Academic Coaching

Getting Started With Remote Learning

Kristen Jennings, Instructional Specialist
Academic Coaching
Phone:(541)917-4611
jennink@linnbenton.edu
lbcoach@linnbenton.edu
Instructor Website: Kristen Jennings

Location:
WH225 - Willamette Hall, 2nd Floor, Albany Campus

Things may feel out-of-control right now. You may be facing a lot of unknowns and disruptions. Try to be patient with yourself, your classmates, and your instructors during this time. Take care of your well-being first. Making a plan to adjust your studying will help give you a sense of control. Use the Start of Term Checklist to prepare, and read through the strategies below.

Your coursework and teamwork have to be online and remote, so here are some strategies to keep in mind:

In this guide, we’ll talk about:

Staying informed

  • Check your LBCC email daily. Important information from your instructors, advisors, and Financial Aid will go to your LBCC student email. Make sure you don’t miss important information about where to find your class or about a changing due date. For more information about signing in and using your LBCC email, please visit the college's LBCC Email page.

Staying organized

  • Each of your online courses may require a different platform (such as Moodle or ALEKS) and each instructor may have a different way that they want you to engage (live video lectures, discussion boards, etc.). It’s important that you organize this information before the term starts.

    1) First, do the following for each of your classes:

    • Check your LBCC email for any information from your instructor. For more information about signing in and using your LBCC email, please visit the college's LBCC Email page.
    • Find out how to access the course (Moodle, ALEKS, etc.) and practice logging in. Use the Student Moodle Practice course in your Moodle account to practice! Contact the CSZ if you have questions.
    • Find important information, like the syllabus and the course schedule.
    • Note your instructor’s name and contact info.

    2) Next, read the syllabus for each class:

    • Mark the due dates for each assignment.
    • Mark the discussion board/Forum due dates - these tend to be the same weekly.
    • Mark quizzes and test dates.

    3) Finally, get your questions answered:

    4) Try some helpful apps for organization: Google Calendar, University of Minnesota Assignment Calculator, MyHomework, Remember the Milk, Mindomo, MindMeister, Google Keep (Overview & links to each app on LBCC's Tech Tools page)

    One way to keep track is to create a graphic organizer like the one below:

     

    Math

    Writing

    Welding I

    Class Location ALEKS Moodle Moodle
    How you will participate Live video lectures MWF at 2 pm Journal reviews and discussions Reading, assignment discussion
    Important Links

    ALEKS Login page, Zoom Link

    Moodle login
    Library website
    Group paper folder

Avoiding multitasking

If you’re trying to read and watch a lecture, or download materials and play a game, you’re multitasking - doing two or three (or more!) things at once. Many people think they can do this well. But research shows us that only about 2% of the population can multitask. Even if you feel like you’re multitasking, you’re probably not. Really, you’re switching between tasks very quickly (some call this microtasking).

The downsides of multitasking and microtasking:

  • Assignments take longer. Each time you come back to an assignment (from Instagram, for example), you have to get familiar with it, find your spot, remember what you were going to do next, etc.
  • You’re more likely to make mistakes. Distractions and switching between tasks tires out the brain.
  • You’ll remember less. When your brain is divided, you’re less able to commit what you’re learning to long-term memory (because it doesn’t get encoded properly into your brain).

What to do instead:
When you need to study something important, consider The Magic of Monotasking.

  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Take breaks between tasks
  • Consider the “Pomodoro method” to help you focus for 25- or 50-minute periods of time and then reward yourself with 5- or 10-minute breaks.
  • For help, contact the College Skills Zone at cszinfo@linnbenton.edu

Making the most of video lectures

  • Stick to your instructor’s schedule as much as you can. Staying on a schedule will help you have a feeling of normalcy and prevent you from falling way behind.

  • Find out how to ask questions. Is there a chat feature? Is there a discussion forum? Check out 10 Quick Questions to Ask Your Instructor Before Completing Online Homework from Oregon State University's Academic Success Center.

  • Close distracting tabs and apps. Humans are not as good at multitasking as they think! Forest and Prod are two apps that can help you focus.

  • Continue to take notes as you would if you were there in person.

  • Watch recordings at a normal speed. Research shows that playback speed of 1.5x can lower your retention and can result in lower scores on assessments. Faster playback speeds are worse for complex, multi-step material (which most of your lectures probably are).

Setting a schedule

As the situation unfolds, you may have fewer social commitments, group meetings, or work hours. Setting a schedule for yourself can help provide structure and keep you motivated. If you don’t already keep a weekly or daily calendar, try something like the example below to organize your time. Include time for exercise and self-care. Try using the Schedule Template (make a copy of the Google Sheet and then fill it out). For help, contact the College Skills Zone staff.

  Scheduled Activity Course Tasks Personal / Self-Care
8:00 am     Shower, breakfast
9:00 am Zoom in for remote lecture    
10:00 am   Read
Chapter 3
 
11:00 am     Break -
video chat with friend
12:00 pm     Lunch
1:00 pm   Read Chapter 4  
2:00 pm Review lecture with classmate    

Adjusting your routine

  • Your routines may have to adjust during this time. Look for ways to adapt your usual habits or form new ones.

    For example:

    • If you are studying with kids and others in the house, set a schedule for your time. If your children are school-age, make doing homework a family affair as much as you can. Keep your course materials and supplies separate from theirs fo you can work more efficiently. We can explore with you options on how you can best set up your study time in the College Skills Zone.

    • If you usually study in a coffee shop or library, ask yourself what kind of environment helps you study. See if you can recreate that at home. Maybe it’s studying in a chair, rather than on your bed or couch, or moving to a new spot when you change tasks. If you feel you need background noise, consider a white noise app.

    • If you always study in groups, try a virtual or phone-based study session with your group. The college is using Zoom for many online meetings.

    • If you thrive on tight timelines, but now have a more open schedule, think about how working with others or setting up a schedule can recreate that for you. Start by scheduling 15 minutes a time per topic.

    • Keep your instructor informed! If you have questions or are having trouble keeping up, contact your instructor as soon as possible.

Working with a group or team

  • Remote collaboration will look a little different, but it is definitely possible.

    • Try not to procrastinate. That group project may be out-of-sight, out-of-mind if you aren’t seeing each other regularly. Resist the urge to put it off. Make small progress and stay in touch. Put group meetings on your daily and weekly schedules.

    • Meet regularly, especially if you usually touch base during class or lab. Consider a quick text on your group chat about progress every couple of days. Ideally, have real conversations over video any week you’re working together.

    • Set a purpose for meetings and use a shared notes doc (such as Google doc). Meetings might feel different when using video, even if your team was really good at working informally in the past. Try to set the purpose of your meeting in advance. Take notes in a shared doc so you can all contribute and follow along.

    • Keep videos open when you can. As long as you can see whatever you need to collaborate, aim to keep the video visible on your computer screen. It’ll help you see the expressions of your teammates and stay connected to each other. It’s easy to stay connected using Zoom. Visit https://linnbenton.zoom.us/ to learn how.

    • Check on each other and ask for backup: If someone has been absent from your group meetings or chat, ask them directly if they’re still able to participate in the project. If you aren’t getting responses within a day or two, let your instructor know. Know it isn’t being petty, it’s your team’s responsibility.

Staying connected to other people

  • Although the virtual face-to-face time we spend with others on campus will be limited, it’s important to stay in touch with instructors, classmates for classwork. It’s also important to connect with family and friends. Here are a few ideas:

    • Schedule video calls with friends and family. Talking with loved ones is often really helpful when you’re stressed or nervous about something. Taking a break to have a laugh is also important.

    • Use Hangouts in Google to connect with classmates to talk through a tough problem.

    • Attend virtual office hours or study groups so that you can stay up on your coursework.

What to do if you get sick

Staying connected to other people

  • Although the virtual face-to-face time we spend with others on campus will be limited, it’s important to stay in touch with instructors, classmates for classwork. It’s also important to connect with family and friends. Here are a few ideas:

    • Schedule video calls with friends and family. Talking with loved ones is often really helpful when you’re stressed or nervous about something. Taking a break to have a laugh is also important.

    • Use Hangouts in Google to connect with classmates to talk through a tough problem.

    • Attend virtual office hours or study groups so that you can stay up on your coursework.

What to do if this is too hard

  • Talk with your instructors. Get help from the Learning Center. If you then decide that remaining in school is not possible for you, talk with your advisor about withdrawing.

Please remember, this will pass. COVID has disrupted all of our plans and feels like it came at the worst possible time. Remember: this is temporary. You'll find your way when it settles down. You'll get back on track, and things will get back to normal. We don't know when, but it will happen.

Until then, take a deep breath, do your best, get some rest, and wash your hands.

This work, “How to Study as a Remote Learner,” is a derivative of “Adjusting Your Study Habits During COVID” by the University of Michigan, used under CC BY 4.0. “How to Study as a Remote Learner” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by Linn-Benton Community College.