Remember, campus resources are available in-person and online to help you reach your academic goals. Please check with offices regarding services and eligibility.
Strategies for Success
Ball State University’s Academic Integrity policy is put in place to maintain trust and honesty and prevent academic misconduct.
Try to relax. You can do this.
The start of any semester can be a little stressful in the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re an on-campus student, online student, freshman, senior, or graduate student, there are lots of people and campus resources available to help. You are not alone in this. The following tips and resources can help you be a successful learner all year long.
- Make sure you access your course online in Canvas. Bookmark this website for easy access. If your course does not appear in your Canvas Dashboard, ask your instructor to “Publish” the course.
- Familiarize yourself with your syllabi, course requirements and expectations, and look for any updates or modifications your instructors have made.
- Get to know any new technical requirements for the course from a remote learning aspect. Do you have easy access to a computer, laptop, e-books, etc.? Will you need a webcam? You may be able to use your mobile device (phone, iPad, etc.) to satisfy some of these needs if you don’t have easy access to a desktop or laptop computer.
- If you live off-campus or are an online student, check your internet connection before classes or any major assignment due dates. If you don’t have access to reliable internet such as Wi-Fi connections, you may be able to use your data plan from a mobile device (smartphone, tablet, or iPad) for some connectivity. Some carriers are offering additional access to hotspot data free of charge – check with your mobile carrier if this may be needed.
- Get in touch with your academic advisor or, if you’re an online student, your student success specialist.
- Log into your Ball State email and courses daily. Check which assignment deadlines are approaching and prioritize accordingly. Also, look for any announcements or other updates posted by your instructors.
- Set up a dedicated work area that is conducive to learning, comfortable for you, and free from distractions.
- Create a weekly schedule for yourself and update it with important due dates and upcoming assignments. Review and edit your calendar regularly and often.
- Turn in assignments by due dates or earlier. You never know if obstacles beyond your control (i.e. power outage, Wi-Fi connectivity issues, computer trouble, etc.) will happen.
- If your instructors use discussion boards or forums, treat them as you would any classroom or face-to-face discussion. Be sure to include a little more than just “I agree” or “I like this post” to get a conversation going. Provide substance or explanation in your commentary.
- Unless you are using it for connection purposes, you might want to turn off your cell phone when working in your courses and on assignments, so that you aren’t distracted by notifications, calls, and messages.
- Engage and collaborate with your classmates when possible. Introduce yourself as you feel comfortable. If appropriate and helpful you may want to set up virtual or in-person study groups, or meetups as needed.
- Advocate for yourself in each class, to address your needs as a remote learner. Use email, and other communication tools as offered by your instructor to ask questions of your instructor and/or your classmates as needed. It’s likely other students have similar questions.
- Reach out for help as soon as you recognize a challenge or problem. You are not in this alone. Your instructors, your advisors, and many other professionals at Ball State are here to assist you in succeeding.
- If you need extra help with your assignments, remember the Learning Center is available for free tutoring and academic coaching – in person and online. Schedule a virtual appointment today.
- Navigating all that the library has to offer online can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to it. Luckily, you can use Library Services’ “Ask a Librarian” chat feature to help you find what you’re looking for.
- The Writing Center can provide you individualized feedback for developing and improving your writing skills.
- Update your notification preferences in the Ball State Communications Center to stay informed on emerging University announcements, news, and events.
- Log in and read your emails in your official Ball State account. All official university-related notifications will be delivered here.
- Practice positive email etiquette. Include your name, course number and section when emailing. Provide necessary information but be concise. Re-read the email before sending to ensure you are putting your best work forward.
- Keep your instructor informed. Let them know of anything that might impact your course progress, such as yours or a family member’s illness, work and/or technology issues. It is usually better to anticipate an issue, and inform an instructor ahead of time, than it is to contact them after the fact.
- Follow Ball State social media accounts for an additional outlet to obtain relevant information.
- Contact your advisor for updates, appointments, questions, concerns. If you don’t receive a response immediately, or in a reasonable amount of time, it’s ok to revisit the issue with them.
- Schedule and take study breaks. You may want to even physically separate yourself from your device, books, and other course materials while you do this. Stretch or exercise your muscles. Go outside as appropriate for the area you are in, take a walk, get some fresh air if you can.
- Practice physical wellness. Eat well, get rest, exercise, and hydrate.
- If you’re a graduate student, follow the Ball State Graduate Student Wellness Initiative on Facebook and Instagram, and consider participating in their campus and online wellness activities. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the graduate student community.
- You may want to keep a journal. This can help to organize and manage your thoughts and tasks, so that you can look back upon it later.
- Build a support network for yourself. Reach out to friends, family, classmates, counselors, and your advisor. Share ideas, vent, and get help when needed.
- As you are able, and have access, utilize hobbies and other things that you enjoy and that are important to you. It’s important to have balance alongside your studies and work.
- Don’t overdo it. Know your limits and always reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or sad.
- Adjusting to a new learning environment can be stressful. The Counseling Center can help you manage that stress and anxieties you may be feeling through online clinical and outreach services.
Jagdish Khubchandani, Associate Chair and Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Science, shares his advice to counterbalance the effects of social distancing and help you stay connected with others while learning remotely.
Use these free downloads to show everyone that you're a proud Cardinal!
Coloring for Cardinals
Looking for a new way to destress during your study breaks? Dust off those crayons and let your creativity flow with the Ball State Cardinals Activity Book!
Have virtual class next to Shafer Tower, Frog Baby, Scheumann Stadium, or Beneficence using one of our free downloadable images.