A whole semester of online classes,
Will I even learn?
Yes, I’m pretty sure a lot of us share the same sentiments about education going virtual. There’s a lot we worry about. Is my home a conducive learning environment? Is our WiFi signal reliable? We don’t have WiFi, is my data connection enough? No matter how endless our concerns are, the truth still stands that online classes are the ‘new normal’.
This drastic change is among many others this pandemic has brought to us. Just like how we’ve learned to adapt to the quarantined life, we can learn to adjust to digital classes. I know this may be frustrating to some but the sooner we accept, the faster we can bounce back and face this predicament head on. Don’t worry, here are a few tips you can take that would hopefully help prepare you for online classes:
Have a Study Space
Having classes in the comfort of your home may lead you to be unproductive. It’s easy to find yourself listening to lectures on your bed or a similar setting that’s meant for relaxation. But we all know that won’t put you in the mood for studying. It’s important to find a spot in your house where you can separate leisure from learning.
I understand not everyone is privileged enough to have a study table of their own but finding a space in your house solely meant for online classes will help you be efficient. It can be on your dining table or a spot in the living room. Regardless, make sure it’s a place where your WiFi connection can reach you.
Make a Schedule
Once you learn of your class schedule, divide your time to allot hours for your lectures, assignments, house chores, and other activities. This will lead to a routine which will help you become a competent student. With online classes, you’ll find that your time is more flexible and you won’t always meet your professors at the given class hours. Despite this, try to use the time to focus on completing other academic requirements.
Remember, you don’t have to stick with a strict schedule. Just learn proper time management so you can accomplish your tasks for the day. The key to being a successful online student is to hold yourself accountable.
Get to Know your Virtual Classroom.
Before your class starts, find time to familiarize yourself with the software your school will use. It can be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and such. This may be the first time you’ll use such software so it’s good to understand how to use them so you won’t struggle too much on the first day of classes.
With this, here’s a few guidelines to follow for online meetings:
- Always mute your microphone when not talking. Give respect to the speaker by avoiding to distract him with background noise your speaker might pick up. This is not only distracting to your professor but to everyone in class as well.
- Clean your background and wear appropriate clothing. Know that when you’re required to show yourself on camera, you should be presentable and your background free from any mess. This also applies to your family members who might randomly walk behind you. Inform them that you’re in a live online class.
- Learn to send private messages. Most applications have the function of sending personal messages to an individual. If you have a question to your professor you think is unnecessary for your classmates to know, you can always send it to him privately.
- Participate. Encourage an engaging class session by actively participating. Either by asking questions or responding to inquiries, it’s nice to have a lecture that’s not a one-way communication.
Take Time to Breathe
Now that you’re being a responsible student, learn that it’s okay to take a break. Go grab a snack, stretch your limbs and walk around the house, browse through your feed, and allow yourself to breathe. Giving yourself time to check your phone or even watch an episode on Netflix during your break. This would help you avoid getting distracted at times you need to be productive.
Know that it’s Rough on All of Us
Lastly, understand that this is a first for everyone. You’re not the only one anxious about this new set-up of digital learning. Your classmates are nervous and most probably your professors as well. Expect that this venture over to online learning won’t be a smooth ride. Allow yourself to fumble around and be considerate to your teachers who might make mistakes along the way.
This is a journey where everyone will have to adjust. Don’t expect this to be the same as physical classes or to instantly be as effective. This experience will be determined by how open you are in accepting these changes. Be patient and put to mind that by participating in online classes you’re contributing to our goal of flattening the curve on this pandemic. At least that’s something, right?