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Library Services Spring 2021: Tips for Students Working From Home

Remote Learning Tips

1.  Know the facts.

  • Check your emails at least twice a day (or more) to stay informed 
  • Carefully read emails from your professors, the law school, and the university--this is the only way they can share course information and other important updates
  • Based on emails from professors, understand whether your class will be synchronous (held at the same time, live online as regularly scheduled in the classroom) or asynchronous (material posted online for you to complete on your own time)

2. Make a plan to stay engaged with your course materials, classmates, and professors.

  • Utilize your professor's virtual office hours or schedule a phone call to stay engaged
  • Take time to touch base with classmates to support and encourage one another
  • If you find successful online studying strategies, share them with your peers
  • Continue to read and stay involved with your schoolwork. Don't use this interruption to daily life as an excuse for procrastination

3.  Make a plan for your workspace.

  • Think about how to make your space most conducive in advance of classes starting on March 30
  • Some simple changes could include:
    • Changing your lighting, table arrangement, and seating
    • Purchase noise-cancelling headphones
    • Have a frank conversation with people in your household about your needs

4.  Make a routine.

  • Create a daily schedule with blocks of time to designate class time, study time, and reading time
  • Don't forget to take breaks:
    • Take a walk outside in the sunshine
    • Exercise at home
    • Prepare and eat healthy meals
  • Set boundaries and schedule times to read the news and check social media. Because we're stuck at home and can't take immediate action, make sure to give yourself breaks from the adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin cycle screens trap us in
  • Quitting time—a time you shut off school related things and focus on self-care.

5.  Maximize your technology to avoid pitfalls.

  • Make sure to mute your microphone while in class. You don't want to accidentally say something you shouldn't have said
  • Close out other tabs during remote classes so you're not tempted to multi-task
  • Test Blackboard Ultra Classrooms before class begins to test out your microphone and video
  • Feeling cluttered on your computer? Spread things out and hand write your notes. This will move your notes off the computer screen and help connect to the online material. If you only have a PDF of a textbook, use a smartphone for the textbook while in class so the computer is only used for the Blackboard Ultra classroom
  • Alternatively, click the icon at the top right of the screen to make the app screen smaller. Make the Blackboard Ultra screen and the book screen (or notes – your choice) each take up half of the total display. If possible, use the smartphone for a book screen or your class notes 

6. Remember your reasons for being here.

  • Start the day with a daily motivational exercise or close out the day by journal to reflecting on how your day's work is moving your toward your professional goals
  • Remember that this is still an opportunity to learn and gain new skills
  • For those graduating this year and taking the July Bar exam, don't lose your momentum now. You are so close to the finish line

7. Make a plan for your downtime.

  • Without the extra lunchtime meetings and commute times to school, you may find yourself with more "free" time. Use your hobbies as a way to get activation energy to prepare yourself for law school
  • Continue to read, exercise, listen to a podcast, or bake
  • Make sure your downtime includes getting some fresh air

8.  Know who to go to for help.

  • Reinforce your support system during this time whether that be family, friends, or professors at the law school

9. Personalized Incentives

  • Brainstorm a list of rewards of varying sizes, like a cup of coffee, an episode of a show you're watching, an online exercise class, or watch a full length feature film
  • Identify the necessary activities that are easy for you to ignore in this situation and pair with rewards upon the successful completion of the activity

Daily Motivational Exercise #1

Motivational Exercise #1

Goal of this Exercise: To increase awareness of motivation and become aware to which extent the motivation of daily activities is characterized by autonomy.

Throughout the day, take some time to notice what motivates you throughout the day. Notice what factors influence you. 

  • What motivates you throughout  the day? 
  • What factors influence it? 
  • What do you get excited by? 
  • How do you decide what actions in life to pursue?

At random times throughout the day, think of your responses to the following three "awareness" questions:

  • What am I doing?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • Where is it taking me?


Additional Resources on Staying Motivated

Internet Articles

Your Law School Went Online – Now What? Here’s How to Adapt to Remote Learning
by Jen Randolph Reise


How Adversity Makes You Stronger

by Paula Davis-Laack


A Student Guide to Working From Home
Created by a student and using on of my favorite online organizational and database platforms: Notion.


Six Strategies for Successful Online Learning
by Susan Landrum


Student Remote Learning Toolkit
A set of modules created by Rise

Scholarly Articles

Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior
by Edward L. Deci & Richard M. Ryan


The "What" and "Why of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior
by Edward L. Deci & Richard M. Ryan  


Getting Older, Getting Better? Personal Strivings and Psychological Maturity Across the Life Span 
by Kennon M. Sheldon & Tim Kasser


Handbook of Personality
by Oliver P. John, Richard W. Robins & Lawrence A. Pervin


Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being 
by Richard M. Ryan & Edward L. Deci


Perceived Locus of Causality and Internalization: Examining Reasons for Acting in Two Domains
by Richard M. Ryan & James P. Connell