Successfully adapting to remote learning during COVID-19
During this uncertain time, it is challenging to know how you will complete your term successfully. As courses move to remote delivery, both instructors and students are adapting to a rapidly evolving reality. This guide will provide you with strategies and resources for successfully completing your term during this time.
Structure your time
When all of your classes move to remote delivery, and you are unable to participate in regular activities, you will find yourself with a lot of free time. Remember that you are still enrolled in your classes, and you are expected to continue your learning independently. As you structure your time, ask yourself these questions:
- What are three things that I want to accomplish today?
- Which are the highest priority?
- What day and time will I do these things?
- Note: You can use this template to fill out the times that you will complete daily tasks, such as cooking/eating, studying, calling friends/family etc.
Prepare to study at home
Because you will be spending a lot of time at home, you may benefit from reconfiguring the way you study and review remote content. If you normally sit in bed or on the couch, consider siting up at your desk or kitchen table. You will also want to ensure that you are set up with the technology you need to participate in remote learning, such as:
- UM Learn: Log in and make sure you can navigate each course, especially if your instructor has not previously used this platform.
- Software: Download the most recent version of the software you will need to complete your work, such as Adobe Acrobat.
- Email: Ensure you can easily log into and access your UManitoba email account
- High-speed internet: Check that you have a reliable internet connection, and contact your service provider if you have any concerns.
Communicate with your instructor
Your instructor is adapting their course as quickly as possible to meet the need to finish the term remotely. This means that there may be a lack of clarity in assignment guidelines or assessments, technical errors, or gaps in content. Contact your instructor if you have any questions about the course. Refrain from relying on your friends or classmates to provide clarification on assignment expectations, because only your instructor can accurately provide this information. However, if you are having difficulty with UM Learn, contact IST, as they can help you to troubleshoot.
- Note: It is your responsibility to clarify any areas of confusion in your remote course, including assignment and test expectations.
Find alternative means of communicating
A number of tools are available that can help bridge the gap while you are completing group assignments or otherwise communicating with your classmates. Some of these tools include Zoom and Google Hangouts, both of which are free.
- Note: Your instructor’s directives regarding individual work still apply to a remote environment, unless otherwise noted. Violating your instructor’s expectations by working with others on an individual assignment can lead to an allegation of inappropriate collaboration.
Treat a remote course as seriously as a regular course
Although a remote environment can feel informal as compared to in-person instruction, you are still expected to abide by the University’s academic integrity expectations, outlined in the academic calendar and Student Discipline Bylaw. This means following the course instructions for individual work, assignment deadlines, and tests/exams. For example:
- If you are unclear about assignment expectations, contact your instructor. Do not rely on classmates.
- If an assignment is intended to be individual, do not work with others.
- For a group assignment, make sure that you have set clear expectations for each group member’s role, your project timeline, and the frequency and manner of communication.
- If you are feeling physically or mentally unwell, do not submit an assignment that knowingly violates academic integrity expectations. Contact your instructor to discuss your options.
- If you are relying on sources in order to complete your assignment (even if it is not a research paper), ensure you paraphrase/quote properly and include citations and references. Visit the Libraries and Academic Learning Centre websites for resources and remote support.
- Visit the Academic Integrity website for more information on maintaining academic integrity and avoiding academic misconduct.
Make use of campus resources to assist you in your work
Take care of your wellbeing
Our biggest concern is for your wellbeing during this challenging and uncertain time. Make sure to rest, eat well, and take the time to disengage from the news. It is also important to stay connected to family and friends, using tools such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, and others. Reach out to the people you trust and share how you are feeling.
The rapid changes in routine and lifestyle presented by COVID-19 result in stress, confusion, and anxiety for many. Under these conditions, many of us will find it difficult to make the best decisions for our overall wellbeing. Please note that the following resources are available to support you during this time:
For more tips on adjusting your study strategies during COVID-19, read this guide.
This document is intended as a resource for students. We encourage its wide distribution by university members.