Six tips for succeeding in online classes at FDU

A student works on a laptop at an empty table

Photo: Joshua Siniscal

March 23, 2020 — Fairleigh Dickinson University has made the difficult decision to switch to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester in response the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For many students, taking classes online is new and uncharted territory. As students and faculty adjust to the learning curve of conducting remote classes, FDU’s Academic Support Center (Florham), Academic Advising Center (Metro) and Academic Tutorial Support (Vancouver) are here to help, offering remote and free tutoring services.

Here are six tips from FDU’s Academic Support Center on how to succeed in your online classes:

1. Minimize distractions

Before joining in on a virtual class, turn off your electronic distractions or put them out of sight. This is a good idea all the time, and especially now. Don’t open separate tabs to browse the internet or chat on social media. If you are working on a desktop, laptop, or tablet, turn off your notifications.

2. Set up your study area

Establish your command center at home. This should be a place where you can access technology, notes, and other study materials. The psychological component of establishing a territory to study should be treated seriously; every time you enter that space, your subconscious mind understands you are there to work.

Think about your study area and consider how you can improve it. If possible, try to separate where you work from where you relax. This will train your mind and body to be alert and ready every time you sit down to study. Beds are for sleeping; desks are for working.

Use the checklist below to assess your work space. You likely need:

  • A comfortable chair and a table to spread books and papers out on.
  • Two sources of light, one being natural sunlight.
  • Pens, pencils, paper, calculator, and other tools to do your work.
  • A room kept at a comfortable temperature.
  • A quiet area that is away from others.
  • A neat and orderly space.
  • TV, telephone, and non-work-related technology that are not visible and have notifications turned off.
  • If you’re able to have a room alone, let everyone know that a closed door means you are studying.

3. Maintain a schedule

Even if your classes are meeting asynchronously, create a set time to complete assignments and participate in discussion boards. Now is the time to create a weekly schedule and stick to it.

4. Make a list

Develop a daily “to-do” list and check off items as you complete them — it really does work!

5. Be mindful of your mental, social, and physical health

This is an extremely stressful time. Take breaks from the news. Reward yourself with short study breaks by taking a walk or virtually talking with friends. Keep your routine of waking up early, showering, and getting dressed every day. Make sure to keep your diet healthy — a healthy body impacts a healthy brain.

Need help staying fit at home? Down Dog has provided FREE membership to all five of their apps (Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, 7-Minute) to all FDU students, faculty and staff through July 1.

Claim your free membership with an FDU email: https://www.downdogapp.com/schools/instructions/fdu_edu

6. Take advantage of FDU’s free online tutoring

Florham Campus:

Schedule a remote tutoring session with the Florham Campus Academic Support Center: https://fdu.mywconline.com

Follow on Instagram: @fdu_academicsupport

Metropolitan Campus:

Schedule a remote tutoring session with the Metropolitan Campus Academic Resource Center:

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to ARC Tutoring Request
  2. Fill out the form, following the relevant instructions.
  3. Click on the right-hand side arrow when ready to submit!

A member of the ARC management team will reach out to you within 48 business hours with your appointment status information. For any questions, feel free to contact the ARC at metrotesting@fdu.edu.

We are also providing increased access to Smarthinking – an on-demand tutoring service. Smarthinking provides you with easy access to expert tutors – on demand or by appointment – across a wide range of subjects up to 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Sponsored by the Academic Resource Center & Metro Writing Studio.

  1. Go to https://tutoring.fdu.edu
  2. Login with your FDU NetID.
  3. Run the “System Check” and agree to “Required Policy” after which you will see the student page.
  4. You will then be on your Smarthinking homepage. Play the “How-To” videos at the bottom of the screen to familiarize yourself with the service today!

Vancouver Campus:

Schedule a remote tutoring session with the Vancouver Campus Academic Support Center: tutoring.fdu.edu

Schedule a remote writing center appointment: https://writingcentre.youcanbook.me

Resources for remote learning and operations

go to what’s new