Many students around the world are now studying online during the COVID19 pandemic. For many, this can be a big change – but, we must try to make the most of it! So, here are the top 5 best tips for getting through online courses during times of COVID19 and otherwise! Hopefully, these will be beneficial to international students and domestic students alike and will motivate you to keep working hard.
1. Plan what you’re going to do each day
One of the most important tips for studying both in-person and online is to know what you want to get done that particular day. Generally, a good rule can be to plan a day ahead using a method of your choice – this could mean using Google Calendar, a sticky note list, a paper agenda, or any other method of task planning. Going into each day knowing what you need to saves time determining deadlines in the morning, and may help you feel motivated to get started on work during the day.
When planning tasks, you may choose to break them down further into smaller goals. This can be less overwhelming. For example, seeing “Finish research paper by Wednesday” may feel rather daunting especially in comparison to “Complete research paper introductory paragraph.”
2. Study outside when you can
Doing your online courses outside has the benefits of giving you some fresh air, sun, and a new study environment. So, if you’re able, set up an outdoor work station on your deck or patio during those sunny days! Reading, writing and listening to course content can feel much more exciting if you’re able to do it alongside a fresh lemonade and under the sunshine. If you don’t have access to a patio or deck, try listening to review videos or lectures while laying down in the grass and tanning. Evidently this is not optimal for taking notes, but is good for active listening exercises and review.
3. Do your readings and take notes on them
The third tip is to be sure you are doing your readings, and while you are, that you’re taking thorough notes on all the readings. Taking notes in detail can help you speak up in online tutorials which may be much more common now, and this participation can award you marks! Further, taking notes while doing readings is a great way to compile sources for future papers. With online courses, it’s possible there will be more papers due to the lack of presentations, so having some research already done thanks to readings can make your paper research and writing much shorter.
4. Listen to your lectures in segments
Next, a great tip for online lectures is to listen to them in segments, if the lectures are being delivered asynchronously. If you have a 2-hour lecture to listen, try to listen to them in 20-minute intervals with short 5-10 minute breaks. During breaks, you can make a cup of tea, iced coffee, get a snack, or even take a quick stretch. Having breaks between segments will help refresh your brain for the next round of listening and note-taking! Listening to the whole lecture at once may mean you zone out, and forget to take notes as you’re listening.
5. Create a comfortable and compelling study space
A final tip is to create a comfortable and compelling study space to motivate you and comfort you while doing your online courses! To do this, try adding some of your favourite items to your desk such as a plant, candle, favourite pens and notebooks, and perhaps even several photos or paintings above your desk that motivates you! This may include quotes from famous individuals in your area of study, for example.
These 5 tips could be changemakers for keeping students on track of their schoolwork and extracurriculars while continuing to social distance themselves. Hopefully, they are a benefit to the standard school routine, and that they create ideas for new habits and tips that can improve their marks as well as their motivation for doing school work.
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