Top 3 Summer Term study tips for virtual learners

Stick to a schedule. Create a learning environment. Build a strong support system.

You may feel like a remote learning pro by now, but as the summer weeks go by, it doesn’t hurt to review study advice that will help you achieve your Summer Term goals.

“I’m taking Introductory Managerial Accounting, Introduction to Finance, and a Gender & Women Studies elective this summer,” says Keely Tess, a junior majoring in marketing and supply chain management in the School of Business. “It is really nice to be able to concentrate on one or two challenging subjects at once, without having an additional three to four subjects to worry about at the same time.”

Keely Tess
Summer Term student Keely Tess

Summer classes have long been popular with students looking to get ahead or take a challenging or high-demand course. While the current COVID-19 situation has thrown a wrench in many summer plans, students are still using the opportunity to get ahead in their classes by enrolling in virtual Summer Term courses at an unprecedented rate.

Without the silence of a library or the support of an in-person classroom experience, students have adopted new strategies for remote instruction and studying wherever they’re spending the summer. Here are three ways to succeed as a virtual learner.

Stick to a schedule

“It’s so easy to lose track of time when there are no rigid plans, so putting the idea in my mind that I have a school schedule to follow helps me get everything done,” says Tess.

Whether it’s waking up early and studying first thing in the morning or dedicating a window of time each afternoon for classwork, set aside blocks of time before your schedule starts to fill up during the summer. Write your schedule in a planner or in your phone to hold yourself accountable.

Create a learning environment

“I used to love going to coffee shops or to the business school library to study, but now everything is closed, and I’m stuck at home,” says Tess. “Instead, I made my own little library set-up in my bedroom so I can close the door when I really need to work without interruptions.”

Carve out a quiet spot that has all the supplies you need. To avoid distractions or the urge to multitask — even with simple things like answering a text or catching up on podcasts — find or create a space where you can focus on the task at hand. Fight the urge to check your phone by keeping it on silent and out of your study space.

Build a strong support system

Your instructors are always available to provide support, but it’s also helpful to have support outside the classroom. In addition to helping you stay on track academically, a healthy support system is great for your mental and emotional well-being — especially during this unprecedented time. Remember to keep your family and roommates in the loop by sharing your new schedule.

“My family has been really understanding of the fact that even though I’m at home, I still have to get work done and be productive,” says Tess. “I still help around the house on weekends or when I am done with schoolwork for the day, but thankfully my siblings know to help a bit extra when I have to dedicate my time to classes.”

Taking courses over the summer — especially during a pandemic — is no small feat. Throughout your summer, be sure to take time to focus on you, take breaks and celebrate everything you’ve accomplished along the way.


Up arrow on blue background to indicate an automatic scroll to the top of the page