21 ways to make the most of your remote courses
January 15, 2021

Georgian’s winter semester is about to begin, with most courses being delivered remotely (online).

Our student advisors have some tips to help you succeed, especially for those new to college or who’ve never taken an online course.

  • Get familiar with Georgian’s remote services. Staff are here to help you with all the usual supports and resources. We’re just offering these services remotely while only limited on-campus activity takes place. This includes research, writing skills, math skills, tutoring, student advising, counselling, accommodation and more. Review the remote learning kit to find the student service(s) you need and how to contact them.
  • Come as you are. One of the benefits to being online is you can roll out of bed for class (although we do recommend getting dressed and eating a nutritious breakfast first).
  • Don’t hit the snooze button, even on those days when you don’t feel motivated. We know, it’s easier sometimes to hide under the covers but you’ll get more out of your Georgian experience if you consistently show up for your remote courses. Create good morning habits!
  • Designate a quiet, comfortable space for learning, free from distractions like your phone.
  • Take time at the beginning of each course to understand what’s expected of you. Every course and instructor will be different.
  • Figure out your learning style and develop study habits to reflect it. For example, if you’re a visual learner you may want to rework your notes into pictures, mindmaps or diagrams.
  • Keep up with readings. Try to read every day if you can. Schedule it into your daily to-do list.
  • Know your deadlines and work toward them. Map out what’s due and when. You can download a digital version of the Georgian College Students’ Association student planner.
  • Break assignments and projects into small, manageable chunks. That way, they won’t feel so overwhelming. Use an assignment tracker to help plan.
  • Don’t multi-task; focus on one thing at a time. Research has proven that multi-tasking is not effective.
Person using macbook pro, stock image, remote courses
  • Participate in virtual discussions – be brave and share your voice. Some of the best learning will come from the conversations you have with your classmates and instructor.
  • On the flip side, listen and absorb. Not only is your instructor a subject matter expert, but your classmates have amazing experience and insight too.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No question is silly and chances are if you’re thinking it, others are too.
  • Develop your own system for your notes, e.g., use symbols, abbreviations and shorthand like with = w/ or because = b/c. You can also use mindmaps or draw charts, shapes or illustrations while taking notes if it aids your understanding.
  • Rewrite, type or re-read your notes after class so you can absorb them again.
  • Complete assignments worth the largest percentage first. For example, if you have an assignment worth 10 per cent and an essay worth 25 per cent and they’re both due at the same time, finish the one worth 25 per cent before you do the other one.
  • Say goodbye to cramming and schedule in regular study time each week. Better yet, organize an online study group or find a study buddy.
  • Get to know your prof. They can offer great career advice and may become a mentor or future reference. They want you to succeed, so don’t hesitate to talk to them if you’re falling behind or don’t understand a key concept.
  • Reflect on your assignments when you get them back. What did you do well? What do you need to work on for the next one? If you’re unclear, ask your instructor for more feedback.
  • Take a break. Studying is important, but make sure you set aside time for rest, self-care and activities you love.
  • Reach out to us. Georgian’s student advisors are here to support you. To book an appointment, please access the student portal. Once logged in, in the top left-hand corner of your screen you’ll find who your advisor is and the times they are available to meet. Alternatively, you can email us and your advisor will get back to you as soon as possible.

This article was originally published in May 2020. It was updated and re-shared in January 2021.