Let’s face it most off us will be doing a lot of online learning this year, maybe not exclusively but definitely at least a portion of our classes will be taking place online. We can all use a few tips on how to be successful at online learning.
Online learning tips for teens and college students
- Put your phone away or turn it off while doing classwork or homework.
This has helped me tremendously. In the beginning of online classes, I would get distracted on my phone, whether it was scrolling through social media or just playing games. It’s hard to resist picking up your phone when it’s right in front of you. Now I turn off my phone or put it out of reach while watching my online lectures or while writing papers. It really helps
- Create a schedule.
Maintaining a schedule can be quite difficult, especially if classes are not live streamed but instead go at your own pace. I would plan on dedicating the same three hours a day (12 pm – 3 pm, Monday to Friday) but this can be anytime that works for your schedule. Having a routine and a schedule is a key way to keep normalcy during these unprecedented times.
- Have a regular study space.
Having a regular place to study can be very useful. It will create an educational environment that is conducive to learning. This is much more beneficial than studying in bed or on the couch. Even just using a table and chair and a couple cute decorations can be the perfect place to get schoolwork done.
- Take breaks.
It is essential to break up your schedule and take 10-15 minute breaks every hour or so. During these breaks, it can be a good idea to eat a snack, meditate, go outside, or scroll through social media. Taking breaks is a key way to avoid burnout.
- Take effective notes.
While being online can sometimes not feel like a real class, it is very important to treat it as though you are in an actual classroom and take notes as you would if you were actually at school. I do this by having my recorded lecture on one side of the screen and my google document with notes of the other side of the screen, but this can also be done by having a notebook out and taking handwritten notes.
- Make learning enjoyable.
It is a great idea to take advantage of not being in the classroom and being able to do things you wouldn’t normally do. I do this by having a cup of coffee next to me while watching my online lectures, or even sometimes having a snack to eat while taking notes. In addition, you can also play relaxing music while studying.
- Connect with other students.
Take advantage of discussion forums and zoom meetings. Staying connected with others has been very difficult during the pandemic, but utilizing these online resources is a great way to stay connected. It can also be beneficial if you have a friend in the class to FaceTime them before an exam and study together by asking questions and quizzing each other.
- Pay attention to deadlines.
Deadlines come up much faster and it is also much harder to remember when things are due, since you are not being reminded by the teacher or professor each class. At the beginning of the semester, I would suggest that you write down every date that something is due or if there is a test, in Google calendar or in a planner so that you do not forget to do an assignment.
- Stay connected with your teacher or professor.
Now that school has been moved online, it can be very difficult to get to know your teachers or professors. In order to stay connected with them, definitely take advantage of their office hours or if they have an open discussion forum. This is crucial because it will help you to understand and master the content, and can also be useful in the future for letters of recommendation.
- Keep your video call background clean.
If you are doing a call with your camera on, it is a good idea to have a clean background. I would definitely recommend not having trash, laundry, or a lot of clutter in the background. This can sometimes be hard, so you can also just use a plain wall as the background or even a green screen as the background so no one can see things in the back if you don’t have time to clean up.
- Make sure to mute yourself if you’re not talking on a video call.
This is very necessary if you are on a video call with lots of people in your class. It can be very embarrassing when you are having a conversation and you forget to mute yourself and the whole class hears your conversation.
All of these tips helped me successfully navigate spring semester and I intend to use them all once again as the fall semester begins.
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