Create an environment conducive to learning
If you want to be productive, you should not be working from a slouched position while watching Netflix at the same time. Students should choose an area of their home that’s free from common distractions, according to Dr. Hatten, an expert in online teaching and learning.
It might not be the best place to work on the couch, Dr. Hatten says. “Get up and find a place in your house that you can use.”
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Establish a schedule for completing and reviewing assignments.
It is possible for an individual to experience high levels of stress if they work on three courses at the same time, but this can be prevented if you schedule specific times for each class to be worked on. The schedule Dr. Hatten shared allowed students to create a structure that is often seen in traditional, in-person classes by working on one class between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
It’s my belief that most people either procrastinate or get so involved that they won’t shut off their computers,” Dr. Hatten says. “So have a set time.”
The time you set aside to complete assignments should also include a time when you review the assignments for each class so that you can plan your week accordingly. This way, you won’t forget to submit something.
Engage in virtual interactions with your peers
During this time, it is obviously not possible to study with a group of peers in a library or to get on-the-spot clarifications from classmates. It is possible, however, to maintain that sense of community and collaboration by establishing virtual interactions through platforms such as GroupMe or Microsoft Teams.
To section out tasks, use the ‘chunking’ strategy
Rather than staring at a computer screen for three hours at a time, Dr. Hatten suggests that students “chunk” their time by following a specific pattern.
Work on one class, figure out a task and reward yourself at the end, Dr. Hatten says. “Get up, get some coffee, get a snack, go for a run, or just get away for a half hour.”
Stay motivated by finding ways to stay inspired
Creating a routine and maintaining productivity can be done in several ways, but every now and then, you might find it difficult to complete a task because of a lack of motivation. This is why students may experience this, according to Dr. Park, whose research focuses on motivating online learners.
A fundamental problem with online courses is that they isolate you from your peers and even your instructors. This physical and emotional isolation can make it hard for you to stay motivated.
Identifying when motivation is low and determining why it is low is the first step Dr. Park advises students to take.
You should try to increase your interest in the project
The assignment or task you are working on may seem rather tedious at times. Instead of putting it off as time passes, think of ways to make it an engaging one. In order to use this strategy, you must use your imagination to modify the work you’ll submit creatively.
Make your online work more meaningful to you
A student may lack motivation when they don’t feel connected to an assignment or task. Dr. Park encourages students who experience this feeling to think critically about how that assignment can benefit them in the future.
If you are in the graduate level, you may want to consider using those completed assignments or tasks for your conference presentations.
Visualize yourself mastering the subject
Talking to yourself about your goals can usually begin with the question: What will I achieve by completing this assignment?
According to Dr. Park, answering this question can produce a continuous response that starts with receiving credit for the assignment, continues with passing the course, and ends with landing your dream job.
Dr. Park says thinking like this leads people to say, “This is not something I must do, this is something I must do in order to achieve my goals.”.
Positivity is the key
Solve your own problems
You need to remember that most questions can be answered when you read the instructions carefully and go over each module carefully when you are adjusting to working online. Even though professors are prepared to answer your questions, it may be more productive to search Google first rather than sending multiple emails throughout the day for each problem you are facing.
Take care of yourself
If you need to step away from the computer for a few hours, or if you need to sleep in a day, taking the time to recover is necessary.
Having compassion for others is a virtue
Have patience with those who might not know how to set up a video chat or may be taking longer to adapt to this “new normal.”
Become familiar with online learning practices and expectations
If you approach online courses with a lackadaisical attitude, you’ll miss out on valuable content.
Take online courses and study the same way you would in a classroom, right under a professor’s nose. You could even pretend a professor is standing over you while you study.
Next, decide what you hope to gain from taking the course. You know you’ll pay attention, study, and take it seriously, but what are your goals?
Develop a specific skill
Develop your competence in a specific area
Prepare to obtain a license or certification
Learn more about a topic
Become more comfortable conversing about a topic
Understand a subject rudimentarily
The level of devotion and complexity of the course required to achieve each of these goals will vary. In contrast to someone who just wants to learn the basics for an upcoming trip to Paris, you will need a different course if you’re an English speaker and you want to become fluent in French.
The more clear you are about your expectations, the less likely you are to be disappointed when the course ends.
As you browse online courses, you can figure out if your goals align with the course material.
Check in with yourself during the online course. Do you feel comfortable in the learning environment? Can you recall what you learned at the beginning?
You may feel pressured to keep up with a fast pace in many online courses. Don’t. Allow yourself to work at your own pace. You’re not competing with anyone.
You should not give yourself too much time off or too much slack. If you’re constantly putting off studying or not moving on to the next section, give yourself a serious pep talk.
If you’d like, you can ask someone to be your accountability partner, who will check in with you regularly, ask about your progress, and provide any encouragement you need. As you both take the same course, you might even become each other’s accountability partners. It isn’t necessary for you to follow the same schedule, but you can motivate each other.
Verify the course’s technical requirements
Unlike studying in the classroom, studying online requires you to provide your own learning environment. You are responsible for providing space, a computer, and any other items you need, including a machine that meets the necessary technical requirements.
There are some courses that require more serious hardware, but in most cases any computer with internet access will suffice.
You’ll need a computer that has sufficient memory and a powerful enough graphics card to run video editing software, as well as the software itself, which might come with a hefty license fee.
If you can’t meet the technical requirements yet, delay taking the course until you can buy or borrow what you need.
In some classes, you’ll need headphones to listen to audio presentations or a printer to print out documents. Whatever the case, if you don’t have the necessary equipment, you’ll quickly fall behind.
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Access to reliable internet should be ensured
It is possible to get interrupted during your course if your internet connection is unreliable. Even worse, you may waste your time and resources if you don’t have reliable internet access.
The occasional storm and outage are beyond your control, but you want to have the best chance of not being disconnected from the Internet when you can’t rely on your home’s connection.
If your internet goes out while you’re participating in a webinar, you won’t be able to participate in the conversation with your classmates.
Your internet connection at home can be improved with signal boosters, extra modems, and other technological fixes. It is also a good idea to use a desktop computer that is wired to your modem rather than a laptop or mobile device that relies on a wireless connection if it’s wired to your modem.
In addition to becoming claustrophobic and even depressing in a dark room, dark spaces can also cause faster eye strain and fatigue. You can buy cheap desk lamps with rotating heads at Target or Walmart for less than $10 if your home or office is dark.
You’re bound to end up with sore back, stiff neck, and aching shoulders if you try to sit on the floor with your laptop balanced on your knees. It is important to have an ergonomic work space so that you can concentrate on your studies. When you are uncomfortable, you will be distracted from your work, and you will be less likely to study again.
Some people can work easily in a crowded coffee shop or restaurant, while others require absolute silence, and some like to listen to music or watch television. Experiment with different environments to find out what works best for you. Don’t assume you learn best in pure silence.
It is important to let everyone in your family know that you are taking an online course so that they don’t bother you while you study. If you get distracted, it becomes increasingly difficult to return to work. You might even turn off your phone and close all internet browser tabs except one that you use for studying.
Before you sit down for an online course, get all the supplies you may need. Do you need a fresh cup of coffee? A bottle of water? Maybe a bag of carrot sticks for snacking? You won’t have to stop studying to make a cup of coffee if you keep it easily accessible.
Having your own home office is a great way to study online, but it’s not the only option. You can also study in the dining room, kitchen, or bedroom as long as your family will not disturb you.
Additionally, decide what time is most convenient for you to study and learn online. Perhaps you learn best when you review materials first thing in the morning, right before work, or perhaps you are a night owl and you’re most comfortable burning the midnight oil.
Establish your learning objectives and goals.
You decided what you wanted from your online course. Now you need to find out what the instructor’s objectives and goals are.
In the case of an online course on fitness, a professional could have several goals for students:
Toning up muscles
Increasing range of motion
Flexibility is being increased
Body mass index reduction
You may not be satisfied with the results if your instructor designed the course around bulking up.
You must align your goals with those of the instructor.
You should read as much as you can about the course before registering. If necessary, contact the instructor to learn more about the course’s objectives.
You should write down your goals and objectives -preferably near where you’ll work – and review them every day before you study your notes or go through course material. Keep them in mind as you progress through the program.
Reach out to your instructor or to other students if you don’t feel you are meeting the objectives. Determine where you may have gone wrong, then devise a plan to get your performance back on track.
It’s important not to force yourself to meet goals or objectives by someone else’s deadline. You know how quickly you learn, so set your milestones accordingly.
Create a study plan
It’s now time to get serious about your actual study sessions. If you have a written plan, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
No study plan is right or wrong. The right one will work with your schedule and allow you to fulfill your other obligations.
Don’t be afraid to push yourself. If you are constantly striving for better results, you’ll get through the course faster and feel more fulfilled at the end.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
It is possible that something unexpected will come up in the middle of your course, such as a sick child or an unexpected deadline at work. Try to leave yourself some wiggle room in your schedule to accommodate those unexpected setbacks.
For example, if you think you can complete part one of a course within three days, give yourself five days. In case you achieve your three-day goal, you can pat yourself on the back, but if it takes you five days, you won’t have to reschedule your study schedule.
Make a study schedule
You can make a broad or extremely granular to-do list based on your personality. If you prefer to write things out step by step, do so, as that will help you feel more comfortable. For simplicity’s sake, you can group together different items.
Limit the amount of time
The best way to increase your productivity and efficiency is to force yourself to study for an extended period of time. Set a timer for 15 minutes if you’re restless. When the bell sounds, get up, walk around, and then return to your desk for another 15 minutes. You’ll have studied for one hour if you repeat this four times.
Studying online can cause eye fatigue, so taking breaks will give your eyes a rest. Plus, you can stretch your muscles and clear your head before returning to your work.
To accomplish your goals and check every item off your to-do list, however, make sure to work for the total amount of time you think is necessary. It is possible to work eight 15-minute sessions or six 20-minute sessions if you need two hours of concentrated study time. You can break them up as you see fit.
Keep your schedule on track
Don’t let yourself off the hook when it comes to studying. A life-threatening emergency is one thing, but the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” is not an excuse.
A lot of online courses involve live events that you participate in online. If you miss those, you won’t get as much value out of the course. Attend those events and turn in any work by the assigned deadline to avoid falling behind.
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When you hit a wall, ask for help
In order to get the most out of your online course, you must speak up if you remain stuck.