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Six ways you can better prepare for online studies

Two women working on computers
Online learning can be stressful, but there are tips and resources to help make the change easier.

As you're adjusting to UW's new online learning environment, we want to make sure you have access to helpful tips that can increase your productivity and happiness as finish the semester. First and foremost, never be afraid to ask for help. Your instructors are the best place to start if you're having difficulty, but if you need a one-stop-shop for student online learning resources, check out our student resources web page.


Setup your study space

This is important in establishing a routine. Figure out a space and environment that works best for you. If one setup isn’t working out – don't be afraid to change it up. Proper lighting can also impact your ability to maintain focus. Other items to consider for setting up your new space:

  • Have a high-speed internet connection
    Don't have internet? Several providers are offering assistance to UW students in need.

  • Have your required books, materials, and software for your classes. If you need assistance for access to these items -- reach out to UW Libraries, the University Store, and IT as needed.

  • Have headphones and microphone (as applicable) for listening and participating in discussions.

  • Eliminate distractions - it can be easy to get derailed and want to watch the next binge-worthy show or hop on social media. Try turning off your phone or use a website blocker to help eliminate distractions. Figure out what strategy works best for you.

Check out this senior's simple home study space:


Get familiar with WyoCourses

You’ll access your courses through the WyoCourses portal. Here’s some quick tips to get you started:

  • Sign in with your UWyo screename and password

  • Under the Courses & Groups tab, you’ll find a short WyoCourses Orientation course

  • For further support, check out the IT WyoWeb/WyoCourses Knowledge Base or use the “Help” tab on the left navigation within WyoCourses.


Determine how you learn best

Once you’ve got your study space setup and figured out how to navigate WyoCourses, figure out how you accomplish your best learning. This goes along with establishing a study plan and schedule – but if you’re a morning person or night owl, use those as strengths to be as productive in your course work as you can. If you’re a visual learner, seek out videos that supplement learning.

Better at participating in a discussion? Get involved in the course discussions. Like your study space, don’t be afraid to adjust this throughout the process to figure out what works best for you.


Form a time management and study plan

Developing a schedule and sticking to it will be an important part to you succeeding in an online learning environment. Establish a routine, but one that is flexible to your habits. Here are some other quick tips: 

  • Create to-do lists – do one for each week and map out the tasks and assignments you need to complete

  • Setup a calendar – even though we suggested being flexible to your habits, you should still establish a structure to your days. Setting up a calendar will help you remember all your important dates and deadlines (i.e. exams, deadlines for assignments, etc.). Utilize technology and save your schedule on your phone/computer or use an academic student planner.

  • Stick to a schedule – procrastination in an online learning environment can be a bad habit to develop. Stay organized and stick to a study schedule so you don’t fall behind in your course work.

  • Take a break – it's okay to walk away from your study space if you're feeling tired or frustrated. Get a change of scenery and clear your head. This will help renew your energy so you can maintain balance and get back to studying.

Female student in window with books


Be an active participant

Connecting with your classmates in your courses forums and discussions will enhance your learning experience. Read what others write in the discussions or critiques on assignments. And if you have a question – ask! One benefit of an online learning environment is that you’re not restricted to these discussions as if you were in a classroom 2-3 times a week, they can happen at any time!


Ask for help

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you don’t ask for help when it matters most, you may end up falling behind. And, there could be a chance your classmates are also experiencing the same issue. Reach out to your professors and your classmates for clarification or support as it’s needed. There are also other resources that can support you through this process – don't forget about UW Libraries, STEP Tutoring, the Writing Center and others – all who offer online support.

Female student studying

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