Are you currently preparing for an upcoming online class but uncertain about which things to keep in mind?
Don’t worry, though. It’s natural to feel anxious when adjusting to a new virtual environment — it might not be easy at first, but as long as you practice good study habits, you’ll be on the right track.
Things will be entirely different, of course: there’ll be no chalkboards, pale white/green walls that are designed to keep you calm, or the fun of being able to physically interact with your classmates and professors.
That’s why adapting to online learning requires self-discipline, motivation, and time management as well.
Moreover, since these digital courses could affect the learning abilities of students as well as the teaching capacity of the instructors, it’s highly important to do some preparation.
To help you do that — to help you build and maintain a workable study routine — here are some useful tips that can ease your adjustment to a much more flexible environment.
1. Prepare your study environment
First of all, you must create a designated study space at your home or in your room — this way, you can avoid distractions. Make sure that your study area is organised, quiet, and well-lit as well, so your classmates and professors can see you clearly.
You may also inform your family members and roommates about your class schedule so they can respect your study space. Place all of your study materials near you so you can easily reach them whenever you need them.
2. Check your Internet connection and equipment
Of course, you need a reliable Internet connection so you can learn the courses and interact with everyone without any interruptions. Most importantly, use autosave while you study and store back-up files on Google Drive or any type of cloud storage.
If you’re not a tech-savvy, you need to learn how to use equipment like the webcam and mic. You should also familiarise yourself with the platforms that you’re going to use.
This often includes chat boards, file-sharing programs, library portals, and video conferencing software.
Make sure that your network connection is working properly, all software and platforms are up-to-date, and that you know how to use all of them.
3. Establish time management
Unlike when you’re in a traditional classroom, studying at home can often lead to procrastination. That’s because your study area is usually just a few steps away from your bed!
This is why you must set a specific timeline for your tasks, duties, and assignments.
You may use a planner and try setting a weekly/daily schedule — especially if you have live lectures and group meetings.
You can also add schedule reminders to your phone or stick some notes on your wall to ensure that you’re consistently following the timeline.
Keep track of the deadlines and tests and set a time to do your readings before class time, self-assessment, and revising.
But make sure to include breaks as well, even if only for your eyes. According to the experts at Eye Specialist Singapore, everyone must rest their eyes for 15 to 20 minutes when using the computer for long hours — this is to prevent eye strain and pain.
4. Set up a routine
In line with managing your time effectively, you also need to maintain a routine every day — this will help you have a healthy and productive lifestyle as a student.
For example, even if you’re not travelling long distances, wake up early as usual.
This can help you start your day right. This includes doing some light exercises, taking a bath, and even completing your unfinished assignments.
And don’t forget to eat a proper breakfast as part of your routine! The specialists at Gastroenterologist Singapore say that skipping meals can have a negative impact on even your brain function. How are you supposed to study then?
By taking care of yourself both physically and mentally, you’ll be able to easily adapt to the digital learning setup.
5. Explore more learning strategies
Aside from relying on textbooks, you can use other study materials like online forums, tutorial videos, and other research books. Take advantage of the unlimited sources you can find online.
There’s a lot of valuable information available out there, so don’t just stick to the given modules. You can also ask for recommendations from your professors, as they might know more reliable study tools and learning sites.
6. Have consistent communication
Given that you won’t be having any physical interaction with everyone from the class, you can only depend on online communication.
So, stay in touch with your professors and classmates constantly and exert effort when reaching out to them.
If you’re struggling to understand some lessons or confused by any topics, for instance, don’t hesitate to send an email or message to your instructor. Initiate conversations to have more effective and engaging learning discussions.
A Last Word on These Strategies
Bear in mind that these strategies will only be effective if you have the will to learn. Besides, knowledge is something that you have to keep on earning, regardless of what your goal is.
So these tips are not only applicable to your student life but also when you start to build your professional career path.