This COVID-19 crisis has changed our lives in many ways. We’re cut off from our social activities, our friends and family, and many places we used to are closed – restaurants, movie theaters, etc. It’s hard to live such an isolated lifestyle.
Students face an additional challenge. They have been used to a physical classroom with an instructor and fellow students to interact with. Now, they are forced into an online learning situation wholly different and strange. And they must adjust to this new environment. It’s not always easy.
If you are facing this new learning situation for the first time, here are ten tips that should help you not just adjust but be successful.
Explore Your New Learning Environment
Spend a good amount of time navigating through every part of your online classes. Some instructors will use only Blackboard without any type of visual communication opportunities. It is absolutely critical to enhance skills in demand to remain competent. Others will use Zoom or some other type of video-conferencing tool. Be certain that you know how to access all of these venues.
Review the Syllabus and Course Content
There will be assignments – readings from the text and other resources, possibly videos to watch, and responses to submit. Be certain that you keep track of the due dates of these types of assignments because they are all worth points toward your final grade.
Make Note of Major Assignments
It is best to write these down on some sort of calendar you keep, especially if you have several different classes. It is easy to miss a due date, and the consequences will be the same as they were when you were in a physical learning environment. If you become overwhelmed with essay and paper assignments, look for the best essay writing services of 2021 and get some additional help. Don’t be ashamed that you have to seek outside help. It will take time and at least a full semester to adjust.
Set a Schedule for Your Coursework
Time management can be an issue for students who are at home all day. There can be a tendency to procrastinate, with an attitude that you have plenty of time to get that school work done. Don’t fall into this trap. Set up a reasonable number of hours during your day to focus on coursework assignments, and stick to that schedule as best you can.
Again, being at home all day can be a recipe for disaster if you are easily distracted. Working online is fraught with all sorts of distractions – social media being the biggest. If you find yourself succumbing to these temptations, then get some sort of blocking tool that will not allow you to access other such sites during your work times.
Set Up a Specific Space for Studying
This is not a new tip. Most students do have a study space when they have been in a physical learning environment, and it should be no different now. Trying to do school work in the midst of a busy household just doesn’t work. Keep your study space dedicated to just that.
Maintain Contact with Your Instructor
Instructors will provide their email addresses for student contact. If you are unsure about any assignment; if you have questions; if you are going to be late with an assignment due to illness or emergency, it will be important to get in touch as soon as possible.
Take Effective Breaks
Just as you did before, it is important to take breaks that are meaningful and fulfilling. Get some physical exercise and eat some healthy snacks. And it helps to connect with friends via some form of video conferencing or Facetime. Staying connected will improve your mood a lot.
Get Help When You Need It
Going online is tough. You will not be a “perfect” student right away, and you may find yourself facing deadlines you may not meet. If you need assistance, such as help with a term paper assignment, for example, reach out and get it. You’ll get better at this online stuff as you gain more experience with it.
When you reach milestones in your online coursework, it is time to reward yourself. Perhaps you have completed a major research paper or “aced” an exam. You need a reward greater than your favorite meal. Buy that video game or something else you have been coveting. Giving yourself those kinds of rewards will motivate you to keep moving forward.
Don’t get discouraged if your online learning experience is not easy in the beginning. Like all things, with more experience, you’ll get better at it.
Mark Blackwood’s passion is to stay on top of issues that currently affect large groups of people and then to craft blog posts for a number of websites. He is also a researcher and writer for several online writing services. When not writing, Mark volunteers with an animal rescue organization and plays guitar with a band he formed.
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