The exterior of the McLaughlin Library
McLaughlin Library

Dress like you are going to class, put away your cellphone and turn off computer notifications: Those are just a few of the tips provided in a new online learning guide developed by the University of Guelph’s library to help students succeed with remote learning.

The McLaughlin Library’s new Online Learning Guide offers students a range of tools to help them thrive, including best approaches for learning, taking tests and making presentations online.

“We hope the guide will provide students with strategies and ideas for adjusting their studying and learning approaches to a new type of university environment,” said Joannah O’Hatnick, the library’s acting manager of learning services.

The online learning guide provides tips on how to best manage your time in online courses, which are usually less structured than in-person classes, and how to avoid the distractions of working from home.

When it comes to creating a productive environment for studying, the guide recommends treating online classes like face-to-face ones. This includes dressing the part, putting away your cellphone and focusing on the lecture.

An effective study series in the guide provides information on reading textbooks, improving concentration, managing distractions and incorporating active study techniques to enhance learning.

Library officials scoured the global academic landscape for resources and included links to the Cornell Method Guide on taking notes, strategies for getting the most out of online courses from Northwestern University, and University of New South Wales strategies for studying for open-book and take-home exams.

The guide is also designed to lead students to other resources and supports, such as making appointments for individual assistance.

Throughout the summer, the library will continue to develop additional resources, including assembling strategies for creating online study groups.

O’Hatnick said taking a full load of online courses will be a new experience for most U of G students.

“We knew that students would be experiencing a lot of stress and upheaval as we transitioned to online learning,” she said. “We wanted to provide students with straightforward strategies that would help them make the transitions easier.”

To learn more about what the U of G student experience will look like this fall, visit the Virtual Campus page.


Joanna O’Hatnick