With COVID-19 in effect, many people are being forced to work and study from home. For us students, this is a new and challenging experience as we have to alter the way we learn in ways that we never expected.
Making the switch from attending in-person lectures to an online-based learning platform is difficult. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the best way to learn apart from what we are used to.
So, I have compiled a list of 5 online school tips that actually work so you can get the best out of online learning.
Establish a Routine and Treat Your Studying Like a Job!
In my opinion, this is the most effective tip when it comes to online school. If you don’t have a structure plan for what you need to accomplish each day, you will be very unproductive and unorganized.
Think about it like this… if your school did not have arranged times for when you had to arrive, would you go to class at 8 am? Unless you’re an early bird and love school, the answer is probably not.
When it comes to online school, there is no one watching over you to ensure you are on task!
It’s completely up to you to complete your work accordingly so you should be establishing expectations and timeframes so that you don’t end up being unproductive the entire day (I know how tempting Netflix can be…)
Create structure in your day by designating times for:
- When you wake up in the morning
- When and how long you study and learn for
- When you take breaks
By doing this, you will be optimizing your productivity as you are scheduling yourself to stay on task.
A routine like this also reflects the typical in-class school day you would have, so you are essentially recreating what you are used to and what works best for you.
Just as you would take notes in a normal classroom, you should continue to take notes in online school.
Because online school is often less mentally engaging, you need to find ways to interact with what is being taught so that you can learn effectively and retain more for when it comes to being tested.
When it comes to taking notes in online school, listen to the lecture and take bullet points of important information as you hear it.
I would highly suggest that you take a break or two while doing this to recharge your focus as it can be difficult to do this independently for an extended period of time.
It can be easy to take online school lightly but it’s so important that you do things exactly as you would if you were learning in-class.
Pro Tip: One of the benefits of taking notes is that you have a complete summary the most significant information that is needed to succeed in the course. Whenever you need to clarify what you learned, simply go on the document where you took your notes and click the “Ctrl” and “F” key to search up a word or the information you need. This is especially helpful when you are preparing for a quiz or doing an assignment.
One of the most difficult parts about online-school is that it is extremely easy to get distracted. There are notifications, messages, and tabs that can pop up and then, before you know it, you are doing something completely irrelevant.
Some tips for limiting your distractions during online-school are:
- Close all unnecessary tabs or open a new window altogether! This will ensure that everything in front of you is school-related so you can be completely attentive to the task at hand.
- Turn your phone off and keep it at the other end of the room. This may sound dramatic, but trust me, this is beyond helpful. Putting your phone somewhere that is not within arms-reach will eliminate the possibility of you unconsciously picking up your phone. We all do it but it hinders our productivity.
- Listen to White or Pink Noise! It has been scientifically proven that listening to white and/or pink noise is calming, increases your alertness, and improves your concentration! I highly that you try putting in headphones and giving this a try, you will see results! You can find the best colour playlists for studying on Spotify.
- Use a timer! Like I said about establishing a routine by designating times, using a timer will strengthen your diligence! No more taking breaks at random times and getting distracted by the thought of food! Tell yourself that you can only do these things once the timer you have set has gone off.
Communicate with Others!
Many online courses have online portals, discussion pages, and course-related social media group chats that are useful to communicate with your peers and professors.
These resources make it easier to exchange ideas, ask questions, get clarification, and receive helpful tips! Being proactive and using all sources to get a broader understanding of course concepts will significantly improve your success in online-learning.
I highly suggest that students take advantage of these resources. You will be surprised by how abundant the opportunities are for communication when it comes to online learning – especially with apps like Facebook and Instagram.
Not to mention, it’s super convenient.
Change Your Scenery
Sometimes, you need to change your workplace to get a refreshed perspective.
Especially when it comes to online-school, it can be tempting to lay on your bed all day and do work! But, in order to keep yourself engaged with your class work, changing your workplace is particularly effective!
Depending on what is available to you, working at a coffee shop or at a library where there are other hardworking people doing work will motivate you to accomplish more!
However, there are reasons that limit you being able to go to these places (like COVID-19…) I highly suggest that you take your laptop or notebook to your porch or backyard and get some work done from there. In fact, research has shown that working in a place with lots of natural light improves your concentration!
Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself!
To ensure you don’t burnout, give yourself some flexibility and reward yourself whenever you accomplish a task or when you get a good grade.
Having a positive perspective towards online school will improve your experience and your chances of having a successful outcome.
As I write this, I understand how hard it is for students to be optimistic in the face of so much confusion and stress surrounding the current pandemic. I hope that everyone can find a way to combat these changes in a way that supports them academically and mentally!
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