With the CU Denver Business School’s shift to a remote learning environment due to COVID-19, many students are experiencing learning in a way they never have before. In an effort to help the transition go smoothly, we asked Business School students for advice that may help make the transition easier.
Helpful Resources for Remote Learning
Your professors are eager to help you excel in the remote learning format. They have taken the time to design and shift their classes to be accessible online, and they want you to succeed. “We are all going through this situation together and everyone understands that it is not easy. While I’ve lost the in-person interactivity I had before with my professors, it’s important to remember that they are still there to help us succeed, it just looks different,” said BSBA International Business student Tatiana Isaza.
Zoom is free to all CU Denver students. Some classes are using this video communications platform to stream lectures. You can also use it to hold study groups or even talk to friends to relieve stress. Other resources that could be helpful are Microsoft Teams for communicating in team projects or with classmates, Office 365 for scheduling and keeping a calendar, and Google Drive for real-time collaboration. Also, be sure to check your Canvas course and your university email often, because this is how professors are keeping in touch.
Challenges in Adapting to the New Environment
Remote learning may come more naturally to some rather than some to others. However, here are some common challenges you may face.
The loss of structure can be overwhelming. “Having in-person classes meant I had a designated time to be in class and learn,” said Tatiana. There is a loss of personal interaction that goes hand in hand with this. “Online learning takes a lot of self-discipline,” said Professional MBA student Kaitlin Laflamme. “It is up to you to keep track of when assignments are due and to make sure you are setting aside time to review the modules and do your classwork.”
It can be hard to stay motivated, engaged, and retain information. “The biggest challenge in adapting to online learning is being too comfortable at home that I feel like I’m not really learning,” said BSBA Marketing student Elizabeth Rosales. There is also the possibility of technical issues, which can be frustrating and take up valuable time. Keeping a schedule and keeping focused is a big key to success.
The Advantages of Remote Learning
With online learning comes more free time and flexibility. As long as assignments and other tasks are completed on time, students can approach learning at their discretion. Free time can be used for self-care and completing other tasks. “I have been able to dedicate more time to take care of myself with activities such as working out, yoga, meditation, reading, and learning a language,” said Tatiana. Another advantage of our transition to remote learning is that everyone is in this together. “Since everyone is part of this transition, everyone has been helping each other, and has been very understanding that it will take a little time for us all to get adjusted to online learning,” said Kaitlin.
This is an opportunity for students to work on structure, discipline, and motivation. “I believe I can come out of this experience a stronger person,” said BSBA Finance student John Quach. “I use the free time to get adequate sleep finally. All my chores are always done. I have experimented with hobbies and strengthened my creativity. This time will be a time of growth for me.”
How to Succeed in Remote Classes
The best way for students to stay on top of their coursework is to make a schedule. By setting a routine, you can avoid procrastination and make it easier to keep up with the workload. Falling behind can be easy, and breaking things up can prevent you from getting overwhelmed. “Make sure to check your emails and look at the announcements on Canvas every day. The calendar on Canvas is another great tool to keep track of deadlines,” said Elizabeth.
Communicating is key. “If you have a question, ask. If you need help in your classes, reach out to your professor or your classmates. Try to be as clear as possible when you reach out to others, and it doesn’t hurt to remember that a little empathy goes a long way. Just because you may be isolated right now does not mean you are in pursuit of your degree alone!” said Kaitlin.
Do Your Part to Protect Your Classmates and Communities
There is a reason for stay at home orders and social distancing. Make sure you’re doing your part. Take this seriously and take care of yourself.
“To protect myself and my community from COVID-19, I am taking social distancing seriously. The only time I have gone out is to buy groceries, I made sure to get everything I needed to minimize going outside as much as possible,” explained Tatiana. “We all want to be able to go out and hang out with our friends and classmates, so the more seriously we take the social distancing and precautions that are in place, the sooner we can go back to our ‘normal’ life.”
“I’ve working remotely, doing my classes online, and only going outside to exercise and buy groceries,” added Kaitlin. “When I talk to my neighbors, we make sure to stand far apart from each other – this is the one time when shouting to each other is socially acceptable. Each of us can do our part to stop the spread, and these are the simple, but effective ways that I am doing my part.”
“I am washing my hands and staying inside. Remember everyone is concerned and we are fighting the virus and not each other,” added John.
Things to Keep in Mind
This is a difficult time for everyone. If you find yourself struggling, CU Denver has a number of resources to help you through this difficult time. Your professors are here to help you adapt and excel at remote learning.