The pandemic has brought sudden shifts in the nature of work, study, and lifestyle. However, a few things don’t stop. The world is resuming gradually despite lockdown and people are working from home and learning online. Thanks to technology, people no longer have to pause learning or working.
Although online learning has been around for some time, the news of online classes for students has shocked most people. After all, it’s a completely new thing and you need time to get used to it, right? Well, no matter if you are a school-going, or on-training employee, or a mom who needs to take care of kindergarten students at home, this article walks you through simple tips for taking online classes and getting the most out of them.
10 Effective Tips for Taking Online Classes
One of the most important tips for taking online classes is to have a primary goal. Yes, you didn’t have plans for online learning before but you must have goals in your mind always to make the most out of the course.
First things first, online learning from the comfort of your home is quite distractive. When you set some goals, you will likely focus more on studying rather than watching Netflix. In the end, anybody who takes an online course and invests their time to listen to lectures will have to take a maximum from it. So, set goals like landing your dream job or cracking a test for higher studies etc. Only passion can drive you to success and keep you disciplined.
Moreover, when taking online classes there will be no one to look at your notes or remind you of assignments. So, it will be purely your responsibility to motivate yourself and set time to take classes, finish assignments, and study.
Create a Learning Environment
As said, online learning is more of self-learning. The learning environment, technical requirements such as the internet, or any software if required is the responsibility of a student. So, create a productive environment for learning. Make your kitchen table, corner of your living room or your bed, your workspace. It is also equally important to familiarize yourself with the place so that you can focus only on learning when you sit in that place. When choosing your workspace or learning space, avoid dark rooms. Choose a spot that gets natural light or arrange indirect lights, your eyes will thank you for this.
Most people fail to take online classes because they don’t take them seriously. But in fact, you need to pretend online classes as your traditional classes and set strict timings to take classes. Take notes as seriously as you take in traditional classes. If you are a mom of a kindergarten student, you know how difficult it is to buy a bundle of worksheets. To avoid such pain you can go for free worksheets that make your kids better at reading and writing.
Inform your family members before you take live or recorded online classes so that they don’t disturb you during the class or when you are studying.
If you are taking online classes for the first time, make sure you log in before some time and have a visit around to get familiar and comfortable with the platform or app you are using.
Schedule your Classes & Assignments
Set your schedule and commit to it. As discussed, in online learning there is no one to push you or motivate you to attend classes. It’s your sole responsibility to attend classes, take notes, finish assignments before the deadline and study for tests. So that you gain the most out of your classes and achieve your goals.
Planning time for each class keeps you organized and helps you learn without stress. So, it is recommended to schedule your classes for 1 to 3 hours or more at a fixed time in a day based on the courses you take. Also, it is important to plan your schedule during the times you are most productive; maybe you are a morning person or a night owl. Take the most advantage of online classes (flexibility) for good.
In case you have more than two courses to study, break down the tasks and get some time for yourself between two classes. This is to ensure that you attend the next one with a fresh mind.
Put Study First
Set strict guidelines about finishing your assignments. Of course, there are distractions when you are taking online classes no matter if you are at home, internet cafe, or coffee shop. The major distractions come from your smartphone and your computer or laptop. So, make sure you turn off the mobile and close tabs of your browser other than you are using for online classes.
Although emergency cases are an excuse but don’t let a new series on Netflix be your excuse to skip online classes. Remember why you started taking the course or regular online classes.
Sitting for long hours can result in many health issues. So, make sure you don’t sit and stare at screens continuously for a long time. Take short frequent breaks which will not only refresh you but make you productive.
Listen to your mind and body, take breaks whenever you feel tired of studying or looking at screens and listening to lectures. Giving yourself some rest is not a time waste. Also, eat healthily and stay hydrated to keep your brain and body active, effective and productive.
Be Self Motivated & Organized
Self-motivation and being organized are the most important factors that determine the success of your online classes. An online learning environment is more likely to distract you as there is no watchful attention on you. Hence, unless you are self-motivated, disciplined and organized, you can’t achieve your goals. So, find out ways to get motivated or ask someone to motivate you when you can’t help yourself.
Most people mistake virtual learning means getting disconnected from their classmates. But this isn’t true. Learning from home doesn’t mean learning alone and it doesn’t have to be boring. Just feel connected with your classmates, participate in classroom discussions, ask your lecturer more questions or answer to other students. This way you will find your classes more interesting and hence you will finish tasks and assignments without any stress.
Interact with Peers
Participate in online portals, forums, discussion boards, virtual meetings with friends or classmates to make your learning more fun and effective.
Joining discussions or leading a discussion is crucial in online classroom participation. This way you feel more connected with your course, classmates and you can finish assignments actively.
Join a study team on Facebook or Whatsapp. Build relationships and share ideas. During these tough times, it’s important to get connected. Not only that, while socializing virtually but you might find your accountability partner to join you in studies and assignments.
Having an accountability partner is the other best tip for making online learning successful. You can study together, finish assignments together, share ideas and motivate each other.
Be Proactive in Asking Questions
Seek out help if you hit the wall. Be proactive in reaching out to your professor to clear your doubts. Email your questions or send a private text to your professor politely and get answered far in advance so that you don’t have to worry while doing assignments.
Moreover, if you don’t try to understand a topic that is taught now, it becomes difficult to understand it after a week. So, don’t hesitate to ask doubts. However, this doesn’t mean that you ask your professors with basic questions. Take advantage of Google to find answers. Reach out to lecturers or the community only if you have valid doubts.
Disconnect from Distractions
As you have already realized the main distractions are the notification pop-ups, and messages on your phone, or browser, ensure you turn off them. Put your phone aside, close all other browsers or install focus apps to get away from distractions.
Reward yourself an extra break or some extra calories if you feel you have successfully finished a task without getting distracted.
The number of people taking online classes is rapidly increasing. Although online classes offer the ultimate flexibility to learn from anywhere at any time, it has some challenges. Firstly, people are unprepared for it. Secondly, there are numerous distractions. So, we’ve put some tips to help you get comfortable with online classes and avoid distractions. Keeping these tips in mind, hope you will get the most out of online classes and accomplish your goals.