With classes moved online for the time being for many students, and online classes even heading into the fall semester, some people may not be as comfortable with online learning as others. People learn in different ways, and online learning can be very different than in-person learning. That being said, there are things you can do to improve your online learning experience and get the most out of it. It may not be the same as in-person, but that’s okay.
Remember, while Dissertation Editor cannot take your classes or do your work, if you’re having trouble with online learning, we can help work with you to review concepts or materials. Our consultations can help clarify questions you might have or act as a tutoring session.
Here are some tips to help make your online learning experience the best it can be.
Treat an online course just as you would an in-person one. If you’ve never taken an online course before, you may be tempted to treat it differently – or even as “less than.” This could not be further from the truth. These classes require dedicated time and work, and should be treated just like an in-person class. Block off scheduled time each week for the class: for lectures, discussions, discussion board posting, reading, assignments, and other course requirements. Don’t blow it off just because it’s online.
Make sure you have reliable internet. This might seem obvious, but make sure that you have a strong WiFi connection, and save important documents regularly to cloud storage or Google documents. Make sure you have your instructor’s contact information handy in case you run into trouble and need to let them know. If you are worried about finances and internet access, talk with your professor and/or your internet provider about options.
Get organized and manage your time wisely. With online classes, students may find it a little harder to hold themselves accountable or manage their time. The increased flexibility of online classes can be good – you can make your own schedule – but if you’re not organized, it can spell trouble. Get a planner or organization system and mark down when your assignments are due and any other obligations you have. Create a weekly schedule and stick to it. Check out our post about getting organized here.
Create a dedicated workspace. Create a space that is only for you and your work. It can be a corner of your living room, the dining room table (if not in use), or an alcove in the basement. Find a space that is your workspace; when you are there, you are at work. Check out our blog post about this here. Try to eliminate distractions – get headphones and listen to white noise, buy noise-canceling headphones, turn your cell phone off, have your partner keep the kids busy – whatever you need to do to focus on your learning and work.
Connect with others. Just because your class is online, it doesn’t mean you can’t connect with others in your class. Participate in online discussions, participate in Zoom chats if the class has them, and actively participate in the class. If you really liked someone’s comments or writing, let them know! If there is a social media group for the class, join it. Get to know your fellow classmates, even if it’s not in-person.
Take frequent breaks. It’s tempting to sit in front of the computer to just get everything done, but when your class is online, and then you have to write a paper or do research, that adds up to a lot of time in front of a screen. Get up, take a walk, get some fresh air, watch a television show – something to get you away from the computer for a bit. This will help your performance and motivation instead of overloading you.
Reach out if you need help. Everyone has trouble with a class from time to time. Even if your class is online, don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance. If you have a question about something, ask your classmates or your professor. If you’re having trouble with a reading, shoot your professor a respectful email with specific questions. If you need significant assistance like tutoring, see if your school provides online assistance. (Hint: Dissertation Editor might be able to help, too!)
Here at Dissertation Editor, we’ve worked with thousands of students who are online learners and are here to help you navigate your online learning experience, whether it’s your first class or your last class. Contact us today to learn more!< It's Summer! Here's How to Stay Motivated Setting Up Your Outdoor Workspace >