Academic Mentors are undergraduate students with valuable experience and specialized training to coach their peers on how to reach their academic goals. They are students just like you, who have learned strategies to be succesful at UNH.
We asked them to share their best tips for success in the online environment, and they invite you to email them with your specific questions for online learning.
Analytic Economics and International Affairs
"Online learning requires a lot of self discipline. When there isn’t someone telling you or reminding you to do your work, it may be hard to find the motivation. It’s up to you to keep yourself away from distractions if they will impede your learning process. Carve out a block of your day, find a good place to work, and just do it. Taking breaks is okay, but make sure you finish what you need to."
"Read syllabus to familiarize ypurself with topics that will be addressed. If you haven’t already, organize ANY AND ALL due dates/important dates into an organizer that works best for you—agenda, calendar, cellphone. My assumption is that it will be more difficult to keep track of these if we are not in a physical classroom setting, and everything will still be due!!!! Check other online portals (ie. Pearon, MindTap) and write down due dates from there, too."
Community and Environmental Planning / Sustainability
"Set up your space for online learning:
- Clear the space of any non-essential for learning
- Keep only what you need for that session
- Leave your phone in another room
- Use noise-cancelling headphones to help concentrate
- Set up the space to be comfortable
- Adjust the heat
- Make sure there’s enough lighting
- Have a beverage or snack handy"
"Communication at home is really important, letting people around you know your class schedule and when you need quiet time and to not be bothered is really important."
Amanda '20 English Teaching
Human Development and Family Studies
"Set alarms on your phone five minutes before your Zoom sessions begin. I've already had a few instances where I completely forget about my class even though we meet at the same time. The lack of a solid schedule can be a tough adjustment!"
Health Science and Sustainability
"Make a schedule for yourself for each day; check emails; make a master list of what your professors are doing for each class now - is it zoom, uploaded lectures, etc., how has the syllabus changed? Email professors if you are unable to do their set-up; if you have a MacBook connected to your phone, turn on do-not-disturb so messages won’t go to your laptop, and put your phone in a different room than you are working in."
"Stay organized right away and use a planner or to do folder to remember any assignments!"
Psychology / Family Studies
"Make an information map of your classes and what you need to know about how they will run. Here's an example."
Ujan ' 22
"Check your email for announcements from professor or TA. This will ensure that you don't fall behind with the coursework.
Go through syllabus thoroughly. It will not only help you keep track of the material being taught, but also the best way to contact a professor or TA for questions. Some professors may want emails through canvas and not their UNH emails."
"Maintain a regular schedule, hopefully similar to the one on-campus.
If your professor offers live lectures (via Zoom or other video platform), try to attend if you can because it could become difficult to catch up if you’re solely relying on the posted recording afterwards. During Zoom lectures, don’t be afraid to ask questions to the professor or rest of class in the “chat” feature for clarification."
"Now that our routine has changed it could be hard to remember everything that is required on our courses . I looked deeply through each revised syllabus and canvas page, then wrote down every change and new assignment in my agenda book. I am doing more previewing and writing down notes before lecture since some of my classes are now operating as a flipped classroom. I also created a workspace in my room with a desk and chair to help me get in a 'working mood' which forces me to get out of bed and stay organized."
Preview the book; look at your eText’s table of contents to see how the information is organized.
Scan the preface for author’s notes on how the book is organized and what study tools/resources are incorporated into the reading. Identify where the resources are located: glossary of terms, topic index, homework solutions, extra homework problem. "
Political Science and Communications
"My number one tip for being a successful student is to utilize the textbook and the many things it has to offer, such as learning objectives, practice problems, diagrams, vocab, and more. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor or TA, because most of the time they love to help and may give you some great tips!"
"During this strange period of remote learning, I have found that creating a schedule for myself to stick to has been what has kept me sane. I also made a “to-do” folder with sticky notes for each assignment so I know what tasks I need to get done each day. Here's a handout on how to make a to do folder:"
Samantha ' 20
"Online learning is not something to be taken lightly. You hold the power of how, when, and if your work is done. Utilize as many online resources as you can to keep organized. I like to use ’notes’ and ’stickies’ on my laptop to make to-do lists, as well as my calendar on Canvas and desktop to ensure I am on top of all my assignments.
Reach out to your faculty members if you have any questions, after you check your syllabi for changes. They are here for you and have the answers you’re looking for.
Remember that we are all in this together, and CFAR is here for you to help you feel unstuck! "