Online learning is quickly becoming the norm all over the world. For many, especially those of us who grew up in traditional classroom settings, this poses many challenges. Since you’re not studying in a classroom, where distractions are kept to a minimum, you’re open to so many more chances to lose concentration when you’re doing online classes. So, how do you get the most out of your online classes?
Set Your Goals
Think of studying as a marathon: you go through each module as you would each kilometer in your run. You set a personal goal for yourself – hit five kilometers, then five more, then five more… Soon enough, you’ll realize that you’ve gone through all 42 kilometers just by focusing on one goal at a time. Figure out what your goals are with your online classes and list them down, then take a systematic approach to achieve those goals, one step at a time.
Treat It Like Your Job
Back when we were younger, school felt like a chore that we didn’t like to do. This made many of us take our education for granted. Now that we’ve grown a bit older and a lot wiser, we’ve experienced what it means to have real responsibility – like a job. If you’re taking online classes later in life, think of your school as your job. You clock in nine to five, do your work, and clock out. Having a structured schedule as well as a working mindset will only help you get better at studying for your online classes.
Create Study Plans
Study plans (also called a syllabus) are a summary of your course’s subject requirements and tell you what the planned subjects for study are. Your classes will provide these at the beginning. Once you have this, recreate it and list down the things you need to study in advance to give you a leg up in the online classroom, as well as help you understand your lessons more.
Manage Your Time
It can be hard to do online classes especially if you’re doing it from home. Your attention is a lot more divided when you aren’t in a classroom, and this makes it difficult for people to focus on the things they need done. Managing your time can prevent this. Write down a schedule for the things you need to do every day using your phone, a planner, or even the back of a paper napkin and stick to it!
Set Study Schedules
Speaking of schedules, dedicating time to study is a requirement when doing online classes. This should be a time where you should rid yourself of any distractions so you can focus on your studies. Everything else should have their own time, but make sure you leave a lot for your studies.
Find Your Space
When study hour rolls in, go to your “study space” and stay there! Your study space should be a place in your home or an outside location that you feel is most conducive to learning. This can be a second bedroom, a home office, the library, or a quiet coffee shop. It doesn’t matter where it is, it just has to be a place where you may concentrate without getting distracted.
Get Rid of Distractions
When you finally get to your study space, try finding where the distractions are and get rid of them if you can. This can include nosy pets, noisy children, odd smells, jackhammers, and the like. Invest in noise-canceling headphones, or pick really isolated and quiet places like the section in the library no one ever goes to. Your study space should be your safe space!
Turn Off Social Media
Taking classes online has one major drawback: it’s online. And that means the internet is still there for you to access – particularly your social media. We all know how much of a time sink scrolling through social media is, and that can take a lot of much-needed time away from studying. Turn on your phone’s focus mode and get a website blocker extension for your browser so you can keep yourself away from social media, at least during study time.
Browse Online Resources
Taking online classes usually gives you access to online resources such as an online library. Use these! More often than not, your syllabus is based on the books available in your online school’s library. There are also many reputable libraries online that carry great selections, from books to academic papers – and they’re all completely free. Use whatever means you have!
Take notes and quiz yourself on what you’re studying. This helps you check your understanding of the subject, and will help you make more confident answers during exams. Rereading chapters and rewatching videos also help in retention and understanding of your study material. Keeping your brain engaged is the best way to help you not just remember, but understand.
Take Breaks When You Need To
And this isn’t just about studying! When you feel exhausted, you should take a break. Don’t attempt to study too long when you’re already tired, because your brain just wouldn’t retain as much as it should when you’re fully rested. Don’t feel guilty about taking a break. Just enjoy the free time!
Find a Study Group
Even in online classrooms, people will want to study with fellow students. Try to find a study group within your classes so you can all help each other be accountable and understand the subjects better. You can do it through Zoom, Google Chat, Skype, or whatever video chat platform you like most. Studying with others can be fun and enlightening!
Hit Your Deadlines
Deadlines are easy to miss when you’re studying from home, because of all the other things you have to do besides studying. That’s why setting schedules is very important, because it helps you hit your deadlines! Set a personal deadline for each assignment you get, dated at least one day before submission. This will give you enough time to go through it once more, edit it, and submit it in its finest form!
It’s easy to feel exhausted with online classes. To make it suck less, treat yourself to something whenever you finish a chapter or submit an assignment ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – maybe some really yummy takeout, or a couple hours of movie time should be enough to reward yourself for all your hard work! Good job, me!
Online classes are challenging, but they don’t have to be hard! Follow these tips to help yourself be a better student and get high marks in all your online classes. With good scheduling, a hard work mindset, and great online research, you’ll be acing your subjects in no time. Go get em, tiger!