Top Tips for Online Learning
Tip 1: Treat the online lectures as you would the face-to-face lectures
Yes, this includes no getting out of bed one minute before the scheduled lectures/seminars!
Believe me, you will feel so much better getting up at a set time, getting ready for the day, maybe even going for a walk before joining the scheduled sessions. Another thing to think of – make sure you remember to have proper breakfast, lunch and dinner at usual times. You have no idea how many times I missed a meal and that only made me feel out of order and tired. Meals are important to keep your productivity up and get you through the day. Lastly, make sure you go to sleep at a reasonable time and start the days early rather than sleeping in. Create a routine that works for you and once you get used to it, it will be much easier to get things done.
Tip 2: Create a designated study space and stay organised
Find a room in your house that you can use as your study space. If you can avoid your bedroom (bed can be a huge distraction), choose another room, but if not, make sure you stay at your desk while working. Get rid of any distractions around you and only surround yourself with the absolute essentials. Have everything you may need for online lectures near you – this could be your laptop, headphones, notebook, pen, laptop charger, a bottle of water etc. Before starting to do any work/lectures, make sure you tidy it up and keep organised. Tidy desk – tidy mind!
Tip 3: Plan your schedule in advance to stay organised
I know, technically, there is nothing to plan because there is nowhere to go, however planning will trick your mind into thinking it’s the opposite of that and help you stick to your tasks! Depending on what helps you personally, you can plan out everything – to-do lists, daily or weekly schedules. Food times or sleep schedule can be included as well – especially if you tend to forget to eat or sleep at reasonable times.
Tip 4: Actively participate and ask for help when you need it
Like I mentioned before, you are not alone in the situation, so it is likely that whatever you’re feeling, your course mates are feeling the exact same way. For example, I was really struggling to participate in the seminar discussions because the number of people logged on the call was scaring me. However, you are studying for you, and by actively participating and sharing your answers, are helping yourself and possibly understanding the topics better which leads to performing on your assignments better. So, it is absolutely okay to feel shy or scared, but by asking for help when you need it and participating in the seminars (just like you would in face-to-face lectures), you are helping yourself and that is the most important thing. As one of my lecturers says – there are no dumb questions (even if you have to ask it a couple of times).
Tip 5: Take regular breaks and reward yourself after completing a task
I cannot specify this enough – breaks are ESSENTIAL. Don’t overwork yourself, listen to your mind and body and take a break when you need it. Go for a quick walk or have a tea break and come back to the task with a refreshed mind. You can tell me you don’t have time, but you do. The breaks don’t have to be long but it’s important to take your mind off your workload regularly.
Another thing that is important is rewarding yourself. You have to celebrate little wins, even if it’s hitting the word count for the day. Reward yourself – have a snack, watch a film, read a book, do what you love! Don’t forget to include this into your routine because all work and no play will only make your life harder.
At the end of the day, there is no commute to uni – use that time to take walks to clear your mind, reward yourself, take tea breaks or have an extra hour to sleep. There are positives to learning online too!
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