As you embark on your new semester, we believe that most of you are still worried about the implementation of online learning. No worries! Here are some tips that we have compiled to help you through your learning.
Ensure you have somewhere quiet and comfortable to study. Sit at a proper table or desk with an appropriate chair, ensure your screen is at a comfortable height. Make sure you have everything you need close by and enough space to type and/or make notes, and to spread out your course materials and/or books.
It’s no good sitting somewhere you can’t logon to your wifi so check the strength and continuity of your signal. If you have a weak signal see if you can move the router or a booster station. If you can’t fix the wifi try downloading materials to your computer then going to your dedicated study place to view them.
Your courses may be online, but you are still studying for an academic qualification so approach your study just like you would if you were on campus. Get up at the same time every morning, have lunch at the same time you would on campus, finish studying when you would usually stop. If you follow your normal studying routine you will easily complete everything that you need to do.
You need to be clear with whoever you stay with that when you are studying you are not to be disturbed. If you were on campus your Mum would not walk into the middle of a lecture with a cup of tea, so make it a rule then when you are “at University” nobody should interrupt you. The people around you will quickly understand when you are busy, especially if you are working to a daily routine.
When you studying make the best use of your time. Don’t let social media or web surfing steal your day. It may be fun to be distracted, but you still need to make up the time, so switch your phone to silent, disable online notifications and focus on what you need to do until it’s time to take a break.
Check all your Course Overviews to see how many sessions you have each week, when those sessions take place, and when you need to submit any assignments. If you are expected to take part in online sessions at a particular time then put those sessions in your study plan – the easiest way to do this is using your online diary so that you get reminders on your computer and your mobile. Many of the sessions will be available for you to download at a time that suits you, so ensure you programme sufficient time into your study plan every week. If you have assignments to complete put the deadlines in your diary and ALSO put in some time to do the work you need to complete the assessment.
Don’t be passive or expect that watching some online videos will somehow enable you to pass the course. Start every session with some questions, learning objectives and personal goals so that you are actively looking for the answers, trying to see links between topics and thinking about the information you need to know. If you are focused and inquisitive you will enjoy your sessions much more and you will learn better.
You can use many online ways to interact with your friends and to ask each other questions or give advice. If your course has an online chat group or forum you can also contribute or learn from your colleagues. Knowing that you are working with others will keep you motivated and it’s a great way to share what you have learned, but remember to stay focused on your study tasks so don’t waste your time or your friends’ time with pointless messaging.
Your lecturers want to know that you are fine and that you are following the course, so let them know how you are progressing. If you have any questions or need guidance then make sure you ask and your lecturers will be happy to help.
Online means that you can pause, go back and watch again, so take control and work through things at your own consistent pace.
Nobody can stay focused for hours, so make sure you take some regular breaks to relax and refresh before returning to your course. Looking at a screen can be tiring for your eyes, so every 20 minutes or so look out of the window or look at something more than 20 feet away for around 20 seconds or more.
Keeping yourself fit can really boost your studying potential, and even in a lockdown you should ensure you do some moderate physical activity around the house every day.
Keep smiling and stay safe !