Online learning has been an effective method of learning for quite a few years now, especially catering to those with demanding schedules or those who prefer non-traditional means of education. But with the global pandemic of Covid-19, several educational facilities have taken to online learning as a means of ensuring that their enrolled students are still able to learn and keep themselves engaged with the usual assignments and examinations.
Some students may prefer to learn in physical classrooms, while some students may prefer the ease and comfort of online classrooms. Online learning is just as good, or even better than learning in a physical classroom. However, owing to the pandemic and the need to practice safe social distancing and exercising caution with physical interactions, online classes are the best option for students and lecturers alike. This ensures that your life isn’t held at a standstill and you can still progress forward with your education, without any external obstructions.
For those who are new to online classes, the shift may be quite challenging at first, but having some tips and techniques to navigate your way through classes and your work will prove to be rather beneficial.
The most important factor about having the discipline to sit through an online class is to actually treat it like a physical class. Essentially, you are paying the same course fees for your online class, just like physical classes, so keep this in mind, and it will encourage you to sit through it. Additionally, online classes provide you with ease and flexibility with which to complete your work, but do not take this for granted. Set yourself a realistic schedule to complete your relevant research and work by the end of the week, or whenever a deadline is approaching. Start your day early, eat breakfast, shower and put on comfortable clothes, but not pyjamas. This will put you in the mood for the class, and ensure that you’re set for learning.
It’s absolutely vital to set realistic goals for yourself at the start of a semester, with regard to studying and examinations, and keeping an allotted time period for work on assignments. Usually, in a physical classroom, your lecturer or tutor will remind you about your assignment, but without a physical classroom, it is your duty to do this for yourself. Write down reminders on little pieces of paper and stick them around your room or dedicated study space. You can even set reminders on your phone, if that’s what works better for you. These will remind you of pending work and encourage you to actually complete them. If there are four parts to an assignment, work every day of the week and seek to complete one part for each week. This will ensure that you do not complete your assignment in a rush, thus decreasing the quality of your work. You can even pair up with a classmate to work together, holding each other responsible for each other’s work. As long as you are organized and self-aware, you can work towards your weekly goals.
One of the biggest advantages of online learning is the flexibility with which to create your own schedule. However, if you do not have effective time management, you may face challenges in completing your work, or ensuring that you have adequate time to study for exams. At the start of your semester, take a look at your syllabus and make a note of all the major assignments on your calendar. Be sure to note important commitments such as weddings, birthday events and even vacations on the calendar, so this allows you plenty of time with which to schedule your work. Weekly schedules are more effective, and you can set aside a few hours everyday for reading and research, making notes, typing assignments and even group study sessions with your friends and/or classmates. Be sure to check on your progress and see how much you have managed to complete.
Set up a space exclusively for you to work at, and when you start to complete your work there on a regular basis, you are setting a proper routine for yourself. Keep your space clean, organized and equipped with necessary textbooks, course materials, stationery and a functioning computer with a fast Internet connection.
The best way to work in an effective manner is to tune out all distractions which may be keeping you from working. These can include social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or even a noisy home. Close your room door to shut out the noise and start working. If you find that your phone can be a huge distraction (it almost always is!), keep it switched off. For some people, listening to music helps them concentrate better, and for some, even classical music soothes the mind and calms it, enabling them to concentrate and study better.
One of the challenges in learning is figuring out what works best for you. Are you a morning person or a night person? You may even prefer to work during the afternoon and evening. Make some coffee or juice for yourself, keep some snacks (no heavy meals!) and get to work. Take breaks to relax your mind, but they shouldn’t be too long.
Active participation in online classrooms will help you understand the lecture and course materials better. Pay attention to what your fellow classmates are saying and lend your thoughts to the discussion. Discussing the subject will enable you to understand it better, and if you don’t understand, speak up and ask for help.
Learning is better and much more fun when you pair up with a classmate. Build proper relationships with your classmates and participate in virtual study sessions. It can actually be fun and you can even make new friends aside from learning, which is a motivator. Classmates can be resourceful and encouraging. Additionally, working together can ensure that work is produced faster and better.
Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.