5 tips for successful virtual studying, according to a local researcher

ANN ARBOR – If you’ve already been a virtual student or had remote working experience, getting most of your activities online has probably been a challenge.

Here are five tips for virtual learning:

Prepare your mind for virtual learning

Dr. Erin Laverick is Associate Vice President for Academics at Concordia University Ann Arbor and Professor at the School of Arts & Sciences.

“Have the same attitude that you would have in a virtual class or meeting when you meet in a physical setting. Put on your clothes, turn on your camera, have your pen and paper handy, and sit up straight, ”suggests Laverick.

If you do everything you can to feel prepared before attending the class, you will likely find it easier to immerse yourself in your virtual class.

Decompress from virtual learning

“Zoom fatigue” is a real thing. The Psychiatric Times reported this on November 17, 2020 in an article by Dr. Jena Lee published. This post explores how things like audio delays and lack of direct eye contact are not as rewarding for our brains as face-to-face contact with professors and classmates.


In addition, taking part in virtual courses and meetings often means more sitting. Lee stated that physical activity resulted in a 40% reduced risk of fatigue. Before you get tired, there are small things you can do to support yourself in the long term. Get up, walk around, have some water, and grab a snack.

Start a verification routine

Dr. Laverick suggests building a daily habit of reading through your classroom notes.

“This strategy will help keep the information up to date,” she says. She also suggests going back to your learning management system and reviewing upcoming assignments and projects so you don’t forget anything.

Take good notes

Reviewing your notes is only helpful if you’ve made good notes at all. When it comes to taking notes, you probably have your own way of doing it. Even if you are comfortable with what you are already doing, tweaking your method can help improve your learning experience. Check out this post which explains different recording methods that you can try.


If you’re new to thinking about taking notes, try each method listed in the post first and stick with the one that works best for you. Also, keep in mind that it may not make sense to take notes the same way for every class. Lectures and laboratories are very different from each other.

If you don’t care which notetaking method you use, changing your method can sometimes help you get more involved with the content. Another suggestion is to find the method that works and stick with it until your retention wears off. Then you can use a new method of focusing your mind on learning.

Protect your eyes

Has virtual learning bothered your eyes? According to the Business Journal’s BizWomen website, sales of blue light goggles increased 116% in May and June 2020 compared to 2019. Sports glasses can be fun. But there are effective ways to take care of your eyes that don’t cost hundreds of dollars.


Ayesha Malik, OD, is a pediatric optician at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. She suggests applying the 20-20-20 rule.

If you are concentrating on a “close task” (reading, writing, staring at a screen), take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away, and then blink 20 times.

In this way, your eyes can reset and continue their natural basic settings. Focusing on something up close will increase the demands on the focusing system of your eyes. Taking breaks to blink can help prevent dryness, which adds to eye strain.

After all, do your best.

Whether you study 100% virtually or as a hybrid model, remembering these tips will help you do your best even when the circumstances are not ideal. Make sure you communicate with your teacher / professor and find out about the services that are available to you at your school. You can do it!

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