Tips for online learning
COVID-19 has placed most of us in uncharted territories, probably even worse for students who, having been accustomed to in-class learning, may find online learning difficult and frustrating.
We compile here some tips that will help students going through self-learning, maximize the results and have fun while at it.
1. Create a plan
- a. Make a road map of some sort. Compile the sources of knowledge you will use, such as videos, online lectures/presentations and textbook materials.
- b. Remember to set time aside every day for planning and preparing, prior to the actual learning sessions. During this time, you will select the resources you will use. Ensure you have access to that textbook, or lecture presentation and others. This is necessary because online learning is like Netflix, you might spend more time deciding what to watch, and have no time to, actually, watch.
- c. Be careful not to get overwhelmed with options. You should prioritize these sources so that you do not end up with too many options. Three different sources of materials tends to be optimum.
- d. A monthly or weekly personal planner is beneficial. Especially accompanied with reminders set the day before the activities. Reminders help you put your mind in the right psych, maybe also collect the various resources beforehand. For example, if you intend to learn a particular topic, on a particular day, it will be best to identify the videos you will prior to the actual day.
- e. Create due dates for yourself, and timelines when you intend to have achieved specific milestones. For example indicate when you need to have completed and understood a certain topic to the extent that you are ready to successfully complete a test or assignments in that topic.
Stay up-to-date as much as you can.
- a. Do not wait until the last minute to review recordings of online classes that you didnít attend. Attend online classes live as they take place. Avoid the temptation to do most of the work just before the examinations. Especially because under an online learning approach, you can never be very sure of the scope of information that needs to be covered, as compared to notes written in a book where you can count the pages you need to revise.
- b. Maintain a regular school-like schedule. This will help you stay on track. This is important because you will soon realize that the amount of content covered is not less, just because it is delivered online.
- c. Take notes in your traditional way, as you would in an in-class session.
The school at home
a. Set up the learning area, the smart zone, creativity corner, or whatever you call it. Choose an area, be it in your room or a more designated area and set up a comfort zone that is calm and allows you to focus, yet not necessarily too formal that it might limit creativity. Ensure it is comfortable, a comfortable chair and table. If you are one of those that like to crisscross your legs, then ensure your chair is spacious enough. If you like to raise one leg then ensure there is a platform for doing that. Do everything to achieve your most comfortable postures.
Ask for help
- a. Stay in touch with your friends. When you talk to your school friends, try to understand what challenges others are facing, which topics they find more difficult, try to use your cohort as a way to gauge how well you are doing. In addition, of course, ask for help. Whether it is from your peers or from professionals such as teachers, tutors, instructors, professors, even your parents. Talk freely about your experiences, be open to ideas and know that you are always going to learn something new.
Set aside time for rest, and fun
- a. It is understandable that some of the fun activities you like to do may not be possible if you are either locked indoors, or with limited access to the outdoors. Still, identify activities that you can do to relax. Board games, movies, novels, walks at the park, jogging, walk the dog, music even a nap. Only make sure that you have set aside time for these activities.
- Hopefully these ideas will motivate you to adapt and be successful in your school work. All the best and stay safe.