More and more schools, universities and colleges have closed their campuses and are transitioning to online learning. The global pandemic has forced the education system to reinvent itself. Most of the students (me included) have to study and attend online classes from home. Studying from home could mean waking up later than usual, be in your pyjama all day long until you realize that you have done nothing productive the past three days. I conducted a poll on my social media and find out that most of the students I know are finding a little challenging to keep the same level of productivity they use to have when they were able to be on campus. Here are seven tips I have using and I hope will help you get the most out of your online learning experience.
7 Tips to be productive and adapt to the new online learning environment
1. Make a study/work space
Create a comfortable and quiet space where you can sit and study comfortably, access the internet properly, charge your computer and have enough space to pill your books you need to study and still have enough space to write properly. It can be wherever you feel comfortable, your bedroom, balcony, dinning room or your home office. Personally, my room is the most quiet and comfortable space to study for me, I have two different study space depending on how I feel. Make that space work for you as long as you are comfortable and can study easily.
2. Create a weekly schedule
You are in charge of your time, how you study, where you study and when you study. Create a weekly study schedule that works well for you. You can create your weekly schedule according to what you used to have when you were attending classes or come up with a complete new one that works better for you. For example, I used to have seminars on Mondays and classes all day on Tuesdays, by then my study schedule was from Thursdays to Sundays. Wednesdays were my lazy day aka chill day aka do what you want or can kind of day. Now that I have transitioned online, I still have to attend my Tuesday class and I have a 1 hour seminar on Wednesday. I made some changes to adapt to the new school schedule but Wednesdays are still my “do whatever you can day and if you can’t you are still doing well girl” kind of days. The rest of the week is dedicated to my assignments, projects, research and typing work.
3. Wake up early when you need to study
Try as much as you can to wake up on time, have a shower, a good breakfast and do what you have to do to be productive that day. If you need to exercise, meditate or pray, do that. Studying in bed and in pyjamas has never worked for me, I always need to shower, get dressed in comfortable clothes have a great breakfast to start my day.
4. Listen to, watch or attend online lectures
There is a reason why professors are taking their time to record lectures and post them as a student it is your duty to listen to audio recordings, watch and attend lectures. Try your best to be up to date to whatever going on in the course because before you know it, the semester will be over, you don’t want to put all the blame on the virus for failing. Take notes with a paper and pen, yes the old fashion way it will help you concentrate, focus and remember easily what you have written.
5. Take breaks
Breaks are essentials, let me just say crucial. See related post Give me a break. Yes you have deadlines, yes you are working under pressure and you have failed behind, you are overwhelmed and everything but plan your breaks, you need breaks in between your study sessions. The last thing you need when trying to adapt to the new learning environment is to have a burnout or something similar. Apart from my Wednesdays break, I schedule breaks every hour during my study sessions.
6. Get in touch with your classmates and professors
You are not alone in this, a lot of people are going through the most. Get in touch with your classmates and exchange ideas, create virtual study groups to keep each other on track of the workload or ask questions when you don’t understand or catch up on a lecture you have missed and you can’t listen to because of technicality or some other reasons. Having mates who can help you out is important during this time. In addition to that, get in touch with your professors, check in with them when you don’t understand something or have any other problem related to your online learning experience, they will assist or refer you to someone more qualify to assist. Don’t forget to check your emails as well a lot of updates are being sent to your emails.
7. Don’t forget to socialize
Although we are encouraged to practice social distancing, I think the correct way to put it was supposed to be physical distancing because socially we are close to one another. Keep in touch with your family and friends, have virtual movie dates, zoom dates, parties and try to socialize in new ways with your friends if yo are already tired of boring video calls, get creative. It is good and healthy to have a good support system during this time.
Online learning can be overwhelming and challenging but we need to adapt to the new environment we found ourselves in in order to stay on top of our game and continue to learn
What are some tips you use to stay productive while studying/ working from home?
Till next Sunday
Stay safe and Be Yourself