While online learning has recently gained popularity as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been an efficient method of learning for many years. Students have been using online learning for a long time, even before it became widespread. Not only are online programs convenient for many people, but they also provide the same level of knowledge and expertise as on-campus classes without the hustle and bustle of campus life.
Although many people have a misconception that online classes are easier than regular classes, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Online classes necessitate the same level of concentration, dedication, and hard work as in-person ones. If you’re someone who’s about to start a degree or course online, here are 9 tips that will guarantee you pass with flying colors. Read on to learn more of what’s expected of you as an online student, and how you can effectively meet expectations.
Set Up Your Workspace
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re surrounded by your family members at home. It’s pretty common for people to not be able to pay attention to online classes because they get distracted by the multitude of interruptions that can occur in one’s homes. Whether you start scrolling through Facebook or start a new episode of your favorite TV show, there will always be one distraction or another to completely take your focus away from your online class. This is why it’s essential that you establish your workspace by picking a quiet, comfortable corner in your house where there are no distractions. Make sure that your workspace is away from the hubbub of your home and you can completely focus on your class there.
It’s okay if you need to take a few breaks in between studying and taking classes. In fact, it’s essential that you take some short breaks while studying to make sure you can work effectively without burning yourself out. Whether you take a walk to clear your head, eat or drink something, or watch a quick episode, ensure that your mind takes some time off from the stress of studying and relaxes. If you want to be productive, try the Pomodoro technique where you can set a timer for 20 to 25 minutes to work on a task, and then take a 5 to 10-minute break in between. This strategy is proven to improve productivity and recenter our attention span.
Optimize Your Internet Connection
Make sure all your devices are securely connected to the internet before your online classes start. Good quality connection is one of the essentials of online learning, so whether you start college online today, or have classes after taking a break, it’s best that you get a good quality connection before committing to the online learning world. Although it’s possible that you get disconnected once or twice during the class, try to limit this as much as possible. When your connection gets disconnected, you lose track of the lecture, and then it’s difficult to understand any concept that you might have been studying. To avoid this, either secure a durable ethernet cable to your router or if using WiFi, keep your workspace as close to the router as possible.
Find Ways To Stay Motivated
It can sometimes get difficult to stay motivated to focus on your online lectures as compared to regular ones. Plus, online courses offer much more flexibility, which inclines people to become laid-back as opposed to completing their assigned work. This is why you need to find ways to stay motivated. You can do this by increasing your interest in your degree or establishing a personal connection with what you’re learning.
Make A Schedule
Unlike in-person classes, there won’t be a professor checking in with the progress of your course, and it is, therefore, a good idea to make a schedule to effectively manage your time. Go over the syllabus once and divide the major assignments and course content into portions and mark them on a calendar you regularly check. Establish a weekly routine where you divide your studies and assignments into chunks so that you don’t have to deal with all of the coursework all at once.
Be proactive and take initiative in your courses. Read up on your course material, and reach out to coursemates and instructors if you come across something you may have difficulties with. Plus, you should also focus on getting feedback for any future courses you might take. Students who tend to be more active and engage in class are more successful in online learning.
As an online learner, it’s best that you ask questions and clarifications about any topic you might not understand. It’s better to request your instructor to repeat a topic than remain confused about it and try to explain it to yourself later. If you’re listening to recorded lectures, you can directly message the instructor through the forum or platform you’re using.
One of the major drawbacks of studying online is that you don’t get to network as much. However, you can change this by staying connected with your coursemates and instructors outside of classes. Engage in online discussion boards and forums, and before you know it, you’ll have a group of online friends and instructors supporting you through your journey.
Use Online Resources
Many online courses and degree platforms offer numerous student resources to help manage the stress of online classes. These resources can include an online library, writing centers, plagiarism checkers, virtual tutors, etc.
To some people, online classes seem like a breeze, while to others, they seem impossible to manage. However, the people that have to deal with online classes will tell you that although it’s no walk in the park, it’s also not that difficult to manage. Just follow these tips, and you’ll see a positive change in your online learning journey.