Learning from online recordings

Six top tips from UoM students to help you engage with online recordings

Many of your subjects will provide you with content in different formats, including text, videos and recordings. If you've never studied online before, you might find you need to adjust your study strategies to suit this mode.

Hear tips for learning online from other students.

1. Create a productive study space

A great study space will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable in your learning environment, which can lead to greater focus. To work out what's best for you, ask yourself:

  • Do you prefer to study in a quiet space or to have some background noise?
  • Do you prefer to study with others around you, or alone?
  • Is it important to have a dedicated study spot with all your things (like a desk), or do you prefer to move around?

Make sure that your study space works for you and helps you concentrate and study better. Don’t be afraid to try out different environments if possible.

2. Review materials that will be discussed in the recordings

Pre-reading lecture materials or readings beforehand will help you keep up with the content; the more familiar you are with concepts, the easier it will be to follow. It can also help you to work out what areas you have questions about and should concentrate on while watching or listening.

3. Stay motivated

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re studying online, especially if you’re used to going to face-to-face lectures. Try to find ways to maintain concentration and motivation. For example:

  • schedule breaks to check Social Media, or get a drink, some food and fresh air;
  • give your eyes a break from the screen (go out and look into the distance for a few minutes);
  • set goals and track your progress;
  • reward yourself when you've completed a task;
  • manage your time effectively;
  • use email or discussion boards to stay connected with your peers and tutors;
  • use headphones to minimise distraction from background noise;
  • install an add-in such as chrome StayFocused to limit your time on social media or turn on ‘do-not-disturb’ on your phone.

4. Take notes (in a way that suits you)

It’s important to take notes when listening or watching recordings, as it helps you to remember, organise and check your understanding of key material. It also saves you a lot of time, as you can re-use them for exams and assignments.

There are many ways to take notes - try to find a way that works to you. Make sure it maximises the way you retain important ideas without distracting you from the class material.

Print out your slides or take notes in a separate device such as an iPad so that you don’t need to switch back and forth between different tasks.

5. Find out about the functions of lecture recording

There are lots of functions for you to explore, such as changing the speed, bookmarking, confusion flags and display preferences.

Refer to the Lecture Capture - Getting started guide  to find out more information.

  • Make use of the speed control to learn at your own pace. You can adapt the speed to whatever suits you the best.
  • Pause to take notes or go back to previous content to review things you were unsure of or missed.

6. Check your tech

  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection and know how to work offline if required
  • Monitor data allowances if you’re studying on a mobile device
  • Use headphones so you can listen without disturbing others
  • If something isn’t working, try another browser
  • Get in touch with Student IT support if you have issues

Final tip

There are many different skills involved in studying online, including note-taking, time management, listening and self-direction. Think about which of these skills you might need to work on and check out some of our related resources to help you develop these areas.

Explore all resources

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