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Follow These 9 Tips for a Smooth Online Learning Experience

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With September slowly approaching, students worldwide are preparing to return to schools. However, with the ongoing global pandemic still not waning, we wonder whether the students will be returning to physical or online classrooms. If we had to bet, we’d bet on the latter. Luckily, remote learning doesn’t have to be a daunting or dull experience. The secret behind being effective in an online classroom environment is preparation! That is why we decided to offer online learning tips for anyone wishing to prepare for more potential online learning sessions.

We know that not everyone is comfortable in an online learning environment, but it’s fantastic to see that more people are growing accustomed to it. With the recent developments in video and live streaming technology, online classrooms have become more interactive than ever. Also, the substantial increase in video consumption in 2020 only proves that an increasing number of people are readily accepting video and live streaming as a staple in their everyday lives. The same goes for using live streaming for education purposes.

But if you’re still reluctant about attending online classes this September, that’s understandable — we all have our preferences. However, if there’s no helping it, and you end up having to learn from home, the nine tips we have prepared for you will undoubtedly prove helpful!

9 Online Learning Tips for Students

Here are nine online learning tips for all students that can make their remote learning experience as smooth as possible:

Without further delay, let’s check these in more detail!

Take Care of the Technicalities

First things first, participating in online lessons takes some technical preparation. If something malfunctions or goes wrong, you won’t even be able to participate in your online class. That is why you will need to double-check a few things first:

  • Check your internet connection — without a stable internet connection, you won’t be able to attend your lesson uninterrupted. So always have a back-up plan if your internet breaks.
  • Ensure your webcam works — because video teaching entails using video to communicate, you will need to have a functional webcam. So test your camera before a class or buy one if you don’t already have one beforehand.
  • Test your online learning platform — regardless of what platform or online learning tools you’re using for your video lesson, you should test it before your class. Check if the video chat options works, whether you can interact with other students, are you included in all the necessary groups, etc.
  • Get all your lesson material in order — if you start your class just to realize you are missing some of the essential documents, you won’t be able to follow the lesson properly.

Once you’ve gone through this checkup and ensured everything’s in perfect order, you’re ready for your lesson! Keep in mind though that you should make this your daily routine. After all, if something is in order today doesn’t mean it won’t break tomorrow!

Oh, and one more thing — don’t forget to save your work! The last thing you want is to lose all your hard day’s work by forgetting to save your changed files.

Adopt the Right Mindset

a brunette woman in overalls thinking

This online learning tip is vital. “Why?” you may ask. It’s simple — have you ever done something you didn’t want to? Unless you’re a robot, you undoubtedly have, so you must be aware of just how much an unwilling mind can ruin your productivity.

We are aware you’re unlikely to “learn to love” online classes if you don’t already do, but you can still discipline yourself. Luckily, there are few things you could do to help you get into that focused mindset:

  • Treat your online course like you would a real one — unless you are someone who has issues focusing while in real-life classrooms, this could help you deal with the above problem. Treating your environment as if physically in a classroom will help you subconsciously adopt a learner’s mindset.
  • Set clear goals and don’t stray from them — you can apply this advice to studying too! Setting clear goals will help you visualize your progress and help you stay on track. That is because setting an achievable objective can do wonders for your motivation.  
  • Build a study plan — many people find it easier to stick to a goal if they can visualize their journey. That is where making a study plan can help! For example, you could set various schedules, create to-do lists, or impose time limits on yourself to keep yourself on track.

Do not underestimate the potency of a powerful mindset. The absence or the presence of the right one can make or break your online learning endeavors.

Time Manage Adequately

Should it be surprising that time management made our list? We don’t think so! As cliché as it may be, the secret behind any successful endeavor is managing your resources adequately. In the case of online learning, that resource is your time.

So how can you get better at time management? It’s pretty straightforward — make a timetable and stick to it! If you’ve set four hours for a paper or project, ensure you finish it within four hours.

Oh, and promptly doing your tasks is also essential. In other words, don’t procrastinate. Ideally, you should schedule your entire learning day, including your study breaks! That is the best way to discipline yourself and hone your diligence. That is much more crucial in an online learning environment than in a physical classroom because you’ll be left to your own devices most of the time.

If you need more advice on this topic, we recommend checking this article to improve your time management skills

Dedicate a Quiet and Cozy Workspace

Just like adopting the right mindset and working on self-discipline are essential online learning tips, having a dedicated workplace can help with both. There are multiple reasons for that.

Having a designated place for work means you can immediately get your brain into “work-mode” once you get seated. That is the principle on which regular classrooms work, so you should try to simulate it when studying remotely.

Also, having peace and quiet in your home office will help you focus, which will surely boost your performance.

And let’s not mention how dreadful having an uncomfortable chair can be. However, just because we advise you to sit on something comfortable doesn’t mean you should lie on your bed or pick too comfortable an armchair. If your environment is too snug, it can be detrimental to your performance.

Eliminate Distractions

Do you have a dog or another pet? What about a younger sibling? Or perhaps even kids if you’re older? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this online learning tip is for you! Before getting to your online class, ensure you’ve eliminated all distractions beforehand. They can completely ruin your learning experience. 

So if you have a dog, walk it beforehand. If you have a brother or sister who likes to bother you, ask your parents to get them off your neck. Finally, if you have kids, hire a babysitter or leave them at their grandparents’ house until you finish your lessons.

We understand that you won’t always be able to anticipate everything, so don’t worry too much if you do come across a few interruptions. However, do try to minimize the odds of any happening. There are a few ways you could try that:

  • Communicate with other members of your household that you don’t want to be interrupted.
  • Close the door to your home office and lock it.
  • Turn your cellphone off.

Sometimes, you will have to make the best of what you have, so don’t beat yourself too much over it if you can’t control your environment. In such cases, you will just have to try your hardest to focus.

Take Thorough Notes

a person writing in an orange notebook and another person behind them typing on a laptop

You can apply this online learning tip to any type of classroom, but it’s particularly vital in the online environment. Why? Because it will be much harder to ask follow-up questions and interact with your tutor. Also, the tools they’ll have at their disposal to help elaborate things to you will be limited.

But not all is grim since taking notes is so much easier when learning online than in a real classroom! At least that is true for most people proficient in typing. If you’re not one of those, nothing will change for you, which is OK. But if you are a particularly fast typer, you will have an easy time following a lesson and taking down notes.

Either way, do not neglect this aspect of online lessons as having detailed notes to learn from later will make your life a lot easier.

Cooperate With Other Students

Just because you aren’t face-to-face with other students doesn’t mean you shouldn’t interact with them. Quite the contrary — because you are in an online environment, you have more opportunities to talk to them during lessons. That opens plenty of possibilities for cooperative learning if that is your preferred style, which might even make online classrooms a better option for some!

Engage in Class Activities 

Just like some students might be reluctant to engage in real-life classrooms, some might not enjoy actively participating in online classes. Whether it’s because they’re struggling to overcome camera shyness or because they’re disinterested in the lesson, the result is the same — they are just making it harder on themselves.

So don’t be those people! Actively participate in class activities, and you will have a much easier time learning afterward. Even if the interactions over video seem odd at first, you will quickly get used to it. And when you do, you’ll get to experience first-hand what we’re talking about!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Last but not least, this online learning tip is applicable in all classroom scenarios, but it’s particularly vital in an online environment. Why? Because teachers have much less control over the classroom when it’s online. It is much harder for them to follow their students’ progress over video chat, so if you don’t ask for clarification when you need help, you might fall behind.

If that happens, that can take your confidence on a downward spiral, which can significantly impair your performance. Luckily, there are positive aspects of an online classroom when it comes to communicating with your tutors! For example, they will be non-stop available over chat or a message program even if no lesson is currently in session. With that in mind, don’t fret about sending a question or two their way whenever you need something!

Online Learning Is Not as Daunting If You Prepare

If you end up going back to school by returning to an online classroom, don’t be discouraged — it’s not as bad as you may think. We hope the above online learning tips help you adjust and deal with remote lessons better. Good luck, and don’t worry; it’s just a matter of time before everything returns to normal!

Until next time!  

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