Author Bio: Dharma Mirza (She/Her) is an OSU undergraduate in Public Health, Queer Studies, and Statistics. She is a student worker for the OSU Center for Teaching & Learning and the OSU College of Public Health & Human Sciences. Dharma also does educational outreach, public speaking, and diversity work with various universities in Oregon, focusing on LGBTQ+ issues and health equity.”
1. Making a Space
I find it very important to have a dedicated space for doing my online course work inside of my residence. I think it has been vital in staying focused to have a separate work space that is dedicated for school time when I am working on my coursework. If you are able to have a separate room consider putting a note up on the door when you are in “school” or “work” mode so that you can avoid others in your home from distracting you (if possible/applicable).
It’s very easy at home to have your creature comforts near by such as your phone, tablet, etc. But I have found it helpful to treat my coursework time as if I am in class. During zoom meetings for courses keep your phone put away (except as needed) and focus on the lecture, discussion, etc.
Consider opening a separate desktop on your computer for different things. I for instance have a work desktop, a school work desktop and a personal desktop. (not separate computers, but separate desktops (a feature on most newer operating systems). This helps me from getting distracted from other programs that are open, or tabs on browsers that can be tempting.
3. Stick to a schedule
I have found it easy to get complacent and get behind when I don’t stick to a routine or schedule for online work. I pick a dedicated time for each course, and will adhere to working on that course during that time. For courses that aren’t synchronous, I plan on using the time I had scheduled for lecture for homework or reviewing canvas.
Stay on top of you emails, and canvas notifications. This will be a primary way to get info from instructors, so it’s important to stay on top of these.
Where possible connect directly to your router/internet source for a wired connection while doing conference calls, zoom lectures, etc. This will help to improve your quality of connection, and avoid any disconnections due to wifi issues. Especially as broadband networks see more stress during work from home/school from home increases.