Online Classes

Tips For Taking Online Classes – Strategies For Success!

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The abrupt shift to online course help is well-recognized for causing academic uncertainty in many students. Adjusting to remote learning comes with its unique challenges. However, James Hatten, Ph.., and Sanghoon Park, Ph. D., who are faculty members specializing in Instructional Technology at USF, offer valuable advice and strategies to help you successfully navigate this transition to online education.

Set Yourself Up For Success From The Beginning

1- Establish A Productive Learning Environment 

Working on assignments while slouching and watching Netflix at the same time is not a productive approach. Dr. Hatten, an authority in online education, recommends that students choose a place in their homes where they can avoid distractions. According to Dr. Hatten, lounging on the sofa is probably not the most appropriate choice. Instead, he suggests that students stand up and establish a particular area in their homes as their dedicated workspace.

2- Set A Schedule For Completing And Reviewing Assignments 

Balancing three courses simultaneously can result in significant stress, but this can be alleviated by organizing dedicated time slots for each class. Dr. Hatten offers an illustration of dedicating the hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to a single course, which aligns with the structured approach typically associated with traditional in-person classes. Dr. Hatten contends that without such a timetable, individuals may either delay their work or become excessively absorbed in it, making it difficult to disconnect. Therefore, he suggests establishing specific time blocks. Alongside allocating time for completing assignments, it is also advisable to set aside a distinct time for reviewing the tasks related to each class, which facilitates the creation of a weekly schedule. This proactive method ensures that everything is noticed and completed.

3- Seek Virtual Interactions With Your Peers 

Undoubtedly, the opportunity to study with peers in the library or seek immediate clarifications from classmates is presently unavailable. However, it is feasible to create virtual connections through platforms such as GroupMe or Microsoft Teams to maintain the essence of collaboration and community.

4- Use The ‘Chunking’ Strategy To Section Out Tasks 

The idea behind “chunking” is to divide a substantial task or a significant amount of information into smaller, more manageable portions. Instead of continuously gazing at a computer screen for three straight hours, Dr. Hatten advises students to adopt a structured approach to “chunk” their time. Dr. Hatten elaborates that this strategy involves concentrating on one class, specifying a particular task, and then offering oneself a reward upon its completion. To illustrate, he recommends taking breaks to savor a coffee, or snack, engage in a brief workout, or simply stepping away for approximately thirty minutes before returning to address the next segment.

5- Find Ways To Stay Motivated 

Despite the availability of various methods for creating a daily schedule and staying productive, there are times when motivation wanes, making it difficult to finish tasks. Dr. Park, an expert in designing motivational techniques for online course assistance, offers insights into the factors contributing to this issue. He clarifies that online course help inherently entails independent learning, which can result in a feeling of isolation from both peers and instructors. This physical and emotional detachment frequently leads to various motivational obstacles. Dr. Park advises individuals to initially recognize periods of reduced motivation and subsequently pinpoint the root causes. He also presents several strategies that students can use during such circumstances.

6- Try To Increase Your Interest In The Work 

From time to time, you might come across an assignment or task that initially seems dull. Instead of simply letting it go as time goes by, contemplate how you can turn this assignment or task into something engaging. Embracing this method involves using your creativity to creatively improve the quality of the work you will present.

7- Make The Work You’re Doing Online More Personally Significant 

When you experience a lack of motivation, it’s usually because you feel detached from a particular assignment or task. Dr. Park recommends that students in this situation take some time to reflect on how the assignment can hold significance for their future. “You should find a way to connect the task to your current interests,” Dr. Park recommends. For example, if you are in graduate school, you could consider using these completed assignments or tasks as content for conference presentations.

8- Imagine Yourself On A Path Toward Mastering The Subject 

This form of dialogue arises when you verbalize your thoughts concerning the goals you want to reach. Typically, this internal conversation begins with a question such as, “What will be the result of finishing this assignment?” Dr. Park demonstrates how answering this question can set off a chain of thoughts, beginning with the assignment’s grade, then the course grade, and ultimately leading to the achievement of your desired job after graduation. “This way of thinking leads you to conclude that this isn’t just a duty, but a requirement to achieve my objectives,” Dr. Park elaborates.

Keep A Positive Frame Of Mind

9- Problem-Solve On Your Own 

When transitioning to online work, it’s important to remember that most questions can be resolved by thoroughly reading instructions and reviewing each module. While professors as your online class takers are available to help with inquiries, instead of sending them numerous emails throughout the day for every issue, it may be more effective to first try solving the problem on your own through a Google search.

10- Focus On Your Self-Care 

It’s completely fine if you feel the need to step away from your computer for a few hours or even choose to take a day off to rest. Giving yourself the opportunity to recharge is essential, and there’s no need to feel any guilt about it.

11- Have Compassion For Others 

Remember that people everywhere are going through situations similar to what you’re currently facing. Show understanding and patience toward those who might not be accustomed to video chat arrangements or who may need extra time to adjust to this unfamiliar “new normal.”

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