Learning online can be challenging. In face-to-face classes, you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally by leaving your home and going to your school. On the other hand, online classes are in the comfort of your room. This is why you need a lot of discipline to make the most of your experience.
Since you are at home, in the middle of class, you may be distracted by the thought of easily accessible food. This is one of the major problems faced by college students today.
So, how can you stay focused during an online class?
Here are some tips that will help you:
1. Set up an Ideal Workspace
Don’t stay in your bedroom to do your work! You may be tempted to lie down to sleep.
This will help you to set up a specific place in your home for study. If your living space allows, find an area outside your bedroom or away from the kitchen.
Think of this place as an online school-centered area. Make sure it is a quiet workplace where you will not be distracted by any noise around.
You can get a lamp to improve lighting and avoid stress on your eyes. Also, make sure you have a table and a chair so you can sit for long periods of time.
This is a big step towards staying focused for an online class.
2. Have a Dedicated Study Time
When creating a routine, pattern if you do face-to-face classes after the schedule. Adhering to a simple on-campus schedule will make you more productive while studying online.
Flexibility is an advantage of online learning, but it is also a major cause of delays and laziness among students. When you create a schedule and stick to it, it will help you adapt to the needs of your new learning environment without being distracted.
The process is as simple as scheduling a day to complete each task. When it’s time to work on one project, don’t do another. Make sure you start with what you set aside to do at that time.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Leaving the TV on and studying at home is like shooting yourself in the leg. Your dedicated study room should be away from electronic noise.
Also, set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode until you have completed the task for the day. Frequent notifications from your phone can be very confusing. Also, if you get confused you can fool yourself into scrolling through a social media page for hours on end.
Nowadays, social media can be one of the biggest confusions for many people. Because it has become a part of our daily lives, it is difficult to give up. However, you may decide to ignore the temptation to use social media until the end of the day assignment and class.
In general, confusion makes it easier for you to delay. So, avoid them at any cost.
4. Reward Yourself
Pause the study sessions at 25-minute intervals, then reward yourself with a five-minute break. Also known as the Pomodoro strategy, this time management approach can be a quick way to build productivity habits.
Research shows that there are many benefits to taking a five-minute break after a long study session.
So, take it easy and don’t overwork your mind. You do not have to complete a complete module in one day. When you take short breaks in between, it will help you relax. As a result, you may come back with renewed energy and, at times, a whole new perspective on your assignment.
5. Use a Timer
There is a significant amount of research out there that suggests that tracking while working and taking breaks can increase productivity. Doing so will give you insight into how you spend your day.
We recommend using time tracking software to help you identify common time wasters. There are apps that monitor the programs you use and the websites you visit. Using such a program will help you to be aware of non-productive activity throughout the day.
6. Ask for Help
When you need help with a course, contact your teacher or your classmates who are actually studying. Most online learning platforms have a chat section where you can ask your questions.
Not being able to see your teachers and classmates in person should not hinder your learning. Instead, make it a habit to ask questions when you do not understand something.
If you become more proficient while studying in a group, contact your classmates and set up virtual meetings with them. In a study group, people can hold each other accountable.
Establish a relationship and ask questions. Don’t shy away from connection building. You will be surprised to know that most of your classmates will appreciate a study friend.
7. Take Handwritten Notes
Always carry a pen and notebook with you during online classes. Ideally, you should have a separate notepad for each subject.
You can resort to typing your notes, but writing with a pen and paper helps you learn. This method allows you to pay more attention to details and remember information quickly.
8. Catch Some Sleep
Do you believe that sleep is important for your learning?
Research from the US National Institutes of Health shows that the amount of sleep a college student receives is one of the strongest predictors of academic success. Adequate sleep plays an important role in reducing memory loss. Avoid reducing your sleep time by taking an online class.
Instead, plan to get a good night’s sleep to make up for the night’s sleep deprivation.
9. Update Your Technology
It is confusing to start dealing with technical issues while a class is running. You can’t focus on an online class when you can’t hear or see properly. So, make sure you update your apps and check your internet connection
Get the necessary information in advance about the online platforms that your professors use for discussion. Also, watch videos to become proficient with the tools to avoid confusion after your class starts.
Also, stick to your professor’s schedule instead of watching later recorded classes. Whenever you join a live online class, you will be encouraged to interact and participate.
If you keep these tips in mind, you will be able to make the most of your online learning. There are tools and techniques you can use to make sure you get the most out of your experience