Resources to Utilize during Virtual Classes

Your Professor: 

This one is the most obvious, however it is one of the best resources. Although our professors can’t be with us face to face, when it comes to understanding class material they are the most useful resource. Almost all professors have an online zoom office hour or meeting time. Your professor is one email away and with the use of zoom, it’s more convenient than ever (You don’t even have to show your face). In my opinion, this is one of the best resources.

Bonus tip: Ask your instructor about tutoring sessions for your class and where you can find those. 

Your classmates:

One of the disadvantages to virtual classes is getting to know people in your class. It’s always good to know a couple people in each of your classes, so if you have questions or need a study buddy you have someone to ask. In my opinion the best way to meet your classmates is through group me or other social media’s. Group me is a communication app that allows you to create groups that people can join to converse with each other. You can set up your own account and email your whole class via D2L with the invitation link to your group me. This method can substitute face to face interaction.

Writing Center:

If you have any type of writing assignment to complete, the Writing Center is one of the best resources. Even during this pandemic, the Writing Center is virtually open for appointments. You can schedule a 30 minute or 1 hour session with an UCWbL tutor to revise any paper you have. Once again, the convenience factor of having a virtual appointment makes it super easy to sign up and get the help you need. 

Link: https://condor.depaul.edu/writing/programs-writing-center-scheduling-appointments.html

Tips and hacks for virtual classes and assignments:

Focusing: Focusing on school work is very important in virtual classes. It is easy to push off work. In my opinion the best way to utilize your time and focus on class work is to put yourself in a separate room away from all distractions, if possible. Doing this allows your brain to understand the occasion. Set 1-2 hours aside just to complete your work. Then take a 10 to 15 minute  break after every hour. In my experience starting off small is best. I know I can not focus for 2 hours straight, so I started with an hour. Then I took a 10 minute break and went back to my work for another hour.

Eliminating distractions: When eliminating distractions, start by putting your phone on do not disturb mode. If that does not work, then turn off your phone and isolate away from you. 

Make a list: Online classes come in all forms:  Async, Sync and Hybrid. With everything being virtual it can get overwhelming; the best helps with getting assignments done in bite size chunks, alleviating a lotta of anxiety and stress from virtual classes. Never forget the best remedy for anxiety is execution. 

Track due dates: Another tip to stay on top of virtual classes is to track due dates. It can be tedious to look at assignment due dates on your computer, so I recommend downloading the D2L pulse app on your phone. This way you can easily track your due dates and make a list of assignments to complete ahead of time. Planning and setting hard due dates for yourself can eliminate procrastination. Having easy access to class schedules and calendars via the D2L app makes it easier to stay on top. 

Bonus tip: Download a calendar app or use your phone calendar to add assignment due dates on to your phone to notify yourself when something is due. I recommend doing this one week at a time. Put down what assignments, lectures, and exams need to be completed for that week. This simplifies your workflow and allows you to focus on what’s important for that week.

~Sneh Shah