In the previous years, earning a college degree meant physically attending in-person classes — until an unexpected and unseen visitor decided to have a vacation in the country. Now, because of this, the education system takes a new step to adapt to the “new normal” with the help of advanced technology and the Internet as these two have been giving the flexibility and the edge we need. They allow you to learn, wherever, whenever, and however works best for you, making it easier to earn a degree while balancing work and family commitments. Online classes can give you unique challenges that you can conquer as long as you have the skills for effective online learning.
When that unseen visitor started to unleash its might by having the first local transmission confirmed, most of the students already had online classes during the latter months of their current semester. Although students and professors had a hard time adapting at first, to say the least, it taught them new experiences that could be used in improving online classes. As for me, I was able to gather many learnings and tips that I hope will help every student out there in addressing every challenge he or she will face in taking up his or her online courses. The following tips are just based on my experiences.
First, treat online classes as real classes. This will give you the drive to take it seriously because whether you like it or not, you are still paying for the class. Treat your online class the same way you treat your face-to-face classes and you’ll be off to a great start.
Second, hold yourself accountable in everything you do. This means you need to set your goals first at the beginning of the semester and have them be accomplished before the due date even arrives. Without the professor physically reminding you about your tasks, you are the one who’s responsible for allotting enough time to finish them ahead of time. When you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your classmates.
Third, practice time management at all times. This will give you the flexibility to use and manage your time effectively and efficiently in consideration of your schedule, learning style, and personality. Time management is not easy without the proper practice, but try to initiate those skills to come out voluntarily when you need them the most, especially when tasks start piling up.
Fourth, create a regular study space and be organized. This means that you need to choose a proper setting that works best for you. Find a space that increases your productivity and has a stable internet connection. Also consider putting up a planner of the tasks so you won’t be cramming on their respective due dates.
Fifth, eliminate distractions. By being at home, you’ll be tempted to procrastinate tasks that should be submitted on time. You won’t be focused on whatever you’re studying, especially when the internet is at arm’s reach. Just try to eliminate distractions such as turning off other gadgets you’re not using to study or if you’re really into stopping all distractions, block unnecessary websites like YouTube or Tiktok.
Sixth, try to figure out how you learn best. This means that you should try creating a schedule, following whether you’re a morning person or a night owl in studying your lessons as this really helps in getting the most out of your online classes. Also, try to think about what types of information help you best in grasping new concepts to employ relevant study strategies that would aid you to study better and effectively.
Seventh, actively participate in class discussions. Just like in a normal classroom setting, this will give you the edge to further understand the lessons and engage with your classmates. Make sure you are checking in as often as you can.
The last tip would be to leverage your network. This would give you the idea that the concept of collaboration works even in an online classroom setting. When you build relationships with your fellow students, this could help you in accomplishing tasks as well as having a virtual study group before an exam, or when you feel like studying alone is not enough.
Online classes are an excellent option in helping you earn your degree while fulfilling your goals during this pandemic. Though it could have you face unique challenges, by following the aforementioned tips, you would surely find them to be helpful. These tips could also help you become successful in your chosen field even in the most chaotic of times. Along with this, there are two quotes that will encourage you to pursue the said alternative in studying: “Be stubborn about your goals but be flexible about your methods” and “Practice makes perfect.” The first quote is very applicable to every student nowadays because if one really wants to study no matter what it takes, he or she should take the initiative to be flexible in the method that he or she will use in studying. The latter quote should be practiced at all times because taking online classes is not that easy, but as long as the student is equipped with skills and the right attitude, everything is going to be alright.
Just remember to put into your heart and mind all the aforementioned tips, pieces of advice, and quotes if you are about to enroll this coming semester, as these will help you prepare yourself for what lies ahead of you in the education system’s new normal.
LAYOUT BY: Laiza Simeoune B. Sanchez
PHOTO SOURCE(S): Power of Positivity