Tom Flatters, second year Materials Scientist, is one of four Oxford undergraduates who hope to make self-study easier for students in Britain and beyond. During lockdown, they have produced an e-book called, Learn Better at Home: The Student Guide to Effective Self Study. Drawing on the anecdotal experience of its four authors and complemented by scientific research, the e-book explains how students can find and harness motivation, get down to work, and then work effectively.

Reviewing the e-book for the Daily Telegraph, Tom Ough says: “Teenagers, I imagine, will find it very helpful; adults, I can report with certainty, will find it maddening that such guidance wasn’t around in their day.”  Tom Flatters explains how and why he got involved in the project: “At the start of Trinity Term this year, I was feeling frustrated. I was stuck at home but wanted to help those in need. This frustration was shared with my friend, Peter Wallich, of St Hilda’s College. We decided to take action.

"We realised that lockdown would only increase the variations in the standard of education students would experience across in the world. Disadvantaged students could become more disadvantaged. A survey of school students confirmed our assumptions. We learnt that many were being asked to study from home more than ever before, but without the tools to do so effectively. The best solution to this problem – we believed – was an e-book. And so Learn Better at Home was conceived."

On 5 June, the four authors (completed by Scarlett Whelan and Tejas Acharya) made their last edits. Supplemented by a graphic designer, Li Ho Kan, and a marketing director, Sophie Oestergaard, the book was then released. It is offered on a pay-as-you-want basis, with all proceeds going to the Covid-19 fund run by The Life You Can Save, a not-for-profit body that advances the most cost-effective interventions against developing-world hardship caused by the pandemic. For those who cannot donate, the book is available for free. So far it has raised over $600.

Find out more about Learn Better at Home here.