Tips for Online Learning and Online Exams

Posted by Mia Tran on April 1, 2020

Academic Success

As classes have now moved online, for a lot of us, this may be the first time we have ever had an online lecture or exam. For the most part, online exams and lectures are very similar to in-person ones, but there are certainly some different aspects about it. So, to best prepare you for these changes, we at the #YUBlog have compiled a list of the most useful tips for your online learning!

For more tips on how to manage your time, visit Learning Skills Services.

Stay organized

No matter if you’re going to school online or in-class, organization is an essential skill that we all need.

Some helpful tips for staying organized below will help you to make good study habits while attending classes virtually:

  • Stick to a routine: Try thinking of a day at home like any normal day for the past school year rather than a day off. This will help you to stick to your usual routine, just at a different location, so you will not slack off too much. Try to wake up at your normal time, get dressed and keep a regular schedule of study, meals, leisure time and wellness activities. Are you a regular morning coffee drinker? Instead of going to Tim’s, take some time to make a coffee and keep that part of the day in your routine.
  • Stay balanced: Create a clear distinction between study time and leisure. This is very important (and admittedly, pretty hard) when staying at home all day. Put boundaries around work time and create balance in your schedule, with time for studying and time for other activities that help you relax and recharge (e.g. exercise, connecting with friends on Skype or FaceTime, hobbies, etc.).
  • Organize your study space: Organizing and preparing your materials like you are actually travelling to class can help you be prepared and ready for the lectures. Creating a good study environment and a designated study space right in the comfort of your home is also very important. Check out York’s Study Space Analysis Worksheet for some tips on creating the best study area at your place!
  • Keep in mind the normal effective study habits: These are anything that usually help you with your studying, and of course the very obvious ones such as focusing on one task at a time instead of multitasking, spacing out your studying instead of cramming, and knowing what time of the day you work best.
Be sure to stay in touch with your instructors while working from home.


Online lectures and tutorials still provide you the same opportunity to participate in discussions and answer questions in class. in-person lectures. Sometimes in class, I get nervous about raising my hand, so when I’m in a virtual tutorial or lecture and I can just type in my question or answer in the chat room, I find that much less nerve-wracking. Some of my TAs still give bonus participation marks for those who ask or answer questions, so I feel like this is a great opportunity for all of us to participate in class!

Going to online classes is also very important. Make sure to check your emails and Moodle for the details on time, office hours, platform of your lectures, tutorials, and appointments!

Stay Connected

Even though we are practicing physical distancing, that does not mean you have to isolate yourself! Your social support system is still as available and important as ever, especially during a time like this. We are lucky enough to have all this advanced technology nowadays, so take advantage of it to stay connected with your loved ones!

We know online learning can be different and there may be a lot of changes during this time, but the semester is very close to the end and we believe all of us can power through this and come out with great exam results! Remember to stay organized, active, and connected!

It is also equally important to stay connected with campus resources, so make sure to read our last post, “Student Services Moving Online.” Campus may not be open, but York staff are still working and ready to help!

Stay safe, Lions!

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