GUIDANCE TO STUDENTS
The transition from in-person classes to an online format presents us with both opportunities and challenges. In order to optimize your learning experience and ease the transition, we have prepared a set of recommendations for students:
TALK WITH YOUR PROFESSOR
- The Blackboard is an all-in-one contact channel with your professor. Please keep track of Online Circulars and Forums, which professors will also use as communication channels with students. Links to upcoming classes will be made available on every classroom Blackboard.
- Please download the Blackboard app to your mobile phone. It will send you notifications when new material and circulars are available.
- If you have a question, ask it straight way. This will help solve common queries and will benefit the entire class.
- Keep in touch with you classmates. They may provide useful information and suggestions.
- Keep track of questions directed at your professor or class monitor. Please remember that they may be dealing with a large number of questions per day and may not be able to respond promptly. Although it is reasonable to follow up on an unanswered question once a week, there is no problem doing it more often in urgent cases. However, do not follow up more than once a day.
HOW SHOULD I STUDY AWAY FROM CAMPUS?
Making sure you have a productive space to study is very important to maintain a good study performance. Choose a specific area/space and use this place only to study. Why does it help? Because your brain reads and captures clues from your surroundings. If you try to study/work where you relax, it may be difficult to concentrate. Mainly for those at home, check the list below with suggestions to help you stay focused:
Getting ready for study
- Close the door to avoid being interrupted;
- Select a table/desk where you can place and organize your materials;
- Remove anything within arm’s reach that is non-related to your work/study;
- Sit in a comfortable chair;
- If necessary, use hearing protection (such as earplugs) to reduce environment distractions.
- Let your family and friends know about your study schedule beforehand;
- Try to keep a healthy and balanced diet;
- Even though it may be tempting to study/work in your pajamas, it might make you feel as if you were not committed to your learning experience. Get ready for the day as if you had to go outside!
PUT YOUR MOBILE AWAY
- The reason it works: study shows that if a distraction is within your reach, even if it is in silent mode, you will focus less on your study/work.
- How to do it: keep your phone out of sight and out of reach when you are studying – leave it in a different room or put it inside a backpack or purse.
- The reason it works: when using the Pomodoro technique, you will work/study for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break. After four “Pomodoro sessions” (4 x 25+5), you will take a longer break, for 15 minutes. It is easier to concentrate when you know you will only have to work for 25 minutes. Moreover, short and frequent breaks will help you focus better during study time.
- How to do it: There are many subscription-free websites, browser extensions and apps with pre-set timer online. You can adjust the study and break periods according to your needs.
DEFINE REALISTIC DAILY GOALS
- The reason it works: having goals can be more motivating than simply wanting to “do something” – and they will make you feel accomplished by the end of the day.
- How to do it: every morning, create a list of what you want to accomplish on that day. Organize your schedule, taking into account the time you will need to achieve every goal.
FIND A STUDY PARTNER
- The reason it works: a study partner can help you structure your daily schedule, set up goals and motivate you to achieve them.
- How to do it: choose a classmate to talk about your study progress on a regular basis. A format example: short conversations every morning, sharing your schedules for the day ahead and accomplished tasks related to the previous day.
SET UP MICRO TASKS
- The reason it works: starting a big task may be intimidating. You may feel like you are no prepared or unable to finish it in time. When you break your tasks down into smaller and more manageable parts, it is easy to begin work.
- How to do it: break your task down into smaller ones (activities that can be completed into one hour or less, ideally). Therefore, instead of looking at your task as one big thing, you will have a list of smaller activities, such as revising each chapter of a book or going through your notes, for example.
Open-book exams, taken from the comfortable of you home, may seem like an easy task at first glance. However, it can be very different – and rather more challenging – than you are expecting. Prepare for exams!
- Open-book exams tend to focus more on “how” and “why” (especially because you will have access to “what”). Bear this in mind when you prepare for an exam. We expect you to think critically, analyze and apply your knowledge and information you have to solve different problems and answer questions.
- You will not have time to search for all the answers. You will not have time to learn a new topic during the exams, so you will have to study before taking the exam.
- Read and be aware of Insper Code of Conduct and Ethics. Pay close attention to policies related to material collaboration and sharing. Strictly follow the Code!
Preparing for exams
- Depending on the type of exam question (multiple choice, long and short essays – including study cases – coding challenges, etc.), you will need different strategies to be as prepared as possible.
- Organize your study by grouping materials per topic, creating lists of important formula/equation, vocabulary, etc., and creating conceptual maps to guide your study and study notes.
- Keep a list of the questions you may have when preparing for the exams. Search for answers within your material or ask your teachers.
- Need help focusing? Besides creating an appropriate study space, you can also have a look at online tools for better attention and focus, such as the Pomodoro Technique described above.
- Many students experience stress or anxiety before an exam and find it difficult to concentrate once they are already taking the test.
Therefore, try to find ways to reduce exam stress/anxiety: sleep and eat well before exams and try to do some relaxation activities (breathing exercises, reading a book, etc.). Organizing your study and avoiding leaving things to the last minute – or procrastinating – are essential to reduce exam-related stress and anxiety.
Do not forget to talk with your colleagues and classmates and share experiences related to the exams. You are not alone.
- Do not forget to talk with your colleagues and classmates and share experiences related to the exams. You are not alone.
If you have any questions, please refer to our FAQ for more information.