1. Know the course. Read the syllabus thoroughly, so you are familiar with the course topics, materials required and outcomes, and as soon as the information becomes available (professors may open the Course Moodle before the course starts!).
Think about: How to prioritize the course content to ensure you meet the outcomes.
2. Get (and stay!) organized. Remove distractions. Singularize your focus. And prioritize school, work, and life obligations. Have your resources (e.g., textbook, course materials, online materials) in place and at hand.
Think about: How can prior learning/knowledge support the current course.
3. Don’t miss class. Get to know your classmates and professor from the start of the course. If you miss something during class you will have a back-up. Ask questions and provide comments during class; in-class engagement will help you to stay focused and help the information stick!
Think about: Building connections with classmates before and after class.
4. Schedule out of class course work. Readings. Research. Assignments. Practice questions. Find different ways to engage in the course content (e.g., videos, discussions, podcasts, etc.) which will help solidify the new knowledge.
Think about: Using small chunks of time to review chapters and class notes.
5. Feedback. Feedback on your progress in the course may come early (sometimes within the first week). If not, ask for feedback on your work and review any comments the professor provided. Look for clues from the professor (in-class and online postings) regarding possible test/exam questions.
Think about: Does the feedback align with your own self-assessment.
6. Ask for help. Do not wait for clarification or connection to happen over time. If you are uncertain or unclear about a topic, ask for clarification sooner rather than later. Use the university services: Writing Centre, Learning Strategist, Accessibility Services, Counselling Services, IT&S for any tech issues.
Think about: The best way to connect with the professor, when needed.
7. Take a break. The brain needs time to build connections and process new information. Schedule regular breaks from the course content to allow this processing to happen and to re-charge so you are ready to focus again on your studies.
Think about: Self-care activities you can easily engage in.