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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic : Cave Hill: Cave Hill Campus

This guide provides information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and informs on resources and documents produced by Barbados and the UWI Cave Hill Campus.

Tips for students

CRIB SHEET 1: Tips for Succeeding Online

On April 6, 2020 Semester 2 courses will resume with all course activities and interactions taking place online. The following tips are provided to help you stay organised and focused as you navigate this new modality:

1. How to Stay Organised

Your lecturers will likely be utilising a mix of synchronous (live) online teaching via a web conferencing tool like Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom, and asynchronous online teaching whereby you access materials and activities via the Moodle e-learning system. Courses may differ in how tools are used and delivery is structured. It is therefore very important for you to be clear about the structure and flow of each course and be proactive in staying organised.


  • Prepare a weekly schedule of activities and deadlines for each of your courses. Include dates and times for live (synchronous) online classes; when any online discussion posts are due; when quizzes or other assignments are due; when you will do your readings or watch assigned videos for each course; when online office hours are scheduled for each course, etc.
  • Remember that you are expected to spend at least 8-9 hours on each course each week, including lecture and tutorial time.
  • Find a comfortable study space where you will not be distracted and use it as your “classroom”.
  • Allow adequate time to complete and submit assignments.


2. Stick To Your Schedule

  •  Do not miss your live (synchronous) online class sessions, if scheduled, even if you are going to have access to recordings later.
  •  Do not procrastinate, do the work for each course every day according to the schedule you prepare. Focus on one task at a time.
  •  If possible, get some of your classmates to keep the schedule with you and encourage each other to stick to it.


3. Maintain Communication With Your Lecturers

  • Make sure you know your lecturers’ preferred communication channels and when they should be used (eg, email, online forums, online office hours via the web conferencing tool).
  • Speak Up! Inform your lecturers early if you are experiencing any difficulties, if you have any doubts or questions about class meetings, course materials or assignments. If you do not get answers to your questions or have your concerns addressed early you can quickly fall behind in your studies. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or let your lecturers know if you get confused!
  • Check your UWI email several times a day for any announcements from your lecturers.
  • Log in to each of your course sites on the e-learning system at least once a day for any new materials or announcements.


4. Continue to Take Notes

Whether you are participating in a live (synchronous) online session, watching a recorded video, or reading text-based lecture notes, articles or slide presentations, you should continue to take notes.  Just listening, watching or reading material is not enough. Taking handwritten notes has been found to increase learning and retention.

5. Maintain Your Connection With Your Classmates

Use the technologies available to you to maintain contact with your classmates. Create virtual study groups to discuss the material or check in periodically just to see how each other is getting on.


6. Maintain Your Connection With the Campus

Even though extraordinary circumstances have forced the Campus to move to online delivery for the remainder of the semester, remember that you are still a member of the Blackbird Family!

  • Take time to check the Campus website periodically for news about the Campus. In particular, visit the Covid-19 Response page at for updates on changes that will continue to unfold as the university and the region grapple with the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.
  • Follow/Like the Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts of the Campus, the Student Enrolment and Retention Unit (SERU), and the Office of Student Services (OSS) as well as Campus associations of interest to you, to receive news and information.
  • Download the Campus App if you have not yet done so. It is an excellent source of information, contact with peers, and getting answers to any general questions you may have.

Tips for students

7. Ask For Help When You Need It!


  • Continue to liaise with your Academic Advisor.
  • Contact the CITS Helpdesk ( if you experience any technical problems or access issues.
  • Remember that all the support services provided by the Office of Student Services (OSS) have been moved online and remain available to you, including psychological and career counselling and academic support accessible at
  • Remember too that the SERU is your point of contact for information and guidance if you have unresolved concerns, feel confused or unsure about anything (email


8. Finally, take care of yourself


Establish and maintain a routine that includes eating well, adequate exercise, rest and relaxation.  Keep a positive mindset; be prepared to be flexible and adaptable; and above all, be patient and kind to yourself, your classmates and your teachers! 

CRIB SHEET 2: Tips for Succeeding Online – Study Strategies

Research on learning has revealed a number of strategies which can help students to excel in their courses. These strategies are helpful in regular face-to-face classes, but can be especially helpful to you as you study at a distance from your teachers and peers. If you practice these strategies diligently, and seek help when you need it, you should have no trouble completing your courses successfully this semester, despite the challenges:


  • Before attending a live online lecture, or watching a recorded lecture online, preview the reading material set for that topic, whether it be a textbook chapter or journal article. Even if you are not able to read the material in full, make sure to skim the chapter or article, paying attention to the headings and subheadings and any words or phrases in bold letters; review the chapter objectives and summaries; think about what you already know about the topic, and come up with a few questions that you would like to have answered during the lecture. This exercise will prepare your mind to better receive and assimilate the new information you will receive from the lecture.


  • Attend your online lectures if they are scheduled, or watch the recorded lecture at the scheduled lecture time. Do not procrastinate! During the lecture answer and ask questions, and take meaningful notes.


  • Go over your notes as soon as possible after the lecture, fill in any gaps, identify any new questions you may have, or areas you do not quite understand. Discuss these areas with your virtual study group and raise them in tutorial sessions or during online office hours; if you still have a problem, contact your lecturer or tutor about it.


  • Study! Schedule time to study the topic and complete any associated readings and assignments and to go over your notes. Remember that you are expected to spend at least 8-9 hours on each of your courses each week, including the lecture and tutorial sessions. It is advised that you have multiple short study sessions instead of one long session. During your study sessions:


  • Engage actively with the material, don’t just read – create concept maps or other diagrams of the concepts; summarize the material in your own words; create mnemonics to help you remember key information like facts or equations; answer past exam questions on the topic; reflect; think about how this new material connects with what you already know.


  • Assess your learning as you go along; ask yourself:


  • Are my study methods working? If you need help, contact the Office of Student Services for academic support (, or email your Academic Advisor for a consultation.
  • Do I understand this material well enough to teach it to someone?
  • Practise teaching the material aloud (use a chair or pillow as your willing student!)


Student Enrolment and Retention Unit (SERU) Student Success is Our Business