Online Learning Strategies

Some classes at UC will be taught remotely using digital resources such as Canvas, videoconferencing, online programs, etc. We know you have a lot on your plate adjusting to the changes of being a distance learner, changing your learning environment, and establishing your new routine. 

Below are resources and suggestions from our Academic Coaches at the Learning Commons to help you adjust to this shift. The Learning Commons has also put together a presentation on Remote Learning Strategies that we suggest reviewing. Don't forget to check IT@UC's resources for technology and remote access.

Advice from Academic Coaches

  • If you ever have questions about your course, email your professor. Don’t be intimidated. Your professor is here to help you and foster your learning. Ask questions about course concepts and course logistics. If you feel like a dialog would be helpful, set up a phone or Microsoft Teams meeting.
  • Please be patient when emailing your professor. Many UC professors are working with literally hundreds of students. It may take a few days to receive a response, but don’t be afraid to follow up.
  • Your classmates can also be important resources. Email the specific classmates if you have questions that they can answer. Many classes will have a general discussion board for questions to the group. Set up online group study times to work together.
  • Most UC support programs have a strong online presence with contact information. If you require assistance from your advisor, Accessibility Resources, the Learning Commons, or other UC programs, reach out to them.
  • UCIT is an important resource for your technology needs. 

Lastly, the Learning Commons has moved most of its academic support programs online!

One of the first things you need to do is make sure you have the proper technology and the right learning space. When taking a remote learning course, you are effectively designing your own physical classroom, so you can successfully engage with the course content. When doing so, think about these questions:

  • What are your technology needs? At the very least, you certainly require some computer (desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.) and connection to the internet. Do you need a webcam or microphone? Do you have course-related software? Is there an online version of your textbook that you can access? You can check to see if UC has your textbook online or check to see if it's available on Redshelf.
  • Next, think about where you want to work. Sure, it would be nice to be in bed and work on your courses, but that is likely not conducive to learning. Work in a place where you can eliminate distractions and have easy access to all your course materials.
  • Remember to take breaks from the screen. Periodically, get up from the desk chair and move around.

Planning is essential. Develop a working calendar for the entire week. Keep important assignment deadlines in mind and build your learning/study time around them. Know what course activities you are doing and when you are doing them. Key tip: A Learning Commons Academic Coach can help you create that plan.

Work consistently every day. Think about a face-to-face class. Usually, every MWF or T/Th, you are given a piece of a larger body of knowledge to learn. If, in an online class, you wait until Friday to learn and do everything, you will probably not be successful. Work on your courses consistently every day. Work on them at the same time each day to build that consistency (e.g., work on your English course every MWF at 2pm).

Other tips:

  • Think long term by utilizing a term-long calendar. This could be a paper-and-pen planner, a calendar or a digital platform
  • Consult updated syllabi, Canvas, and messages from your professors for possible changes in due dates and expectations
  • Create daily to-do lists. It is motivating to cross things off!
  • Remember to space out larger assignments or projects across multiple days or study sessions
  • Take advantage of Academic Coaching, Peer Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction
  • See the wide variety of tools and services available to you as a UC student
  • Schedule a virtual meeting with your advisor
  • Consider holding study groups via WebEX to meet with your classmates
  • Reach out to Accessibility Resources Center (ARC) if you need support with your accommodations
  • Utilize virtual office hours if your professor is offering them
  • If you need clarification about assignments reach out to your professors via email
  • Schedule a virtual meeting with the Academic Writing Center for assistance with papers
  • Avoid passive studying (re-reading your notes, textbook, or Powerpoints)
  • Study actively. Examples of active studying include:
    • Concept mapping
    • Flashcards
    • Summarizing notes in your own words
    • Self-testing
    • Practice questions
    • Teach the material to someone else
    • Study material over the course of a few days, not just all at once; repetition is key.

Downloadable Resources

External Resources