STUDYING at home is no mean feat and it can be difficult to get your head round how to adapt outside a university or school setting.

Dr EMMA Young, Head of Student Success Services at the University of Bradford, has written the following article to help those who may be struggling.

It specifically focuses on university students, but some of the tips and guidance could be applied for school pupils studying at home, as well as even those working from home.

Successful Study at Home:

When your home becomes your university…

For many University students this is an unusual educational experience as teaching is now being delivered online only and it is requiring new ways of studying.

Working at home can be a challenging activity (it is for your tutors too!) and so setting good habits and positive routines is more important than ever.

As everyone begins to settle into this altered way of life and continues to complete coursework and prepare for assessments here are a few pieces of advice to help you remain focused, positive and effective in your studies….

1. Engage meaningful with the materials online

As teaching activity is now being delivered online, make sure you apply the same good study skills to your work as you would do in a live lecture, seminar or tutorial.

This means being active by taking notes, asking questions via online forum spaces, email or whatever communication means tutors have setup for you, and focusing on each activity without distraction (mute the social media and chat groups, turn off the tv and make yourself comfortable).

2. Establish your own timetable

Since starting university, your weekly routine will have been guided by your timetable, scheduling all your social and personal activities around class times.

Without this structure being provided for you it can be hard to know what to focus on and when.

Go back to basics and create your own study timetable, making sure you allocate the same amount of time to working through the materials online as you would spend in a lecture or seminar, breaking up your days to focus on different modules or specific assignments and avoid the temptation to rush the work!

Don’t forget to schedule regular breaks, lunches and much needed "downtime" to keep yourself well and healthy.

3. Create study harmony

Look around you and think about the space you are in.

As appealing as staying in your comfy clothes and working in bed might sound, try and separate your study space from your personal space somehow.

If your home allows it, set up different areas or try and use a separate room.

If like me you end up working from your kitchen table, at the end of the day hide the laptop, books and study materials out of sight to help you to switch-off and relax.

No matter where you are working, don’t sit for too long, keep taking short breaks and stretching your legs - it is amazing what a five minute break and some small movement can do to improve your concentration levels.  

4. Connect

Whether it is your course tutors, peers, or one of the many student support services, make sure you reach out and connect with others.

Ask for help when you need it and make the most of the brilliant people and resources available to you.

At the University of Bradford, all support services are only a phone call away.

You are not alone during this period of studying so be sure to send an email, pickup the phone, or visit the online booking pages for the relevant support services who are all there to help with queries from finding the resources you need, to knowing how to make that critical point in your essay, through to supporting your mental health and wellbeing.

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