Online learning has become part of many people’s lives, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal flow of activities.
But e-learning has its challenges, no matter how beneficial it seems to someone. The sudden shift to a virtual environment left many students confused, and, even if it has been more than two years since then, studying online still poses problems of adaptability. Working in groups and socializing were some of the most significant advantages of physical learning, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do all that during online courses. Studying from home proved a viable solution, particularly for students with a part-time job or struggling with issues like living in a hard-to-reach geographical area.
So, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages; what really matters is to overcome any obstacle that may hold you back. Online learning will no longer seem overwhelming once you learn to create your own schedule and use digital tools.
Here are some useful tips on how to make the most of online instruction and maximize your effectiveness:
Set a schedule and manage your time wisely
The #1 rule to succeed with online learning is to set a clear schedule and stick with it. This will help you stay organized during the entire semester, keep track of your assignments, and have time for your personal obligations. Managing your time is even more critical if you have a part-time or full-time job. One of the best pieces of advice we could give you is to make a weekly plan every weekend to have a clearer idea of what you’re going to do the following week (including homework, research, or any other daily task). Don’t forget to review materials each time you learn a new lesson, not to find yourself in the awful situation of studying everything at the last minute; you don’t want to know what a sleepless night looks like.
Consider prioritizing tasks depending on their deadline and complexity. Don’t forget to give yourself time to accomplish all these. Spending the whole day studying and solving assignments is neither a solution; that’s why it’s highly advisable to schedule regular study breaks. This way, you avoid burnout and maintain a proper study-life balance. You may want to consider taking a walk, engaging in some physical activity, or simply having a breath of fresh air. It would be best to avoid blue light exposure during these breaks no matter what you choose because your eyes are already tired of screens.
Make connections with other students
Who says that you can’t make valuable connections just because you’re studying in an online environment? The virtual world is full of opportunities, and if you know how to leverage its multiple benefits, you’ll be able to stay on top of both study and social life. We know that socializing during online courses may sound impossible, but it isn’t, trust us. Online portals and discussion boards make it possible for learners to communicate effectively, change ideas, and help each other with assignments. If your online classes take place on platforms such as Zoom or Skype, don’t hesitate to engage in lessons, interact with your colleagues, and ask questions whenever needed. Don’t be afraid to interact with your lecturer, too – they would be more than happy to explain things to you.
Plus, you can make a real difference if you get involved in online discussions. Teachers, in general, appreciate students showing interest in their lessons, and this way, they’ll remember you when the exam period is coming. See, interacting is only beneficial when it comes to online learning – it helps you form valuable connections with your peers to tackle various subjects collectively and have extra points in exams.
Write up your notes
One of the essential aspects to have in mind when studying online is taking notes. No matter how tempted you may be to rely on online resources, writing down important points will help you better understand the subject. Imagine yourself in a physical setting; what would you do in this case? Exactly, taking notes. This is what you should do in the online environment, too. Believe it or not, going the “old” way, that is, using pen and paper, can help you retain the information and focus on what matters. We’re sure you know what exams are all about – basic and straightforward information from the coursebook. Of course, there might be complex tasks, too, but just for teachers to make the difference between those making efforts to learn and those reading the syllabus once. So, just because it’s about online learning, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to take notes. Whether you’re enrolled in a French class or taking an online chemistry course, it’s no doubt you have to write down essential information for your learning process to go smoother.
Depending on how your classes take place, find a way to take notes that best suits your needs. You can write down notes easily during pre-recorded videos by listening to the lesson and pausing it whenever needed. In the case of live lessons, things are a little bit more complex, but there’s no need to worry. Try to pay attention to what’s going on at that point and later revisit the video for notes.
Set a major goal
And last but not least, set clear goals to remind yourself why you’ve chosen this path constantly. It’s much easier to work with motivation than having no idea what you’re going to do with your diploma. This will drive you to be more disciplined, but it will also make your learning process more pleasing. It’s hard to persevere when deadlines are emerging but knowing that it will all be worth the effort, you’ll eventually manage to stay on top of each and every assignment.
Don’t forget to stay organized and create a clutter-free workplace that encourages your learning. Making use of the digital tools available is also beneficial, so if you want to excel in the online environment, consider all the recommendations mentioned above; we promise they work!