term sleep deprivation is associated with overall poor physical and mental health.

    6. Create a Support System of Trustworthy People: Talk to someone about your stress—most likely, one of your friends are worried about the same test you are. Reach out to a University College staff member, or visit your faculty during their office hours. Stress helps make you social—you release oxytocin (a stress hormone) when experiencing stress. Oxytocin encourages us to seek social connections/support. It also helps protect the cardiovascular system and strengthens your heart.

    7. Try Relaxation Techniques: Engaging in mindfulness help reduce stress. Download a free mindfulness app to help you relax and focus if feeling frozen by your stress level.

    College Stress. (n.d). Retrieved January 04, 2019, from the Learning Center
    Davis, S. (2018, June 28). 10 Powerful Tips to Combat College Anxiety. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from Academic Writing Success