Published: 4 January 2021
Since March last year, many of you have experienced what it means to learn online.
But if you’re new to the University of Sunderland in London, you might be wondering how you can make the most out of your digital experience.
Follow our eight top tips for staying focused during your studies.
1) Dedication is key
Making the most out of your time studying at home can be tricky simply because you’re not surrounded by other students working to the same goal as you.
But we know you’ve come to the University because you are passionate about your subject, so all you need to do is tap into that to remain on task.
Attend and be prepared for every lecture – bring a notepad and pen! Make sure you’re completing your tasks and assignments on time.
2) Good internet connection makes the difference
There may be nothing more frustrating than a bad internet connection.
To make sure you don’t have any last-minute disasters, save all your work on a cloud service like Google Drive or Microsoft OneNote.
That way if your computer does crash everything will automatically be saved online and you won’t lose all your hard work.
3) Study space is important
Make room for your studies, that means in your timetable and in your physical home as well.
Try to make sure you have a quiet spot, free from distractions to watch lectures and write assignments.
It’s also a good idea to avoid clutter like lots of used coffee mugs and scrunched up paper from discarded notes.
Plus, once you’re done with your work, try and leave your study space for the day – it helps to separate university from the rest of your life.
4) Be goal orientated
Although learning for the sake of learning can be very fun, you’re probably at the University for a reason.
Whether that’s to start your own business or enter the world of commercial tourism, keep your goal in mind.
Keeping all your notes in a carefully organised way will let you go back over what you’ve learned, put it into context and track how close you are to your aims.
5) Study plans can make all the difference
First of all, never wait until the day before to write your assignments. Rushing is a sure way of making mistakes.
Instead, set yourself some clear goals and stick with them. If that means writing notes on an article, have a specific time of day to do it and remain focused.
Avoid having the TV or music on in the background as that makes it a lot easier to become distracted.
6) Be a communicator
Even if you’re not seeing your lecturers in person every day right now, remember that they are always there for you.
But the way to make the most out of your studies is to be vocal. Ask questions in class, talk about things in seminars and email your lecturers if you have something you want to know.
Your education is our staff’s top priority, so make sure you keep in touch.
7) Don’t stay in your pyjamas
It can be really tempting to get up late and wear your most comfortable clothes all day if you’re studying at home.
But it’s important to try and treat your day as if you were going into the lecture theatre.
Getting out of bed, having a good breakfast and wearing something other than your PJs and dressing gown all day will help separate student life from the rest of your time.
8) A lecture is a lecture
Remember that online classes are the same as if you were in the classroom, they’re just presented in a different way.
Make sure you listen as you would for a normal class and if you’re watching a recording don’t keep pausing the video – you wouldn’t be able to in real life!
In line with government guidance on staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Sunderland in London has moved to a ‘blended-learning’ approach to teaching.
That means you will have classes both in-person and remotely. So, for the time being, becoming an expert at online learning is an important part of reaching your goals.
Follow the tips above and you’re sure to become a remote learning expert in no time!
To find out more about the University’s response to the pandemic and to get support, visit our COVID-19 Guidance pages.