Whenever I would tell people that I was taking online classes, many would ask me "How do you do it?". Now those same people who never took online classes, have been forced to adapt from a classroom, to a virtual classroom. March, is when classroom learning stopped, no one knew we weren't coming back from spring break. Now during this time, students and teachers were frantic, with many never teaching or taking a college courses online. Luckily for me, during this time, my classes were already online, so there was no drastic change for me. For many though, this was a time of awkward zoom classes, crashing computers, inadequate wifi, and so much more. Therefore, through my years of taking online classes, I have come up with 5 ways, anyone can conquer virtual learning.
1. CREATE STUDY SPACE
Now, in the beginning this may not seem important, but have a designated study/work space that will help your mindset go from home to school mode. (And no, doing schoolwork on your couch or bed, is not a designated study space). An adequate study space could include, dining room table or a desk. Somewhere you can set up your books, notebooks, and computer device, and not be distracted. Now remember this is your study space, so make it how you like, but don't have too many distractions. Without the classroom atmosphere and teacher, procrastination and distractions will be your biggest battles. But if you create a designated study space you will know that when you are sitting in your study space, you are there to accomplish school work.
2. CREATE PLANNER
Organizing your due dates for homework, test, or quizzes, will be essential. Without having some sort of planner or agenda, I can guarantee that you will forget an assignment. Without going to class, you will not have your teacher to remind you that something is due, very few teachers will send emails to remind you. With online classes it is your responsibility to remember due dates. How you have your planner, is up to you. You can buy a mini planner, a full-size calendar, or use phone apps, what ever works for you. I find that physical planners works best, because you can dedicate such planner for school assignments only. The great thing about online classes, is that the professor will most likely have assignment due dates posted. So, at the beginning of the semester, look at those dates, and add them to your planner. Knowing upcoming assignments can even get you a head start in the class.
3. CHECK INTO ONLINE CLASSES EVERYDAY
Checking in, everyday to an online class is imperative. This is to ensure, you complete assignments, check inbox, and ensure you are staying on track for your class. You may wonder, why everyday if I have an agenda that tells me when assignments are due? Checking into your online class, ensures you are engaged in the class, just as if you would be in a classroom. Sometimes professors may change due dates, or request more from an assignment, and if you do not check your online class daily, these are aspects of the class you could be missing. Getting behind in an online class, can happen easily and fast. Assignments will pile up, and due dates will pass.
Communication with your professor is imperative. Many professors will post their email, and phone number to contact them. Do not be afraid, to do so. Without the in-classroom experience, we may begin to feel we are learning on our own. But, remember, you are not alone. If you feel like your question is not really for the professor, then ask a classmate. Usually with online classes, all class members will be listed and you can safely inbox them through your course. Help is there, you just have to not be afraid to ask. Asking questions, helps you learn better, so do not be afraid to reach out.
Now that you have these 4 ways to conquer online learning, I hope you start to use them. Share them, let others know how online learning does not have to be hard or stressful. If you put in the dedicated time to your class, you will get the grade you deserve.