Adjusting to virtual learning

virtual learning

The remote learning that we started as an emergency last year will probably remain as the main method of learning until a certain period of time. We understand how daunting it can be for some people especially when you have experienced any of these challenges below during your recent virtual classes: 

  • Technical issues.
  • Distractions and time management.
  • Staying motivated.
  • Understanding course expectations.
  • Lack of in-person interaction.
  • Adapting to unfamiliar technology.

Keep reading our tips to make your virtual learning be more manageable.

  1. Find a daily schedule and a place that works best for you

According to a Washington Post, students should build a daily schedule around accomplishing tasks — not just when their next Zoom lecture is happening. Take some time to reflect on “your ideal universe” for finishing assignments and try to reflect on how you learn.

Once you create a weekly schedule, stick with it, because Zoom University can otherwise feel all-encompassing. A structured day will help you feel “more in control” over your coursework.

After you’ve settled “when” you work, move on to “where” you work. Find a room, a corner of a room, a desk, or another dedicated area where you only study.  

If at all possible, take your classes in a space where someone else is already studying — such as a roommate. It doesn’t matter if that person is taking a different course; you’re both working.  

2. Limit your screen time when possible

Hours spent on videoconferences can feel draining, and remote learning often requires a steady slog of lectures, study sessions, and working groups via webcam. For students, show up and take advantage of those opportunities to actually engage in those discussions. These classes that are designed to be online have a lot more engagement, even when they’re larger classes, and so it really is well worth being there.

Outside of class, readings and research often add hours of screen time to the day. It’s true that there are differences between reading on screen and on paper.

3. Spend more time outside online classes to socialize 

Online class doesn’t allow for the same happenstance conversations while walking around campus. You’re not going to run into a professor in the hallway or see your teaching assistant at the library. Students and faculty have to create those opportunities for casual social interactions this semester.

Think of the friends of friends you would say hi to while walking to your next class. Write their names down and send a text — or even call — to keep in touch.

While in lectures online, students might want to find the backchannels other classmates are using to talk about a course away from the watchful eye of the instructor. Backchanneling through texts or calls is proven to help students process material in the middle of class.

Online etiquette

Now just because you’re learning from the comfort of your home, doesn’t mean you can act and dress too casually. Let’s find out the etiquette list while learning virtually. 

1. Be respectful

It is essential to keep in mind the feelings and opinions of others that may differ from your own. Ensure that both of your oral and written communications throughout the class are delivered respectfully. 

2. Dress appropriately

The best part of actually getting into your uniform while online schooling remotely is that you’ll put yourself in the right headspace to be productive. Make sure you look presentable and well-groomed.

3. Mute your microphone when you’re not talking

There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing that echo noise from conflicting microphones. Save everyone from the ear-splitting madness by joining the meeting while on mute! Muting your microphone when you’re not speaking gives other participants the ability to chime in and share their thoughts without distraction or frustration

4. Choose a quiet location

It’s easy to forget that there is a mic picking up not only your voice but also your surroundings. Let your family members or roommates know your schedule so they will understand when they won’t see you around the living room or kitchen to attend a class in a quiet spot in your house 

5. Avoid food during virtual school

Nobody wants to see you stuff your mouth with your favorite snack while discussing assignments. Not only is it distracting to others, but you also won’t be able to focus on the task at hand because you’ll be worried about dropping crumbs all over your keyboard.

6. Stay seated and stay present

It may be tempting to check your emails or phone during a dull moment in a meeting, but don’t do it! You might miss out on key information or an opportunity to give input. If you’re using your webcam, use attentive body language: sit up straight, don’t make big extraneous movements, and don’t let your eyes wander too much.

7. Be prepared

Coming unprepared means missing an opportunity. Have notes in your book next to you, and bookmark anything you need for reference. Clear your desktop of unnecessary things.

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