As classes begin around the world and remote learning becomes the norm, we want to wish everyone an awesome school year, and drop some helpful “Prof Tips” to help ensure you rock each and every one of your remote classes.
1: Organize your deadlines into one calendar
Remember, if you switch from face-to-face to remote (or vice versa), pay attention to any due dates that might have changed. Update your central calendar as needed!
2: Bring Questions to Class and Office Hours
Ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions! Seriously, it is that important! Good questions can fill in gaps, making connections which the instructor assumes you already did on your own.
Also, learning to form awesome questions is sometimes just as important as the answers!
3: Connect with Instructors
Connecting with instructors can be difficult remotely. Make the effort, we promise it is worth it.
Forming a professional relationship can be as simple as joining few minutes of a virtual office hour or through a few emails.
Building relationships is powerful and can make it easier to get clarification on content and assignments as well as further developing your long-term networks. Don’t forget, it will be much harder for any teacher/professor to write a recommendation letter for an unknown student. Make yourself (positively!) known now!
4: Turn on Video
We are all connected, and video actually helps with the focus. It may feel a little awkward, but it honestly increases learning through social connection.
So, get those mirror neurons firing, and turn on that camera! If you can’t turn on the camera, engage in other ways that you can: chat, discussion boards, etc. You’ll most likely learn more and make it easier on the instructor. One-sided conversations aren’t nearly as exciting as open discussions.
5: Take Good Notes!
Take good notes! Capturing big ideas and key details builds a knowledge system that can help you study and be used as a reference later on. Keeping a long-term system in mind ensures you don’t end up with the large box of notes that you never look at again.
Make sure you choose a system that you will have access to regardless of where your class is taking place. We of course recommend RamSync for this!
6: Speed up Video Playback
Speed up video playback, but pause and rewind when you need to think through a particular point.
We can understand videos at a much faster pace than the normal conversational lecture rate, so this will help save time studying while allowing the proper focus on key topics!
7: Remove Distractions
Turn off your phone. Kill the TV. Take a breath. You got this, now focus!
The Pomodoro method may help, set a timer and don’t let yourself get distracted. If the lure of opening up a new tab is too great, use technology to inhibit those habits. Browser extensions like StayFocused can block certain sites for a period of time. Phone apps like Forest (planting virtual trees) and Pocket Points (coupons for local businesses) offer rewards for phone-free time.
8: Take Breaks
Zoom fatigue is real and can require different types of breaks than you might expect. Factor this into your study scheduling at the beginning of the semester. Make sure you are taking a break that helps you both mentally and physically.
We wish every student a successful school year, no matter if classes are in-person or online. We hope these tips are helpful and support a healthy balance for learning and organization that will serve you well throughout the lifelong journey of learning.
The data also shows a great organizational tool can take your productivity to the next level. Which is why we created RamSync, to support students, researchers, and learners everywhere!
Do you have questions about what RamSync can do for you? Send us a note or sign up for the beta release! We’ll get back to you quickly.