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Power Through Procrastination with UM’s Virtual Study Hall

March 8, 2021 — 

Are you feeling disconnected and miss studying on-campus with your friends? Are you lacking motivation to sit down and do your course work? UM’s Academic Learning Centre wants to help you power through procrastination so they’ve created a Virtual Study Hall where you can gather with other students remotely and achieve your studying goals.

Hosted by student facilitators, Virtual Study Hall is a place to ask questions about goal setting, studying, and learning, or you can simply use it to develop a regularly scheduled study habit. These sessions are ideal for getting started on assignments (student facilitators can help identify first steps), doing retrieval practice for exams, completing problem sets, or even watching missed lectures.

Virtual Study Halls are offered 3 days a week through WebEx:

  • Sundays | 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Mondays | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

We sat down with two of Virtual Study Hall’s student facilitators to learn more about what happens at the sessions and what students get out of attending.

What can students expect when they attend Virtual Study Hall?

Simranpreet Dhaliwal, first year, PhD in Pharmacy: People can expect to see a student facilitating the session using the Pomodoro Technique for studying, which involves 3 sessions of 25 minutes where students work on their homework.

Emily Maggiacomo, fourth year, PhD in English: Students can expect company and motivation! We each share our small goals that we want to work on in each 25 minute session and check back in during our 5 minute break. It’s really relaxed and makes getting stuff done less daunting.

How do you think students would benefit by attending?

Maggiacomo: The sessions are a great way to tackle procrastination and overwhelming tasks—that giant, anxiety-inducing project you’ve been avoiding? Virtual Study Hall is the ideal environment to get started on it.

Dhaliwal: Students get motivated seeing others studying with them. They are also dividing their work into chunks, which if done with no breaks/intervals can seem very tiring and stressful.

Maggiacomo: I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and using the Pomodoro Technique has been an absolute game changer for my ability to get things done. If your inability to focus or get started on tasks is really affecting you, Virtual Study Hall and the Pomodoro Technique are the best forms of motivation that I’ve found!

What is your favourite part of Virtual Study Hall?

Dhaliwal: My favourite part is when I see students getting a bunch of their work done during the session and when we also communicate about different strategies that can be used to study more effectively.

Maggiacomo: The company aspect is my favourite part. It helps mitigate isolation and mimics the feeling of studying in a library while at home. I can do the Pomodoro Technique on my own, but I live alone and doing work while completely isolated gets old after a while! Being able to chat with people and just know that someone is on the other side of the screen makes it a lot more enjoyable.

Virtual Study Hall is available to all UM and ICM students. For more information, or to view the schedule for the rest of the Winter term and access the WebEx links, check out the Virtual Study Hall webpage.

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