Like a Boss Episode 1: Tips for studying online

We are all in this together!

We know that getting used to study during this weird time in the world can be really hard. Feeling uncertain is normal. But feeling uncertain doesn’t mean that you can’t do this – you can! To help you moving online (or studying online if you already were) we thought we would provide some advice from those in the know – online students and online teachers. Over the next few weeks we are going to be bringing you lots of support to help you as you adapt and adjust.

So to help you get started, join our new Student Learning Advisor, Dr Lauren Butterworth, as she guides you through the mad new world of study in our new video series “….like a Boss”.

Watch the video by clicking the image below.

Or you can read the transcript below:

Hi Flinders Fam!

I’m Lauren, (Dr Lauren Butterworth, if you want to be formal about it) and I’m a learning advisor and academic with the Student Learning Support Service. You may have seen me in the Learning Lounge, in Yunggorendi, in the English Department, or you may know me as the former president of the Speakeasy club. Basically, I’ve been kicking around here for a while! I started as an undergrad back in 2006, then stuck around for my PhD in Creative Writing, and now I work here, so Flinders feels very much like home to me.

But, let’s be honest, things are a little different around the campus at the moment and that’s been difficult. The University has moved really quickly to make sure we’re all safe, but that also means we’ve all been dealing with some pretty big transitional stuff. I, for one, have had a couple of crazy mad weeks. I started a new job here on Monday – great timing! – and have been learning a lot of new software, tech and teaching practices in a very short amount of time, and I know you’re all feeling it too.

So that’s why we’ve started the Like a Boss series. We want to help you transition to studying online and ensure you look after yourself from home … like a boss!

  • This series will cover some key things like:
  • Planning to online … like a boss.
  • Embracing technology … like a boss
  • Managing stress … like a boss
  • Staying connected to community… like a boss
  • Getting your assignments done … like a boss
  • Looking after your physical wellbeing … like a boss
  • Dealing with procrastination … like a boss
  • Juggling caring duties and study … like a boss

As well as being a teacher, I’m also a writer, podcaster, live storytelling enthusiast, and performer and things vlog brings so many of my interests together, so I am super excited to be able to present this series to you (if only I could do it while riding a bike and travelling too …). In these dark times, we all need a project that excites us, right? I just happen to be the kind of nerd who’s excited by this stuff!

We also want to make sure the awesome campus vibes we have here at Flinders transition with us into the digital world. That means you are a central part of this vlog. We want to hear from you, so let us know what you’re struggling with and we’ll get that content to you!

So without any further ado, here’s a few quick tips to get you started as we move online:

#1: Get Set Up

I’m going to talk more about this one in the next vlog, but I want to give you some quick goods to get you started now.

  • Create a study space away from as many distractions as possible. Try to find somewhere with good lighting where you can maintain good posture. If possible, de-clutter your space and keep what you need at hand.
  • Create an organisational system for yourself. This might mean setting up folders on your computer for each topic, or colour coding some real-life folders. Keep notebooks at hand and make use of your diary and calendar to mark important dates.
  • Like I said, I’ll have more detail about this next week, but in the meantime, if you want some extra tips, check out this recent post from Student News about how to up your work space.
  • Dr Gareth Furber’s excellent Health and Wellbeing Blog. He’s keeping a Coronavirus diary, and in particular, I recommend checking out his Working from Home post.

#2: Embrace Online

Studying online is going to be the new normal for a little while, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming challenge (even though it may feel that way at first). If we embrace the technological changes at hand, we can not only learn a range of important new skills, but ready ourselves for workplaces of the future.

  • Familiarise yourself with how your topics will run from now on. Be sure to check your emails and FLO pages. In particular, spend some time reading through the Announcements and Discussion boards. Chances are that if you have a question, another student may as well and the answer may have already been provided.
  • Get to know Collaborate and other online tools. Check out the student guide about how to use Collaborate if you’re unsure, and show up to your online tutorials ready to participate just as you would in a physical classroom. Engaging actively with your classes can go a long way to helping you you feel connected and motivated!

#3: Create a To-To List

Having small and manageable chunks of tasks to focus on a time can help not only with your organisation and time management, but can keep you focused and make things a little less stressful.

  • Jump onto your topic FLO pages and work through the instructions that have been given to you. Try to turn these into small and manageable goals. Do you need to watch something? What times do you need to be online in your Collaborate rooms? You might choose to share your to do list on your topic’s FLO discussion board and ask everyone if you’ve missed something.
  • Break up your day into a few study sessions of a few hours and write clear and specific goals for each. Your goal for one session might be to complete your weekly readings for a topic, or to do research for an essay. Once you’ve completed a task, tick it off. It’ll give you a real sense of satisfaction!

#4: Be Kind to Yourself

As we undergo this difficult transition – and deal with the world at large – it’s important to remember to be kind and patient to yourself and to those around you – your fellow students and teachers!

  • Embrace patience. Yes, there might be some bumps and unexpected hiccups with technology and communication, but we can iron out the kinks in the system together if we act with empathy and acknowledge that everything may not go quite as smoothly as we hope in the first instance. Be patient and remember that everyone is working hard behind the scenes to make this transition as smooth as possible!
  • Take a break from social media or the news when you need to. Too much of this kind of information can take a real toll on us mentally and physically. Remember to switch off and take care of yourself when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Look after your physical and mental health. These things are easier said than done, and we’ll be talking about them a lot more in some future vlogs, but if you need some tips now, I again recommend Dr Gareth Furber’s Health and Wellbeing Blog. He’s an expert!

#5: Reach Out and Stay Connected – We Haven’t Gone Anywhere!

The university might have moved classes online, all of the support services that you are used to finding on campus still exist and everyone is working hard to make these as accessible for you as possible.

  • You can access all of Flinders’ support services through the Flinders Support Network. Jump online and reach out if you need support.
  • You can also still access study spaces on campus if you need somewhere to come with secure internet and some peace and quiet. Just be mindful of the safety of yourself and others and maintain distance and good hygiene practices while on campus.
  • If you want to keep up to date with what’s going on, you can access news and updates from the university at the Coronavirus information page. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling and Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Clare Pollock have also recently provided some important updates about things like exams, parking, assessment, and fees. It might put some of your anxieties at ease to know all the ways the University is adapting to help support us all!

So remember everyone, try to get yourself set up and create a study space for yourself at home, embrace the challenges and learning opportunities of moving online, give yourself small and achievable goals, and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll get through this together, and in the meantime, the staff here at Flinders haven’t gone anywhere.

That’s all from me this week, but I’ll be back soon with tips about how to plan and get yourself organised. In the meantime, here’s my challenge to you all. Share photos or videos of your workspace. Give us a virtual tour! Where are you set up? Do you have any animal study buddies? Post your photos and videos so we can all see!

And share with us your tips for getting set up to study at home. What challenges have you faced, and what strategies have you found super useful? Comment below – let’s get a conversation happening! #LikeaBoss

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21 thoughts on “Like a Boss Episode 1: Tips for studying online

  1. Hello everyone,
    This is karamjeet Kaur and I am also one of the students who are having stress in current situation. like others I am also studying from home( actually from my bed) 🙂 after looking at this video to manage things while working or studying from home i am a bit relaxed and hoping to get some relaxation from this tough times. Hope everyone is safe there. will try to do things like a boss……

    1. Hi Karamjeet! It is a stressful time, isn’t it, but I’m glad you’ve found this video a bit helpful! There’s lots more content coming that will hopefully help you feel a bit more relaxed about working from home. I hope you’re keeping safe!

  2. Hi Lauren
    I am Navroop Kaur, I really encouraged from you to have some patience because sometimes I really feel pressure of studies at this time. But I really feel some relief now and I like your words that switch off mind. Now I follow this and switch off from all distractions and worries and go ahead by switch on to my studies without stress.
    Thanks Lauren

    1. I’m glad you’ve found it helpful! We’re working on lots of ideas to try to help everyone while we study from home. There’s so many things to think about! But we’ll get there 🙂

    1. Yes, how good is saving time on commuting? My plan was to go for a walk on my normal commute time instead, but I’ve ended up spending that time reading more news :/ I don’t think that’s the best for my mental health, so tomorrow I’m going to go for a walk instead!
      And yes, hopefully studying online will get easier with time! I’m getting used to working from home now and all the new little ways that my routine has changed.

  3. Hi Dr Lauren,
    This is Prema. I am doing MSW in Flinders. I have a video in which I have talked about my experiences online and also some photos of my buddy, a blue tongue garden lizard. But I don’t know to which email I have to send it to. Please can you guide me. Thanks

    Regards,
    Prema

      1. Thanks for your reply dear Lauren. Your video was really encouraging and was definitely helpful. Look forward to more videos in the future.

        kind regards,
        Prema

  4. I am actually enjoying my online study. Its been a new and great experience. And the advise of Lauren would further help me a lot.
    Thank you.

  5. Hi Lauran!!
    In this stressful situation, your video is really a stress buster for everyone especially for MSW students like me, who have many tasks to complete and study online.

  6. helpful informatives.. tips given in the video will help students to manage things properly in this stressful condition.. i am also feeling a bit relaxed and safe in type of learning. thankyou

  7. Hi Lauren,
    Thank you for the video, really helpful. I feel much confident now, much better than before regarding to Online Studies. I am used to with face to face lectures and self study in library using books. Your video has given me some amount of strength to cope up with my study stress.
    I feel like a boss now.

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