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Online Learning Tips and Strategies 

Time Management

Why is Time Management Important for Students?

Time is an important resource for every student and when used effectively, it allows you to focus better, stay organized, and manage your workload better. Furthermore, by using time efficiently, students will have more free time to pursue other activities that are important to them, such as sports, hobbies, and spending time with family and friends. No individual has more time than another and that is why good time management skills can make all the difference in achieving your goals!

Dedicated Study Space

Multiple studies have indicated that the environment in which you study affects how you will remember that information. For instance, many students know that studying in a loud café can be much more difficult than studying in a quiet library. However, many students are not accustomed to studying at home. In addition to being in a new environment, studying at home can also come with the additional challenges of a noisy household and other distractions.

Tips for Creating a Dedicated Study Space at Home


1)  Pick One Place

Designate one room or area as your study space. Numerous studies have shown that a designated study space will eventually make your brain catch on, enabling you to enter ‘study mode sooner upon entering the space. In contrast, similar to moving between libraries and cafés, moving between the different rooms in your house can be mentally jolting due to the new distractions that must be processed and overcome.


2)  Look for Natural Light


Natural light can bring real warmth and vitality to a room, which is necessary for making the best study space. Studies have shown that access to natural light and views of the outdoors is the ​number one attribute​ of the workplace environment. Some helpful tips to find natural lighting in your home are to place your desk near a window or in a room that is well-lit with natural lighting.

3)  Swap Music for Ambient Noise


Some students love listening to music while they review their notes. While songs can put you in a good mood, paying more attention to lyrics than what you are supposed to learn can make music counterproductive. Instead of lyric-heavy music, an ambient noise program and classical music may help students to better focus on their studies.


4)  Buy Some Plants


It has been proven by NASA that household plants not only improve indoor air quality but the green and alive characteristics of a plant make a study space more serene. Buying a low-maintenance house plant can make your study space more peaceful and easier to breathe in.


5)  Remember to Leave

If you have followed some of the aforementioned tips, you may end up loving your study space. You will be tempted to do everything there – such as watching Netflix. Whenever possible, be sure that your study space is dedicated only to studying as this will allow your mind to realize that you can take a break and recharge until the next session.

For further tips on a dedicated study space, visit the following sources:

How to Avoid Distractions at Home

Studying and working from home have a lot of great advantages. You are able to watch pre-recorded lectures at a time that best meets your convenience, you can work in a more relaxed atmosphere, and you save more time in your day to name a few. However, there are drawbacks to studying and working from home too. Since your home is not a designated area for learning and attending lectures, it is often associated with distractions. These distractions can be associated with family members, noise, household duties, and much more. Accordingly, it is important for you to take initiatives that can help you avoid distractions at home.

Tips for Avoiding Distractions at Home

1)  Get Your Family Onboard


When your family members are at home while you are trying to study or attend a lecture, you need to make sure that they are on the same page as you. Talk to your family members about giving you the time and space you need to do your work and remind them why it is important for you to be able to focus.

You can set up a signal system that indicates when it is and is not appropriate for your family members to interrupt you. For example, you can place a sign on your door indicating whether or not it is a good time to come inside your room.


2)  Keep Your Focus


Keeping your focus and avoiding distractions when you study and work from home is not always easy. Checking your email or D2L, for instance, maybe an integral part of your day but constantly checking is counterproductive to you getting anything done.

Dedicate times of the day to check your email and D2L based on your particular schedule and your needs. For example, check it first thing in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of the day. Additionally, you can also set a time to limit the amount of time you spend responding to emails and checking D2L before moving back to your work.


3)  Put Your Cellphone Down


Studying and working from home gives you the opportunity to check your cell phone without getting caught by a professor. However, the habit of checking your cell phone is very much like that of checking your email.

Set your cell phone aside in a designated spot while you are studying or attending a lecture and set a timer to limit the amount of time you spend on your cell phone before moving back to your work.

4) Create a Schedule and a Dedicated Study Space

As mentioned previously in this article, make sure to create a schedule to help structure your day and limit distractions at home. Moreover, creating a dedicated study space also enables you to minimize your distractions at home.

Student Success Centre


What is the Student Success Centre?

The Student Success Centre supports students through programs and services that enhance both the learning and personal development of students. It offers support through advisors who can help you to clarify your academic aspirations and align them with your long-term goals. Moreover, the Student Success Centre offers learning support programs that provide you with the tools to improve your academic performance. Finally, students are also able to improve their writing through writing support programs consisting of workshops and individual consultations.

Below are some links to the various resources offered by the Student Success Centre:


Mental Health Resources

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It, therefore, affects how we as students think, feel, and act, while also helping us determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. The mental health of students remains an important concern and accordingly, there are numerous mental health resources that students are able to access.

UCalgary Student Wellness Services

The UCalgary Student Wellness Services is both a health and wellness centre with a wide range of service options. It provides medical services through its team of physicians, nurses, behavioural health consultants, and a psychiatrist to provide you with comprehensive care. If you are dealing with stress and anxiety, depression, relationship issues, grief, or simply think you could feel better, you can utilize the Wellness Centre’s mental health services by making an appointment with an advisor.

The Wellness Centre offers 24/7 support and ensures that if you call after hours, you can still talk to a crisis counsellor from Wood’s Homes or a highly trained volunteer at the Distress Centre. In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Student Wellness Services is offering virtual appointments and limited in-person appointments.

Haskayne Wellness Society

The Haskayne Wellness Society (HWS) is a new Haskayne club that is in the process of establishing itself as a pillar of strength and support for all students at the University of Calgary with a particular focus on the needs of Haskayne students. It is their hope to start conversations and help to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health and general wellbeing in both the university and workplace environments through workshops, events, and networking opportunities. In addition, they are here to lend an ear to students and direct them to the appropriate avenues to seek further guidance and aid. It is the HWS’ goal to also strive to advocate mental wellness to student leadership and representatives to ensure the student voice for mental and general wellness is never silenced. The HWS is an organization of students committed to making other students feel safe, welcomed, and heard. Events come as a portion of the HWS mission but do not compose their entirety. If any student is struggling with mental health, is confused, lost, hurt, or just needs someone to talk to, the HWS team will be there to lend an ear! The Haskayne Wellness Society was founded on a collective moral obligation to support student mental health through the University of Calgary. They are here to ensure health and wellbeing comes first and foremost at Haskayne and are avid advocates for institutional changes that will better promote student wellbeing and access to support resources.

As the Haskayne Wellness Society is a new club, most of its programs and resources are still in the process of being developed to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness for students when they are launched. Although quite preliminary, the HWS will be proud to present the Haskayne Peer Listening Program, guides to external and internal university wellness resources, and a fully trained executive team hopefully no later than the beginning of October. Should anyone like to learn any more about these programs or would like to be involved in any way please reach out to the Haskayne Wellness Society President at

If anyone would like to get in contact with the Haskayne Wellness Society to inquire about programs or services offered, to speak to an individual about their mental health, or any other reason, please send an email to Please refer to the same email for membership inquiries.

For more information regarding the mental health resources discussed in this article, visit the following links:

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