Opting for online learning over in-person classes seems like a practical option as it can help limit the spread of COVID-19. However, online learning comes with its own challenges and drawbacks. So, in this post I will provide some useful tips to make your online schooling journey more bearable.
Create designated study areas. Start by finding some quiet and distraction free zones in your home. I recommend finding a couple different places so that you can enjoy variety, as sitting in the same location can start to feel repetitive and boring. Keep your area clean and organized so that you can channel your focus on studying. A part of this is to make sure you have all the required materials (ex: textbooks, internet connection, earphones) before you settle down for class.
Stay connected with classmates. If you know someone with common classes, connect with them and help each other through the process. Utilize discussion boards or networks to find a support system. Last semester, virtual study groups and study sessions emerged to be popular and effective.
Make sure you attend your virtual classes during the designated times. Even though you will not be able to physically be present at a given class time, you need to be mentally present and ready to learn. Actively participating in class is critical as it can help bridge some of the learning gaps you are experiencing. Many teachers are willing to answer questions and are trying to make an effort to establish the best possible connection with their students.
Many teachers are willing to answer questions and are trying to make an effort to establish the best possible connection with their students.
Organize your time and allocate certain blocks for studying. Learning from home is mainly challenging as there are many distractions that can waste time. So, I advise that you work around your class schedule in order to divide your time between studying and other activities.
Try to understand the nature and expectations of each class separately. Try to figure out what type of study style will fit best with the teaching style of each class. Maybe you need to spend more time doing practice questions or you need to do specific readings before lectures. Take quizzes or smaller assessments as a learning experience so that you are better prepared for the heavily weighted assessments.
If you have any questions or feel lost, try to reach out to your teacher. Maintaining open communication with teachers can help you understand class content and expectations.
Last but not the least, find a balance. Online school can bring upon some confusion as our school life comes together with our home/social life. Make sure you take breaks between classes and study sessions. Set times for physical and social activities, just like you set study times. These difficult times can feel testing and harsh, so maintaining your mental health is important!