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Malin Åsen
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Advice from a distance student

Published: 21 May 2021

Malin Åsén is studying the second year of Master programme in Primary Education.

Tip 1 - set a pause timer

We all know how important it is to take breaks - but how do you really do it? I use the timer function on my phone and set it to 45 minutes. Then I study, and when it rings I interrupt what I'm doing, set a new alarm in 15 minutes and take a break where I do something else. 

Tip 2 - structure your studies

I like to use an analog calendar in combination with the calendar in my phone. In the phone's calendar, I enter all the lectures we will have during a course and the submission date for various assignments and enter so that I receive a notice e.g. a week, a day or 30 minutes before. That way, I do not miss any lectures or submission dates. In my analog calendar I write down what I should do day by day, a bit like a schedule for myself:

8.00-10.00 Read course literature
10.15-11.45 Write on report
11.45-13.00 Lunch + walk
13.00-14.30 Lecture at Zoom
14.45-16.30 Study before the exam
Read course literature
Write on report
Go for a lunch walk
Lecture 13.00-14.30
Study before the exam

Tip 3 - you decide over your time

Among the best things about studying at a distance is the fact that you, for the most part, decide over your time. You have lectures via Zoom and specific submission dates for assignments, of course, but to a large extent you are responsible for your own time and planning. This means that distance studies fit very well with the life you already live. Studying at 100% is like a full-time job, but it can be combined with other things if you want.  So much freedom (under responsibility of course) but it's an incredibly wonderful feeling!

Tip 4 - create reading lists

Reading many thick books of course literature can be difficult, but I make reading lists to make it easier. At the beginning of the course when you have received the planning and know what you need to have read through to which dates, I put together all the info for a reading list. 

Tip 5 - Start a Facebook group with your classmates

I was very worried that I would not get to know my classmates properly because we would not meet that often, but it has really turned out really well and I think that will be what you make of it. We made sure to immediately start a facebook and messenger group where we can write about everything - tasks, schedule, lectures we had, dinner tips or congratulate someone who is going to be a parent (haha we are really talking about everything in our group). There are many ways to get to know each other even though you are not seen "for real"!

Tip 6 - good presentations online

When it comes to presentations at a distance, it is a bit special. I always make sure that I write the script - from the beginning very detailed with exactly what I want to say and over time, as I practice what I have to say, I shorten the script to finally only contain text in bullet form. It is so important not to think that "no one sees me when I sit via Zoom so I can have exactly what I have to say in front of me on the computer and read inside" because it is noticeable when you only read inside or when you have actually practiced what to say. It will be much more fun, less nervous and more rewarding, not only for you but also for those who listen to you.

Tip 7 - nice presentations in powerpoint

And if we are talking about presentation and you want a powerpoint presentation, my tip is not to use powerpoint's own templates . They are often very outdated, boring and uninspiring, so why use them when there are so many fun, nice and inspiring templates on e.g. ? And if you want to use images in your presentation, it may be that you are not allowed to use any images - there will be and in the image (hehe) - two websites where you can search for lots of pictures, download and use completely free and legally (the photographers who upload to the pages have uploaded pictures there for just that purpose).


Hope you got something good from my tips and good luck with your studies!

/ Malin Åsén

Läslista 1
Tips on what a reading list might look like.
Malin's second reading list
Another variation of Malin's reading lists.