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Supporting your Student's Virtual Learning

As families and supporters of students learning virtually, it's important to encourage them to still develop habits for academic success and experience all that Ithaca College can offer.

Promote Healthy Academic Habits

Talk to your student about: 

  • Creating a conducive space for academic work. Typically, this means the space needs to be quiet, respected by other family members, comfortable, and reliable. If your student finds themselves easily distracted, here are a few things to suggest to help them stay focused
    • Take games off their laptop so they won't be tempted to readily play them
    • Use browser extensions to set time limits or block social media and other "black hole" websites
    • Create a phone-free area by either leaving their phone in another location or turning it completely off
    • Turn off notifications, banners, and badges on distracting applications
  • Ensuring time for academic work is honored and prioritized. This includes more than just class time; students need time to study individually and in groups, time for group projects, meeting with professors, etc. (Remember, students who are academically successful need to study an average of three hours PER CREDIT. This means a student taking 12 credits should plan to study 36 hours outside of class.)
  • Help your student manage their time. Some classes have designated meeting times (synchronous) and others are asynchronous. If your student isn't sure how the class is meeting, they can check HomerConnect or directly with the professor of that course. Knowing how their classes are meeting will help students structure their days. 
  • Encourage your student to set designated times to watch lectures and complete assignments. This can help your student feel organized and keep pace with the course. Additionally, they should schedule breaks in between classes to give their brain a rest or move around.
  • As your student makes their schedule, they should make sure it’s manageable. Encourage them to pace themselves with their courses while staying on top of other daily academic activities. Suggest that they create daily to-do lists – writing out tasks can help your student stay accountable, and it’s a great way to see progress for the day.

Encourage your Student to Stay Engaged and Connected

Talk to your student about: 

  • Joining a student club or organization to find a sense of belonging
  • Participating in the many virtual activities IC is offering during our time remote.
  • Inviting friends to join them for a virtual meal together
  • Attending their professor’s virtual office hours (if applicable).
  • Asking questions during lectures or on the discussion boards in Sakai.
  • Creating group chats with classmates.
  • Making a study group that they can video-chat with a few times a week.
  • Reaching out for help if they need it.
  • Checking their email daily.

Release Your Student from Their Traditional Childhood Roles (where possible)

Talk to your student about:

  • Not setting a curfew and allowing them to hang out with friends at their leisure
  • Whether or when you will have meals together
  • Adjustment of household chores and responsibilities
  • Eliminating (or, at least, minimizing) childcare responsibilities for younger siblings