If you’ve taken on-campus classes for most of your academic career, the move to online learning might come as a shock. After all, you’re used to visiting a classroom and having real-time, in-person interactions with your instructor and fellow students and taking notes based on what’s written on a board or a slide on a big screen.
Now, with colleges and universities nationwide moving on-campus classes to an online format because of the Coronavirus, you need to adjust quickly. While you might welcome the chance to go to class without getting out of your pajamas, you may need to make modifications in order to stay motivated, keep organized and even figure out how to be more active in class discussions.
Here are five tips to help you with the transition.
1. Treat an online course as a “real course”
Some people have a tendency to take online classes less seriously since there isn’t anyone to hold them accountable. Treat your virtual classroom like a real one. Keep a regular schedule to help stay motivated and set goals that will keep you on track with your work.
You get out what you put in, so staying dedicated to your learning even though you’re not in an actual classroom.
Other ways of staying motivated for the remainder of the semester include:
- Taking time for yourself
- Finding a support system
- Taking things one day at a time
- Staying positive
- Asking for help
- Focusing on your future
2. Keep a clear line of communication
Instructions and assignments can get confusing when you aren’t meeting in person with a professor or connecting with fellow students to get the clarification you need. Establishing a consistent way to contact teachers and classmates is important when taking classes remotely.
Some ways to do this include:
- Using an online learning platform like Canvas
- Getting phone numbers of fellow students, who you can call or text when you need help
- Starting a regular virtual study group with digital tools like Zoom, Google Hangout, Uber Conference, etc.
- Setting up a Facebook Group and inviting classmates to join
3. Leverage school resources
Taking advantage of your school’s resources is a great way to deal with any rough spots you might hit in challenging courses. Herzing students are provided a variety of accommodations to help them succeed including:
- Assigned advisors
- Writing Center
- Disability accommodations
- Free 24/7 counseling and support services
4. Have a consistent workspace
As a college student, your study space is your sanctuary and keeping it organized is one of the best ways to stay productive. Some tactics to avoid distractions and maintain a consistent workspace include:
- Putting away your phone
- Color coding materials
- Having an array of writing utensils
- Keeping chargers in one place
- Cleaning up
You can also change your workspace from time to time to keep your mind fresh and ideas flowing. As long as you find a spot where you can focus – whether inside or outside – a little variety might help.
5. Participate in your online courses
Participating in class is a vital way to stay connected and make sure you understand the material. For online programs, you could comment on other students’ posts and assignments, peer edit projects and be involved in online discussions.
When you’re engaged in class discussions, it can help clarify concepts and introduce new ideas and also build your rapport with the instructor and fellow students.
If you’re interested in learning more about Herzing University’s online programs, visit our Online Campus.