I love blended learning! At first, I really struggled to adapt to working from home, with a new puppy and so many distractions it was a really big step away from what I was used to. I was quite overwhelmed over having to go through lectures myself however, I find it so much easier! It allows me to go through these lectures in my own time, which helps for topics I find more difficult. I usually commuted to University, so only being in one day a week makes so much more time to do more research for my modules and start to plan my assignments! Using weekly planners has really helped me to adapt to blended learning, as I provide myself a plan of what to do throughout the week and what goals I want to achieve! This has provided me some stability to ensure I am working throughout the day without getting distracted and also allows me to plan some ‘downtime’, whether this is walking my dog or catching up on Bake Off, which really helps to keep me motivated because I know when I get my next break!
My biggest struggle with blended learning was finding a space to do my studying, I tried to work from bed, but this left me unmotivated, but I moved away from my bed and onto a desk and it has improved my motivation to work! One of the best pieces of advice I could give for blended learning, is separate your sleep space from your workspace, getting out of bed and to a desk or table will make it a lot easier to concentrate on the task at hand! Adding my own personality to the space, with photos and decorations, makes me enjoy getting up and getting to my desk and I would advise everyone to do the same to make it more homely!
MY FIVE TOP STUDY HAPPY TIPS!
This year has led to a very different approach to University due to blended learning, with a lot of work being online it can be quite difficult to get motivated and if you are like me, you can find yourself procrastinating a lot. University is very different this year and can feel overwhelming, however, I have come up with a few Top Tips to make the move towards blended learning a little easier!
1. Make a schedule!
Your University Timetable will look a little different this year, with a mixture of on campus and online learning including live and pre-recorded lectures. Try to make your own timetable – there are resources available on Uniskills which will help you with this. This will help you keep on top of everything you need to do throughout the week, instead of panicking and doing everything before your face to face session. This is also really helpful for when deadlines start to arrive as you can prepare for these in advance.
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique!
This method means you focus your time in short bursts, around 25 minutes, and then take a short break. During this time, you fully concentrate on the task at hand, with no distractions. It helps to put your phone somewhere you cannot access it, such as a drawer in your bedside cabinet and download free apps such as ‘Pomodoro’ to help with this.
3. Keep your space tidy!
Whether you’re working in your bedroom, kitchen or any space in between, keep your space organised. A messy workspace will act as a further distraction! I find keeping on top of my workspace keeps me more motivated. A tidy room really does mean a tidy mind!
4. Get in touch with your course mates!
Speak to your course mates as much as you can, use sites such as ‘Zoom’ and ‘Microsoft Teams’ to have study sessions. These can help answer questions you might have regarding the topics you are studying and are also really important if you have group work. Studying doesn’t have to be something you do alone, having study sessions can make it more fun!
5. Don’t Panic!
Things are different this year and there will be challenges but there are people to help you with whatever you are struggling with. Uniskills is here to help you with any issues you may have about Returning to Learning. All this week you can also join Lauren and myself in our Moving Forward With UniSkills webinars, where we will look at referencing toolkits and guides – book your place today: ehu.ac.uk/workshops