Page 35 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
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cal place, students need to impose their own structure. Otherwise, procrastination can creep in. If students have blocked out time on their calendar specifically for studies, it’s easier to stay disciplined and on track. It’s also important for the schedule to include time for breaks. It’s a lot easier to stay on track when you know you have a half-hour for a walk or a quick 15-minute snack break coming up.
“Similarly, creating a study space can be a kind of ‘mental trick,’ a physical cue that it’s school time. Students should find a place in their home that is free of distractions and allows for con- centration. It is important to acknowledge that for some students, especially those from less privileged backgrounds, this might be really hard. When that is the case, recommend other techniques for making space: Wear headphones. Place a sign on your desk that says, ‘I am study- ing .... Can your question wait?’ Even a picture or a piece of colored paper can communicate
to children who can’t read whether we can be interrupted or not.
“It’s also a good idea to lean on other people. This includes staying in contact with faculty through the protocols set up by the instructor. But it can also mean building a support structure among the people in a student’s life. This can
be difficult during a period of social distancing, but just like internet technology enables learn- ing to continue, it should also be used to keep social support networks active. Students should ask specific people in their lives to keep them accountable — a family member in the home with them, a colleague they’re staying in touch with via e-mail, or a cousin across the country who can send them daily Snapchat reminders to finish a chapter or work on a paper.
“That being said, distractions like social me- dia, other people in the house, and the refrig- erator nearby can get in the way of success if students aren’t careful. These things should all be taken into consideration when selecting a study time and space — a student who knows that her spouse’s streaming TV bingeing habits could tempt her might choose to study early in the morning while her spouse is still sleeping, or ask that he reserve her designated study time to watch a show she dislikes. Maybe she [can leave] her phone in another room while studying and choose a room without a large window beckon- ing her to go outside and enjoy the springtime sunshine.” —Natalie Murray, VP student experi- ence; Katherine Porter, faculty experience man- ager; and Joann Kozyrev, VP design and develop- ment, Western Governors University
“My biggest advice for students is to make sure they are setting aside enough time to go through group activities.” —John Baker, CEO, D2L
“First make the students aware of the ‘why’ be- hind the change, and why the use of the specific online or virtual tools at your disposal are the best fit for students to continue to learn during this timeframe. Next, provide information about ‘how’ they will use the online instructional tools and resources to increase their knowledge around the functions that exist in the online learning envi- ronment. From there, you want to let the student know ‘what’ to do if they have any additional questions and what resources exist that are sur- rounding them as support during this transition.
“To assist students with the adjustment pro- cess schools may ... want to leverage students’ pre-existing digital literacy competencies to help

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