Workspace for distance learning

Six Tips for New Distance Learners

By Vaughn College   |   April 3, 2020

Vaughn College, along with many other institutions across the US, has moved all of its classes and many of its labs to an online format in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, called COVID-19, in New York City. For many of our students this is a huge adjustment, so we’ve put together this list of best practices (and links to some resources you may not realize are available to you) to help you make the best of your distance learning-from-home experience!

Six Tips for New Distance Learners

  1. Know Which Tools You Need for Class: D2L, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts; these are all useful tools for online learning, but which ones do your instructors use? Vaughn has created a handy guide to online distance learning, D2L and SONIS, and will have staff available to you via email to help you transition to online learning if you need. And don’t forget, you can always check all of our guides and updates regarding coronavirus.
  2. Develop a Schedule (And Stick to It): You may be tempted to sleep in and think of this as a kind of vacation. But developing a schedule, even if you don’t have to physically attend classes every day, can help you stay on top of your studies and avoid mental burnout. You can also develop a study schedule using free online tools.
  3. Create a Designated Workspace: Staying in bed can get, pardon the pun, tired really quickly. Finding and keeping a designated distance learning workspace can help you stay on schedule and help create the separation of college/personal life that you may be missing while you’re learning off-campus. There are some great tips on creating an at-home workspace available!
  4. Stay Active: One way to avoid burnout and restlessness is to remain active, even when you’re off campus. Once every hour stand up, stretch and take a deep breath. This will keep you from getting stiff and will stave off that “worn down” feeling. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, do an at-home workout.
  5. Take Care of Yourself: Self-care is very important during any major adjustment, so make sure you’re attending to your physical and emotional needs. Take breaks when you need to; do something you enjoy every day; make contact with people outside of the digital classroom. Vaughn College offers students resources for emotional self-care.
  6. Communicate: This is an adjustment for us all, and we’re all in this as a community. If your needs aren’t being met or you’re struggling to adjust, communicate with your faculty or Vaughn College staff; we are here to help you succeed. Contact information is available in the portal.

As spring break approaches, take some time to familiarize yourself with the tools and resources you need to make the best of your online distance learning experience. If you have trouble getting online or need additional help adjusting, you can find more resources, contact information and regular coronavirus updates on our website, at