Stevenson University students are adjusting to online learning for the 2020 fall semester. According to www.stevenson.edu, the university announced the transition to remote instruction on Aug. 27.
Pursuing a degree online has presented a variety of challenges for some students. Lindsay Hamel, a third-year psychology major who had to make the jump to remote learning in the midst of the spring semester, offered suggestions to help students succeed during this period of online instruction.
According to Hamel, good habits, such as organization and time management, are the key to a successful semester. She relies on a calendar to help keep track of her class schedule and extracurricular activities. In addition, Hamel suggested making weekly to-do lists to stay on top of assignments.
While adjusting to this “new norm,” Hamel admits she struggles to effectively communicate with her professors and peers. Instead of meeting for in-person study groups or office hours, both students and professors are forced to navigate through unfamiliar applications, such as Zoom and BlueJeans. Hamel has heavily relied on her school email to get in touch with professors and classmates; however, she believes face-to-face meetings are more effective.
Some students may find focusing during virtual classes difficult. Ordinary occurrences, such as a conversation between roommates or a barking dog, may interfere with virtual learning. Hamel said she finds a quiet place to attend classes and meetings to eliminate some of these distractions. Students may also find it beneficial to share their class schedules with roommates to promote a constructive learning or working environment.
“At first, it was hard to adjust because everything was so abrupt,” said Hamel. Remote instruction can become overwhelming and frustrating, but Hamel encourages students to remain patient. “While students are beginning to understand the severity of the virus, it is important to keep an open mind to everyone’s circumstances,” said Hamel.
Now more than ever, students and professors are forced to find different outlets to relieve remote-induced stress. According to Michael Dougherty, a junior accounting major, finding time to relax has been extremely beneficial during these challenging times.
“I try to take advantage of any free time I can get,” said Dougherty. He said working out has proven to be an effective stress reliever, and it’s time away from books and computers. “After I work out, I feel more energized and motivated to get my work done.” While working out may not be an effective stress reliever for everyone, it is important that students find time to reset and relax.
It is no secret that this semester will have its challenges, but it is important to find ways to stay motivated. For more information on Stevenson University’s fall 2020 reopening plan, visit www.stevenson.edu.
—Edited by Emily Pellini