Preparation, persistence and holding yourself accountable are key to being a successful remote learner. Before classes start, work through the tips below to set yourself up for success.
Transition to remote learning
This interactive tutorial will help prepare you for your remote learning journey.Go to tutorial
Set up your workspace
Identify a quiet, distraction-free location
- Having undisturbed study time is vital to your success.
- Select a spot you do not use for other activities.
- Be clear with roommates or family so they know this is your "quiet zone," and share your study schedule.
- If possible, choose a spot where you can post a "do not disturb" sign.
- Your space should have an area where you can leave papers, books and materials you are working on, even if you have to place them in a box while the space is used for other things.
- Using a dedicated workspace will help you to establish a routine.
Create a space that works for you
- Having a comfortable and ergonomically correct workspace will allow you to study for longer periods of time without undue strain.
- To reduce eye strain, natural light, or light bright enough to read by, will reduce eye strain.
- Listen to music if you prefer! Music without lyrics is less likely to affect your concentration.
- Set your space up with all materials you'll need for studying, such as writing paper, pencils and erasers, highlighters and a water bottle.
- Manage your digital distractions by logging out of social media and distracting websites. Put your cell phone on silent and out of sight.
Set up your technology
Learn about tech requirements
- Review the minimum computer/laptop and internet connectivity standards for remote/online learning that will work for most USask classes.
- Learn about recommended security actions.
- Find out how to test your internet connection.
Set up your software and course tools
- Configure your USask email.
- Update your PAWS profile and find your courses in Blackboard or Canvas.
- Review the free software and applications available to students.
- Familiarize yourself with the free file storage options available to students.
Schedule your time
Treat your studies like a job
- With less structure than face-to-face courses, online courses require more independence, self-discipline, motivation and strong time management skills.
- Establishing a daily routine takes practice but will pay off in the long run.
Plan ahead, create schedules and stick to them
- There may be times when you are required to log in to your class at a scheduled time (synchronous) and others where you can log in on your own (asynchronous).
- The most important tool in time management is a planner, whether paper or online.
- Create a detailed weekly schedule and stick to it. Remote learning requires structure, but you are the one who sets up a structure that works for you.
- Set aside enough time each week to study with no distractions.
Use time blocking to create structure and develop routine
- Schedule a time for watching lecture recordings, readings, coursework and review.
- Use your class syllabus to find assignment due dates and exams, and record these in your planner.
- You can use an electronic planner to set reminders for yourself to complete tasks.
- Wake up and eat meals at the same time each day to develop a predictable routine.
Order class material
Get your textbook list and supplies
Prepare for your classes
Get to know your classes
- Thoroughly read your course syllabi. Learn course expectations and how to contact your professor. Keep in mind that no two courses will be structured in the same way.
- Become familiar with the course management system, likely Blackboard or Canvas, and learn about its functionality. Understand how to upload your assignments, where to find course materials and where the discussion board is located. Learn how to use the system by watching tutorial videos.
Are you ready to learn remotely?
Take the Remote Learning Readiness Questionnaire to find out.
Ask for help
We are here to help you transition to remote learning.