With COVID-19 having significant impacts on how we work and live, many schools have focussed on incorporating online learning systems, which has resulted in drastic changes to the way we study and learn.
Studying at home goes beyond just homework and now means that with many schools only open part-time, schoolwork is being completed via distance and online learning. Your school may use platforms such as Moodle, Google Classroom, and Zoom, to enable online learning, but this also requires you to use your own initiative and put in a little more effort to get you through your work for each subject. But never fear! It’s important to identify ways to help you maximise your learning during these fast-changing times, so here are some of our top tips to help you with online learning!
1. Find a Quiet Space
One of the biggest impacts on your ability to focus is on your surroundings. Whilst at home, sitting in bed all day may be an appealing thing to do for some, to ensure you have full focus on your work, it is important to avoid doing so. This also involves having the TV on while studying on the couch, which is not only a big distraction but can also disrupt live online classes.
Instead, it’s important to ensure you sit at a desk or table with your device and other learning materials such as books, textbooks etc. This needs to a be a space where you can focus on your work, without loud background noise, and also while not sitting in bed.
If your school or tutoring use live online lessons, then it is crucial to find a quiet space where you can be present and active in class. Sitting at a desk also allows your brain to focus the same way it would at school.
2. Avoid Interruptions
A big difference between at-home learning and school learning is the difference in disruptions you may face. Before you start your classwork, let your family members know that you are about to start studying and that you won’t be available for a certain amount of time. This ensures your siblings or parents do not interrupt you during your study time. It is also handy to keep pets outside or away from your room, so they do not distract you.
Perhaps one of the biggest distractions in online learning is the use of your phone. Being able to admit when you are procrastinating is important in exercising self-discipline. This is where you tell yourself that you can’t touch your phone until your work is complete and stick by that rule. A good way to avoid phone distractions is to turn your phone off and keep it in a different room to the one you’re in.
3. Accessing Technology
Technology has widely facilitated online learning. In order to complete your work, it is important to have access to a good internet connection. Your connection can be affected depending on where you sit in your house, so make sure you are sitting somewhere with fast wi-fi.
Online schooling requires access to a device where you can access and complete the work online. If you don’t have access to any suitable devices, contact your school or Tutoring Centre as they may be able to arrange for you to borrow a device. Also, take into consideration the need for your device to have a microphone and camera if you have live classes.
If you need to share devices with your siblings or family, it’s important to ensure any live classes are scheduled at different times, so that you are able to log in and participate.
4. Be Prepared
Online learning requires an increased amount of self-preparation, which means that you need to log in early and check your Google Classroom (or another platform) and emails regularly. Before your class, print out your material or worksheets and organise these in plastic sleeves of folders for each lesson, to help you stay organised. Make sure you do any assigned classwork or watch the summary videos ahead of your lessons.
With online learning, it becomes easy to fall behind in your classwork, and in doing so, may affect your understanding of the work, and results in exams. Try your best to start your work as soon as it is assigned to you, as this will benefit you in the long run.
As with any type of study, ensure you take care of yourself during this time, work hard, but take time out for yourself when you need it. Practice the above four points and you’ll find you’re really maximising your online learning!