Preparing for Learning Remotely

Creating a Learning Environment

  • Wherever possible try to create a dedicated workspace in a quiet place.
  • Clear off a flat surface where you can sit or stand to work.
  • Keep everything you will need nearby (notebook, post-its, pen, pencil, water, etc.).
  • Communicate to those around you about your need to focus.
  • When you are working in your workspace, sign out of social media, turn off notifications, and turn on blocking apps.
  • Although your dedicated workspace is best for focused work, such as studying and test taking, consider varying your location for some of your other work. If you are in an area where libraries and cafes are closed, you could try writing or working on p-sets in other quiet spots in your home or you could do your reading outside.
  • Social distancing protocols may mean that finding a quiet, unoccupied space is difficult for many people. Parents may be working from home and siblings may be without childcare that students may be asked to supply. Do your best, and communicate with your instructors about any challenges you are facing as soon as possible.
  • For each of your courses this semester, write down one goal you have for it. It can be functional (“I want to get the highest grade possible for my med school apps”) or developmental (“I really want to understand international politics the best I can”). Put your goals up in your workspace, and use them to keep you motivated.

Getting Set for Zoom Classes, Zoom Meetings, and Zoom Appointments

  • Test using Zoom before your first lecture or meeting. 
  • If you have headphones and a microphone, make sure they are working properly, especially make sure your microphone isn't producing feedback.
  • If possible, try to be in a room that has fabric or other soft items on the wall or nearby to reduce echoing (e.g., decorations on the wall, pillows). You could also partition off your workspace by hanging a blanket. If you are getting a lot of echoing, earphones with a microphone will also help.