What Worked Best For Me In Spring Quarter 2020

Author: Anissa Patterson

We all know that the shift to online classes last March was an abrupt change that led to many students feeling lost and helpless, without any ideas on how to organize their time and manage their assignments. When DePaul’s spring quarter was moved online, my four in person classes changed to three asynchronous classes and one synchronous class that met on zoom twice a week. Because of this, I only had a set schedule for one of my classes. 

The first week after spring I was basically winging it. Since many of my professors were also learning how to navigate online classes, many materials were not posted early so I did not have a clear idea of what I should be working on for my classes that did not meet on zoom. When I started watching the pre-recorded lectures I just did so when I felt like it and when it was most convenient for me. This often led to extended periods of time sitting in front of the computer as I did not realize how much content the lectures had and had not budgeted my time correctly. I quickly learned that I should plan out my days and give specific days to specific subjects so that I have a set schedule and a plan of action for my assignments. 

As the quarter went on i started using a dry erase calendar to write down my assignments and which lectures I planned to watch each day. This gave me the satisfaction of crossing out a task after I had finished. This actually helped my mental attitude toward online classes because I felt more accomplished having completed all of my tasks. However, there were some days where I couldn’t find the time to watch all the lectures I wanted to or read what I was supposed to. This was sometimes due to a bad mental health day, home distractions or lack of motivation. This of course also happens during in-person classes as well, but it feels more daunting when you are at home. This led to some weeks being more cramped with assignments than others but the attempt at a schedule really helped me organize my classes in the chaos that was the transition to “zoom university”.

I hope that this anecdote has helped other students realize that they were not alone in their struggles and that I can help others navigate another quarter online. The best I can do is provide these tips that helped me manage and get through spring quarter, I hope they can help you too!

Tips:

  1. Write down all your assignments and due dates on a calendar, check them off when completed 
  2. Schedule set times to listen to your asynchronous lecture
  3. Put your phone away/ across the room so you won’t be distracted
  4. Take breaks! Classes are only an hour and a half in person, if you find yourself working for an extended period of time, step back and take a breather
  5. Don’t worry if you don’t check all the items off on your schedule, sometimes you have off days
My baby Luna being a distraction during class

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