Studying at home may feel different from being at school. Take some time to think how you can make the most of studying remotely.
- Keep your sleep-wake cycle steady. Try to wake up approximately at the same time every day, even if you went to bed later than normally. This results in evening-time sleep pressure that helps you to fall asleep.
- Schedule your day clearly. Remember to separate the time for studying from spare time. Schedule breaks, too, so that they do not become too long or completely forgotten. Spend the breaks by doing something completely different from studying. Write down a daily and weekly to-do list that helps you to promote and advance with your studies. What could be better than crossing out a completed assignment! If getting started and concentrating seem difficult, could you try the Pomodoro Technique?
- Eat regularly with a versatile diet. This is easily forgotten when studying remotely. Your brain needs energy regularly for learning to happen. Eating also makes you to take breaks.
- Keep contact with your student colleagues, family and friends. Share your feelings and thoughts with them. Consider what cheers you up, and do something you enjoy also in study days.
Digital skills refer to practical skills, your ability to use and apply a variety of IT devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones) and Internet cloud services, as well as a variety of applications and programs as work and study tools. Studying in a university of applied sciences requires you to be an active participant and producer of digital content, as well as to collaborate and interact with people you do not already know. The digital skills needed for studying include
Managing digital devices and operating system
- As a student you need both a lap top and skills to use it efficiently. Familiarize yourself with the machine’s operating system, file management, display and audio settings and get to know how to connect to different wireless networks. It is also important to update various applications, such as the Internet browser. With an up-to-date operating system and browser and correct network and audio settings, using Xamk services and environments is easy.
- It is important to know how to protect the security of your device(s) and your private data. You need to pay attention to what kind of information you share online, what kind of passwords you use and so on. When you use your Xamk credentials to log in to different online services, you are responsible for your actions. Just like you would be if you were an employee in a company. Part of information security is taking care of virus protection and identifying various scams and data phishing attempts. Every user of Xamk credentials is a gatekeeper and together we are responsible for the safe use of the services and our common security.
Interacting and communicating online
- Learning involves a wide range of interactions and communications with both students and teachers, both one-to-one and in a group. It is important to master the use of essential communication tools such as Outlook, Teams and Adobe Connect. You also need to learn how to act in these environments and how to communicate in an appropriate manner, with netiquette in mind. Following Xamk’s online communication channels to stay up to date is one aspect of digital skills.
Active participation promotes learning.
Information search, critical evaluation of data and media literacy
- The basis of higher education is researched information. For a university student it is important to have the skill to search for information from a variety of sources and the ability to assess the reliability of information. Part of data literacy is the ability to identify inaccurate information. It is also essential to understand the logic and limitations of search engines and to learn how to use the library’s various databases and e-resources. For example, the Guide to information seeking produced by the library is helpful here
Digital content creation
- During your studies, you will do different learning tasks and demonstrate your skills in various ways. It involves creation of a variety of texts, presentations, infographics, spreadsheets, videos, and other digital content. Therefore, it is good to have basic skills in office programs. During your studies, you will have access to Microsoft 365 tools, which include e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Sway. You can use online versions of the programs or download them to your computer. There are many kinds of guides and courses to support their use. You might like to start with Microsoft Support site.
Using eServices and digital learning environments
- Digital study skills include the use of different information systems needed during studies. As a student, they are your tools and part of the university environment in the same way as a physical campus. During the orientation studies, you will be introduced to Xamk’s digital environment, such as the Learn environment and the Teams application. The Peppi environment used for registration, monitoring studies and transactions will also become familiar. You can review orientation materials in the Open Learn environment later during your studies.
- The ability to solve technical problems is also an important digital skill. Problem solving becomes easier if you are familiar with your own devices and the support channels provided by Xamk. Various guides and instructions are available to support independent problem solving. They can be found in the Learn environment, in Panopto video service, at Lux intranet website and on any systems’ own help pages. Google is also very useful in solving problems and there are many great tutorials on Youtube. Technical support is available on Xamk campuses as well as through the Xinfo helpdesk online. If the problem is related to your personal device ICT support can only help to a very limited extent. Therefore it is good to have some kind of local IT support of your own. If your problem is related to the use Xamk’s online environment, eTutors might be able to help you, especially outside the office hours.
You can reflect your digital skills by comparing them to the European Digital competencies framework. If you feel that your skills are deficient, you can strengthen them by participating on a supplementary course, by practicing independently with open learning materials by or, for example, in courses at an open university of applied sciences, civic or labor college or summer university. For example, the Student´s Digital Skills self-study material produced by the University of Helsinki offers a good introduction to basic computer skills and ways of presenting and editing information.
You can get technical support for the systems and software used in your studies (eg Learn, Adobe Connect, Teams, Exam) from ICT support and the E-campus through Xinfo helpdesk. Teachers guide the use of the programs.