Making the most of the online learning experience, time management & work balance by Marina Vicente Brunes

Posted in: Doctoral Exchange, Student Experience, Wellbeing

A student blog as part of the Doctoral Exchange series organised by the Doctoral College.

During our Doctoral Exchange workshop we talked about several aspects to achieve the desired balance between work, study and personal life. It was great to see some people’s faces and to meet other students from different PhD areas online.

My daily workload is massive, as I am working full-time at Instructure-Canvas LMS, I am also a teacher and on top of that I’m a EdD student. For me being organized is essential, so I can meet all the deadlines while also having a little time for myself and family.

During our workshop, we covered the following aspects:

  • Planning
  • Community
  • Sharing feedback
  • Mental heath
  • Online classes

For planning we shared experiences about which are the main tools we can use for organizing ourselves better, such as trello, or simply by creating a to-do list on paper.

In addition to organization, we covered why feeling part of a community and connecting with peers is a must when you study online. Catching up with some colleagues is also a great experience, so you can share experiences, feedback, best practices and even offer to proofread some of your colleagues’ work.

After this we spoke about different mental health approaches we can take, such as using an app to meditate, or spending some time with our relatives or pets, whereby we can fully take a break from work/ study. Some of our group members shared the fact that that running, boxing or yoga time are also good to disconnect from technology or our daily responsibilities.

Last but not least, I mentioned that for me attending online lectures has been a rewarding learning practice as my professors have always been helpful and knowledgeable, always willing to discuss and chat about our points of views.

About Doctoral Exchange

This blog was written as part of the Doctoral Exchange series, a round-table discussion series for doctoral researchers to share experiences and ideas in a peer-to-peer environment. All topics are student-led. The programme can be found online on the Doctoral Exchange webpage. If you are interested in facilitating a session then please email

Posted in: Doctoral Exchange, Student Experience, Wellbeing


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