Image attribution flickr user tulanepublicrelations
contributed by Katya Smith
The coronavirus and the consequent lockdowns have forced the world to adapt in a multitude of ways.
Many employers and employees have had to adjust to remote working, with office working a distant memory, and students of all ages moving their studies to the world wide web. These changes have not been easy, but they are necessary for the fight against the pandemic.
If you are a student taking online courses and you’re either struggling with a virtual classroom or looking for tips on how to improve your studies, the following guide examines the best practices and how you can include them in your education.
Online Courses Are as Important as “Real” Courses
There is an incorrect notion that eLearning and online courses are not as important or accredited as courses taken within the walls of a university or college. This myth has slowly been busted, with many students having to remove themselves from the traditional college lifestyle and finding themselves in a virtual classroom. However, students may find this transition difficult and have a false sense of “not being at university at all.”
Remind yourself that you are still paying for these courses. Therefore, the lectures, seminars and grades are real and, therefore require proper studying and prep if you are to graduate. The coronavirus may have slowed down society, but in the world of education, studies are still in full swing.
Look for Websites and Course Materials that Suit Your Learning Style
If you are looking for courses to take rather than transitioning from a traditional college environment and into a virtual one, then you have the advantage of reading each course and the syllabus it has to offer. You can see whether the course structure or materials suit your learning styles before you enroll.
Lockdown has caused many colleges to consider different study materials. For instance, there is a growing collection of education podcasts offering advice on how you can deliver your skills. Podcasts continue to be a popular choice for many, whether they are podcasts on self-improvement or a true-crime documentary. Because of this increased popularity, you are sure to find them on many more online syllabuses.
If you are unsure on the leading websites for studying, check out this article highlighting the top online learning platforms for anyone wishing to return to school. This useful site even details the most popular subject and how many users are currently using it, helping you gain a deeper understanding of whether it is the right move for you.
Hold Yourself Accountable
With fewer one-on-one or group study sessions and a looser timetable, you are accountable for your time and planning when you are going to study, which course materials you will read, who you are going to study with, and when you speak with your online tutor. A traditional classroom takes you away from the comfort of your home and limits homely distractions, and so you need to be responsible for keeping your studies on track and meeting deadlines.
Have a Designated Study Space
At college, you may frequent the library to study or find a café to read course materials. This isn’t possible in the current climate; therefore, you need to create a study space that is used for one thing only – to study.
A productive study space typically involves:
- A desk, chair and computer
- Natural light
- No distractions (no TV, radio or speakers)
- The required books and software
- A place to organize physical course materials
Not only does a study space allow you to free yourself from distractions and help you stay organized, but it also helps you establish a routine. Soon enough you will associate this designated space with study, meaning you can settle quickly and boost your productivity.
A study plan can help you prepare for looming deadlines and keep you focused on an end goal. This is especially important if you have a few assignments due a couple of days apart and you need to keep on top of which modules you need to complete for these due dates.
Create an online calendar and put in the dates for exams, deadlines, study sessions and tutor meetings. Don’t forget to schedule study breaks and free time for you to relax and process the information you have taken in.
Have to-do lists that are visible so that you remember what parts of your online learning you should be focusing on that very day or week. For instance, do you have one assignment due on a Wednesday and another due on a Friday? Your to-do list should focus on the Wednesday assignment on the Monday and Tuesday and then shift to the Friday assigned with a list of to-dos on the Wednesday and Thursday. If you are assignment free once you’ve handed them over, don’t forget to include a little R&R for the rest of the day!
Online studying is a fun and enjoyable way to earn a degree, but for those who are unfamiliar, it can seem like a daunting prospect. However, while the pandemic is in full swing, students need to learn to adapt. Follow the above tips and get the best out of eLearning.