Now that you can no longer physically attend classes, it is extremely important not to go into holiday mode: deadlines and exams do not run away! You can organize the coming period as you wish, but with the right study tips you can also get the most out of it. Make a weekly schedule and schedule the online lessons and study time and use all available digital means to reach your goal.
Structure and PLAN your day!
- Keep a steady rhythm: get up at the same hour every day and go to sleep at the same hour.
- Use the STUVO+-week planner: http://stuvoplus.be/uploads/files/20151027115216-c930b8ec1e29.pdf – copy this document for as many weeks as you want to plan ahead. Define your big goals (deadlines and exams) and plan all the intermediate steps to reach your big goal.
If you take a study programme of 60 STP, you have to calculate that you need to spend an average of 38 to 46 hours on your study programme, including the classes. Because you now have to process a lot yourself, it is possible that you will need more time..
- Fill in listening to your online classes in a blue color. You can use your original timetable as a starting point if you can't find any structure yourself.
- Fill in in red the time you are going to work on assignments and to process the subject matter: take into account all the phases you have to go through, such as reading and structuring/constraining, studying and repeating. Write down in detail what you are going to do and which pages you are going to go through: the more concrete your planning, the better your focus
- Also fill in your relaxation time and do it in green. Make sure you stay balanced: go outside, exercise (hiking or sports) and get in touch with people ( at a distance or virtually).
- You can use another colour to write down household chores, if that's also on your program.
- Leave a little space to move things around in your weekly schedule. A schedule is not written in stone and can be handled flexibly.
- Make to-do lists (online, on your weekly schedule, ...) and tick off.
- Don't postpone anything. The perfect moment never comes. Just start! Do you suffer from annoying procrastination? Then contact the student psychologists on your campus. You can find their e-mail address on the 'who is who' page of the STUVO+ website at www.stuvoplus.be.
The Corona-Study Method
- Make sure you have a good IT-equipment e.g. a good fitting headphone, a strong battery, a stable internet connection and turn off your computer when you don't need it. Make sure you have Skype and Microsoft Teams installed so that you stay connected with your fellow students, teachers and supervisors.
- Follow your teacher's guidelines. Review the ECTS files and read the learning objectives and evaluation modalities thoroughly. Consult Toledo and study guidelines. Read the guidelines for the Corona crisis, if there are any. Determine your approach per course (which information sources are there? Are there online courses?).
- Start on time, this is more important than ever. You have space now, take your time but also monitor your progress. Keep busy, keep focus!
- If you have recorded classes at your disposal, first view the slides to get a global overview of the content. This way you already have a structure in your head. Then take a very focused look at the classes in order to look for clarification (in course, handbook, online, ...) and process this (read, structure, summarise) so that you know and remember.
- In case of doubt: consult with your fellow students, tutor or lecturer. Contact STUVO+ for support with study planning and methodology.
- Show solidarity and share resources.
- Study together, take part in online discussions, ask questions and test with new exercises to see if you have understood the content.
- In order to optimize your focus, you need to take the concentration curve into account.It has been proven that your concentration drops after about 45 to 50 minutes. Therefore, study for an average of about 50 minutes, take a 10-minute break to give your brain oxygen and then go back into study mode immediately afterwards. Repeat three blocks and then take a longer break.
- Use your pen: everything you write will stay in your memory better. Write while listening to courses, while summarising, while studying, ... Make sure that you are not simply copying without thinking, this hardly adds anything to your writing.
- Apply the active study method, work in 4 phases:
- Explore the subject matter: make sure you centralize all your information sources (course, manual, PPT, ...) and integrate them into one studyable whole. Take a look at the table of contents and memorise the broad outlines, so that you immediately have a frame of reference for taking the exam.
- Process the subject matter: read the text thoroughly, structure it, summarise it (don't write too much!!), make sure that all the information is manageable so that it is easy to study. A golden tip: only start indicating important things in the text AFTER you have read a completely coherent piece. You really need to have discovered what the text is trying to tell you before you start to indicate / summarize things
- Go more in-depth into the subject matter: analyse, look for examples, ask questions, interpret graphs, discuss the subject matter with others, look for connections and contradictions in the course, come up with a case study yourself…
- Memorize: repetition is the key here. Every time you study the course again, more will linger, especially if you use the active method and go through all the steps! Repeating 3 times is best.
Increase your focus and reduce your stress level: your working and living space is getting smaller now and therefore it is essential that you pay attention to yourself and your environment
- Make sure your study room radiates tranquillity. If you sleep where you study, make sure you don't confuse the two things. Make good arrangements with those around you so that you can continue to work at certain times.
- Guarantee your own peace of mind by turning off your smartphone from time to time and blocking websites/social media. Call in any help from an app such as Cold Turkey or Forest.
- A good and realistic weekly schedule can reduce stress. Take enough time for yourself; a student with a balanced lifestyle has a better chance of succeeding.
- Talk to friends and family during your free time, establish online contact to chat and laugh. Social contact is essential, even from a distance. Find out more through FB, Whatsapp, Instagram, ... explore online initiatives to meet each other (Microsoft Teams, Facebook groups, ...)
- Exercise, go for a walk... Get oxygen for your brain.
- Eat healthy (fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts if you're not allergic) and occasionally reward yourself with something tasty, especially after you've mastered those difficult exercises or completed your schedule for the day.
- Make sure you get enough sleep: again, provide structure, an average of 8h/night is perfect.
- If you're worried, contact our student psychologist at your campus. They can support you with a talk or chat (if you don't want your surroundings to hear you) through Microsoft Teams. Make an appointment via email.
Contact the STUVO+ student counsellors:
- We have very helpful checklists to test if you use the right method or to see if you can still work on certain things like planning or keeping your focus. Just checking where you stand gives you new insights. It's never too late to learn a new habit!
- Make an appointment for guidance through Microsoft Teams.
GOOD LUCK !!!!!