Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students over the world in primary, secondary, and tertiary education have gotten quite used to online classes. However, there are many reasons why you might still be taking online classes now: for some, it’s the only option afforded to them by their educational institutions, and for others, it might be due to a lack of time and resources to study on-campus. Whatever your reasons may be, here are 8 strategies to ensure your success in any online class.
- Create a productive study space
Before classes begin, establishing a productive learning environment is key to succeeding in online classes. Choose a room that has a working surface for you to use your laptop on, and make sure to use that room for working and working only. By finding a space like this in your house, you’re conditioning yourself to be more productive when studying in that space and establishing boundaries with yourself to keep your schoolwork in one space and play in other parts of the house.
- Eliminate distractions
Once you’ve selected a space to take classes in, make sure to eliminate any distractions that might make it harder to focus on class. For instance, during class, you might want to leave your phone further away from you to make sure any notifications from it don’t steal your attention away from the lesson. There are also applications available that lock your devices from opening up other applications like Twitter and Instagram for set spans of time, allowing you to focus entirely on the task at hand.
- Treat online class like an in-person class
When enrolling for an online class, it’s important to treat the activity like an in-person class when it comes to scheduling. You’ll be far more receptive to your lesson materials if you spend your classes in your study space without distractions around you than if you’re running other errands while staying on the video call. If friends or family ask you for favours when you’re in class, learn to put your foot down and tell them you’re busy with class – they’re sure to understand when your stellar grades come in.
- Take notes
You might be tempted to skip taking notes for online classes, as the lesson materials will likely be uploaded after the lesson is over. However, you might find taking notes with a notebook will help you absorb your lesson material better than simply reading it after class. Moreover, if you take classes that deal with complicated concepts, taking notes for yourself will help you understand these concepts better, as you’re free to break these concepts down with study methods that work best for you.
- Actively participate in class activities
Active class participation will help concepts taught in class stick better in your memory and build a good rapport with your instructor, which is always handy in any educational environment. This means turning on your webcam, answering questions asked by your instructor, and raising your hand to ask questions when they come up. By doing so, you are also forced to pay better attention in class, as your instructor can see you if you do something else when you should be focusing on the lesson.
- Manage your time wisely
To really succeed in online classes, you need to have a good sense of time management, just as you would need for a face-to-face class. Studying isn’t just about what happens in the classroom; it’s also about the time you spend reviewing your material and working on assignments outside class hours. Buy a planner or make a schedule with a tablet that you can stick to so you can diligently work towards your goals and see all of your academic work through.
- Check your emails frequently
As a distance learner, the email will likely be your primary mode of communication with your instructor, meaning it’s incredibly important to check your emails as frequently as a few times a day. Your instructor will likely contact you through email to inform you of things like class postponements, cancellations, and edits to deadlines that will benefit you greatly to know. You can also use your emails to ask for further clarification from your educators for topics in class you’re not yet confident in your understanding of.
- Make time for yourself
The golden rule for long-distance learning is to clear out some time for yourself amidst your busy academic schedule. There’s a misconception that online classes are ‘easier’ than face-to-face classes because of the lack of physical interaction, which ignores the reality that many students struggle with the shift of platforms. Although studying is important to succeed in class, make sure that when classes are over, and assignments are complete, you do your best to take time off for your own sake.
No matter what other people tell you, online classes can be difficult and hard to navigate, especially since there was little precedent before the pandemic. The most important thing to remember is that as an online student, you’re facing the struggles of online classes to get the education you deserve. As long as you hold tight to that and remember these 8 tips from this article, you’re definitely ready to take your classes on and hopefully pass with flying colours.
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