March 25, 2020

GUEST ROOM | Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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To students who are preparing to start online instruction:

Please know that if you are worried or maybe just curious about how to make this weird time work best for you, the Learning Strategies Center has resources to help. We’ll start with a reminder to be patient and kind with yourself and others. All Cornellians — faculty, students, staff — are going through major adjustments and varying degrees of hardship, and we are all figuring out new habits and routines. This is a great opportunity to develop and/or maintain our growth mindset.

There are some things students can do to make the transition to remote learning smoother.


Before Virtual Instructions Starts on April 6 


All students:

Use the LSC’s Student Checklist for Remote Learning Technology, and try to get answers to your tech questions before online classes start.

Make a plan with the other members of your household to figure out how you’ll share and prioritize resources like quiet space and the internet.

Get yourself organized in time and space. LSC is here to help you do that; our website has resources specifically about time management and remote learning during COVID-19.

Tips specifically for students who are at home:

Feel free to share this page with your families, so they can get ideas about how to support your remote learning.

Talk with your family about how you can carve out time as well as the physical and emotional space you’ll need in order to learn effectively from home. It’s good if you can be a contributing member of your household in terms of chores and regular domestic life, but at the same time it’s ok to remind your family that as of April 6 you will be working remotely at your full-time job of being a student — you are not home on break.

When you were on campus you kept track of your due dates and study schedule on your own. If you want your family’s help with those things now that you’re home, ask for it. If you don’t need or want their help, let them know that you’ve got systems in place that have worked for you in the past and that you want to keep using those skills so they stay strong for when things get back to normal.


Remote Learning


Learning online will probably require changes to how you’ve learned in the past. LSC has tons of ideas that can help students avoid potential pitfalls and make the best of this situation. You may even discover some good learning habits that carry over after this period of crisis is behind us.

The Learning Strategies Center will continue to offer tutoring and supplement courses online, and other academic support and advising is available, too. (Cornell’s FAQ page is a great resource to check what’s available.)

Please keep in mind that successful students ask for help when they need it. Students, like always, you may need to reach out to find the help you need. We are here.

It is important to remember that this situation is temporary. Take a deep breath, do your best, get some rest and wash your hands. We are all in this together.


Jen Bokaer-Smith is the senior associate director of Cornell’s Learning Strategies Center. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. Guest Room runs periodically this semester.