It is no secret that many students feel overwhelmed when they make a sudden transition to online learning.
Learning online can present challenges. However, here are some strategies and tips from USF Instructional Technology faculty members James Hatten and SanghoonPark, PhD to help you navigate the transition to online learning.
You can set yourself up to succeed from the beginning
- Set up a learning environment conducive to productivity
It’s not ideal to do your assignments in a lazy position while simultaneously watching Netflix. Dr. Hatten, a specialist in online teaching and learning, suggests that students choose a space in their own homes that is free from distractions.
Dr. Hatten said, “The couch may not be the best place for you to be at.” “Get up, get out of your chair and find a place in the house where you can work.”
- You should establish a schedule to complete and review assignments
A person can experience high levels of stress if they are taking on three different courses simultaneously. But this can easily be avoided by setting aside specific times for each class. Dr. Hatten shared one example: Dr. Hatten suggested that you work on one class between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Students can use this schedule to create a structure not found in traditional, in-person classes.
Dr. Hatten explains, “My belief that most people end-up either procrastinating (or getting too involved) that they won’t shut off (their computers).” Have a time frame.
You should also set aside some time to go over each assignment so you can create an agenda for each week. You won’t forget to turn in something if you do this.
- Try to have virtual conversations with your peers
It’s not possible to study in a group with your peers or get on-the spot clarifications from classmates while you are away. To maintain that sense of community and collaboration, however, it is possible to form virtual interactions using platforms such as GroupMe and Microsoft Teams.
- You can use the “chunking” strategy to break down tasks
Chunking refers to dividing large tasks into smaller units. Instead of staring at the computer screen for three hours, Dr. Hatten recommends that students “chunk” their time following a particular pattern.
Dr. Hatten said, “Work in one class, find a task, and reward yourself at end.” “So, what I mean is that you should get up and have some coffee. Get a snack. Go for a run. You can then come back and complete the next portion.
Keep Motivated by These Ideas
Although there are many ways to build a routine, and to maintain productivity, it is possible to lose motivation and find yourself struggling to accomplish your task. Dr. Park’s research centers on motivational strategies for online learners. He explains the reasons why this may happen to students.
He says, “Online courses basically means that you are learning apart from others.” “Isolation from your peers and instructors, that physical and emotional distance, can cause many motivational problems.”
Dr. Park suggests that people first recognize when motivation is low, and then identify the reasons. These are some of the strategies Dr. Park recommends for students.
- Try to increase your interest and passion for the job
You may find it tedious to go over an assignment or task. Instead of just letting it slide, think about ways you can make the assignment or task more engaging. This strategy allows you to use your imagination and modify the work you submit.
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