Alumni News

Working and Learning From Home – Tips & Tricks

As many colleges and universities have shifted to a virtual education model, it can be hard to get in the educational mindset when only working from your living space. We’ve already written some ideas to help you stay connected to your chapter. In this piecehow to maximize your personal efficiency with school, list available resources to maximize your efficiency and some best practices for online learning. 

Three Tips on How to Work from Home 

Get your tech in order

After setting up your workspace, test to make sure you have strong internet connectivity, mouse and keyboard space, and your charger nearby. Additionally, make sure you have the right applications ready to go. As we’ll detail later, many resources have become available on a short time basis due to the pandemic. 

Manage expectations 

Group projects are a favorite of nearly all higher education professors. Be sure to discuss what can be accomplished from your house, as the group’s dynamic has changed. It’s possible that you or other group members don’t have access to the same local as you might.  

It’s also a good idea to schedule virtual check-ins to keep your group honest. While you’ve probably already done this, it’s possible that your partners may not be as diligent as you. Failing a project because your partner is slacking can, hopefully, be easily avoided by establishing check-in early. 

Know yourself and your weaknesses 

It’s hard to draw a sharp distinction between home and school when you’re only at home. But to the extent possible, create a schedule that works for you. 

If you’re the type of person who never takes a break during the school day, set a timer to take time for lunch, and turn off your work. Call your Brothers. Or go for a short walk. If you don’t change your venue at some point during the day and take a breather, it can make the claustrophobia worse. Try to maintain normal school hours and shut things down when you would normally leave. 


Additional Resources to Keep Learning

As stated above, many resources have recently become or has version to use that is free to use. Here’s some favorites that you can utilize in remote learning: 

  • Adobe – Adobe is making the entire Creative Cloud suite available to students, at no cost, for home use until May 31, 2020. Check with your school’s Information Technology Department or Help Desk to request access. 
  • Babbel – Babbel is offering three months of free language learning to U.S. students through mid-June 2020 in any of its languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Indonesian, and English (US only). 
  • Cengage – To support remote teaching and learning, Cengage is now offering students free access to all Cengage digital platforms and ebooks, through Cengage Unlimited, for the remainder of the semester. 
  • Comixology – Comixology Unlimited, a digital comic subscriptions service available through Amazon, has extended its free trial period from 30 to 60 days for an indefinite period. The service offers access to over 25,000 comics, graphic novels, and more. Following the trial period, a subscription is $5.99/month. 
  • Johns Hopkins University Press – 1,400 books and 97 journals will be accessible for free for the remainder of the spring semester, ensuring access for university students completing course work at home. 
  • Zoom – Through Zoom, you can host 40-minute meetings for free, without an account. Connect with your Brothers outside of Chapter Meetings to get the most out of the platform. 


Best practices for online learning

Time Management

Don’t wait until the last minute to get started. Treat your online courses the same as you would a face-to-face course. Determine what time you are going to virtual class and stick to that routine.  

Routines = success in an online environment.

Remove Distractions

Find a quiet space to login and learn. Binge watching TV while you work is not the best idea. You need to stay focused.

Go Silent on Social

Social media deserves its own category, because calling it a distraction seems like an understatement. Put your phone down and place it on ‘silent’ or ‘do not disturb’ mode.

Make a Study Plan

Work on your classwork during the time of day when you perform best and keep a planner to stay organized. Write down which topics you’ll work on each day or use a basic ‘to-do’ list.

Take Advantage of resources from your institution 

Each institution offers a wide variety of resources. Utilize those to your advantage.

Take Scheduled Breaks

Relax for a few minutes petting a dog, taking a walk, getting a snack, etc. You’ll get back to your work feeling refreshed.

Join the Discussion

Participate on the online forums, just like you would in a discussion in a face-to-face class. Your professors still want you to learn and be successful. If you’re struggling with a class and have questions, reach out to your professor and ask if they can set up virtual office hours to help explain a topic. 

Join a Study Team

We know some classes can be rather difficult, so reach out to some of your classmates to set up a virtual study group. Pick each other’s brains, see how their assignments are going, and check on your other classmates. There are a number of ways to virtually reach out to each other.

Make Studying Enjoyable

Play happy or mellow music while you study. Being comfortable makes online learning enjoyable for you.

Reward yourself

Be sure and treat yourself once you’ve accomplished everything on your to-do list. You deserve it! 


Hopefully you’ll find these guidelines and suggestions beneficial for your digital workspace. Have any suggestions to add to the list? Drop a note to Marketing@lambdachi.org. 

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