With the Coronavirus spreading havoc and disease throughout New York, a lot of educational institutions—us included—have begun offering online classes. It’s not the most conventional of approaches and it’s taking a while for both teachers and students to come to terms with these new dynamics. From what we understand, faulty internet connections and figuring out the software is only the beginning of the list of problems people are facing with respect to their schoolwork.
Normally, you’d be expected to come to school and attend your classes face to face with your teacher. The general environment in colleges and schools are usually designed to make sure that it’s easier for people to learn for as long as they are on the premises. Things aren’t as simple when you’re working from home—mostly because your home isn’t the most conducive for studying. Especially now that we’re shut up in our homes with our families, there’s plenty of noise and activity around the house. There’s no library to go and study at or follow up with your classes—but since we have no other choice in the matter—it’s up to us to take matters into our own hands.
At the end of the day, we don’t know how long the pandemic will last and so we need to create a system that can help us make the most of our online classes. That is the only way to make sure we don’t lose any time when it comes to preparing for our exams. So, let’s take a look at some of the steps we can take to make the most of our online classes.
1. Set up a Quiet Study Area
There’s less room to maneuver and ask your instructors to repeat certain concepts during online classes. Considering the hassle of bad internet connections and muting/unmuting speakers, you can’t interact as effectively with your teachers during a live online class compared to a face to face lecture. So, you should find a quiet spot in your home where no one’s going to distract you while you listen to what your instructors have to say.
It wouldn’t hurt to invest in a pair of noise cancellation headphones and staying close to your routers to minimize disruptions during the class. Sitting in a quiet area will also make it easier to pay attention to the lecture.
2. Invest in a Decent Internet Connection
There’s no point to sitting in an online lecture if your internet keeps dying on you. You should make sure to hire reliable internet service providers who can provide consistent internet access at the highest possible speeds so that you get better video/audio quality. With a high-quality A/V experience, you’ll find it easier to follow everything that your instructor has to say.
3. Make Sure That Your Computers Are Functional
Before you start taking classes, run a thorough systems check on your PCs to make sure that they give you the best possible performance. You shouldn’t work with lagging hardware and slow processing computers because that’s a surefire way of compromising on the educational experience. As the only interface between you and your instructors, having a smoothly running PC can go a long way in enhancing the learning outcomes from these online classes.
4. Try to Establish Email Correspondence with Your Instructor
Did your professor say something that you couldn’t catch? Did they go through a concept too quickly for you to keep up with it? You should make a note of all the problems that you’ve had throughout any lectures and email your instructors to help you out through email. It gives the instructor some space to formulate a proper answer to your question and you might even get some extra tips to give you a deeper insight into the problems that you’re trying to solve.
5. Always Revise Immediately After and Before Classes
This is a general piece of advice for all students—but it’s more important for online students because they don’t have access to the same school facilities. A lot of times, just being in school is motivation enough to revise and review the things taught in classes. In a time when there’s no clear-cut distinction between school, work and life at home—you’ll need to create a schedule that allows you to meet your academic goals.
So, you should make sure that you revise all of the concepts you’re taught after and before classes so that you can keep track of what’s being discussed. As you consistently refresh your concepts, you’ll find that you have a deeper understanding of the concepts that are introduced—which is possibly the only way you are guaranteed to pass your exams.
The fact that we’re all attending school from the comfort of our homes—while concerned about the Coronavirus—means that we won’t have the best educational experience. Despite these limitations, it’s quite possible for everyone to try to make the best of an inconvenient situation and act in their personal capacities to enrich their learning experience.
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