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Online Academic Skills Support

Tips for Success in the Online and Alternative Learning Environment

As we know, Vanderbilt has moved to online and alternative education for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19.  The transition to remote learning may prove to be challenging for many students, and we want to help make sure you’re prepared to succeed. We’ve also created workshops to help you cope and maintain academic success during this difficult period.

Additionally, below are a few critical components of academic success:

Set a schedule. It’s important you maintain a productive routine. As you find out how each course will be handling instructional time, build a work schedule for your week. Do you want to keep it contained to the work day or are evenings better time for you? Make sure you set aside time to prepare for and review from each class as you need over the course of an “average” week.

Discuss study plan with support network. Although this time may feel similar to a break, it is not, and being off campus can present its own challenges. Consider sharing your study plan with those around you so that they can help protect your schedule and support your focus.

Location, location, location. Maybe the kitchen table is good for you; maybe you’d rather be in your room. Wherever you work, try to set up a space that you can set aside for work (i.e. not your bed, not the couch with the tv on). Think about what conditions are best for you when you’re working in terms of noise and distractions and try to come up with at least 3 accessible places that fit those criteria. Rotate through those places over the day/week. Please keep in mind that we are getting more guidance on a daily basis about exposure to COVID-19 and some facilities may be closing to reduce risk.

Study groups still work. Find ways to connect with your friends and colleagues – you can still talk through challenging problems and hold each other accountable for work.

Reach out for support. Our coaches are ready to meet with you wherever you are. If you are a current coaching student, please reach out to your coach to confirm scheduled meetings and provide the best phone number or set up a Zoom meeting. If you are new to the CSW and seeking academic, wellbeing, or AOD coaching, please email

Check your email. More than ever, university communication will require you to read and respond to relevant emails.

Stay up to date. is the hub for all Vanderbilt news and information related to COVID-19.

Be flexible. This is new for all of us. Be patient with your faculty, colleagues, and yourself as we all figure this out.

CSW Online Learning Space for Academic Support

We have developed an online learning space for students to access a series of academic modules. Students can use modules to evaluate skills, reflect on changes they may want to make, set goals for those changes, and access support along the way.

The modules are self-paced and self-evaluated, so we encourage students to be honest and thoughtful as they go. After each module, students have the opportunity to request follow-up from the CSW. Each module can be completed effectively in 15 minutes, though the time may vary.

To access the online learning space, please follow the instructions below:

  • Log into your Vanderbilt Brightspace account
  • Click on Self Registration and enroll yourself in the Center for Student Wellbeing course
  • Find all modules on left side of screen
  • Navigate through modules at your own pace