Just not in your pajamas, please, or how to study online
If there were no pandemic, universities would be full of students. Would any of them dare to come to school in pajamas? Probably not. Forced by circumstances to study online, some young people, however, feel they do not have to follow certain social rules. But it’s better to pull yourself together. It is a matter of self-discipline and respect – for yourself as well as for others. What else should you know about studying online? Here are some tips for you.
Surely you miss your university life, the corridor bustle, meetings your favorite lecturers, conversations, jokes or a shared coffee. That’s quite normal as humans are social creatures and need contacts with others.
However, we do not have much choice today. Due to the pandemic, learning takes place remotely and it is you who decides whether it will be effective and fun.
Switch on your camera
It is important that you can see the lecturer and other participants during the class and that they can see you as well. So, it’s better not to wear your pajamas or lie in bed, unless you are ill.
It is the facial expression, gestures, dramaturgy, etc. that create the class dynamics, mobilizes students and allows to establish a professor-student bond. It allows to build a community and maintain regular contacts between the lecturer and students additionally using e-mails, chats and forums. That’s why personal interactions are so valuable in the teaching and learning process. Only when you see each other can you get this type of proper interaction.
However, you need a good internet connection to see each other. If you have a problem with this, please change the provider. When you overcome technical barriers, it will be much easier for you.
Invest in sound quality
Good sound quality is fundamental. – During online classes you have to hear well, otherwise it spoils everything – emphasizes Marcin Antosiewicz, lecturer at Vistula University. When the sound quality is bad, you may not understand or hear something, miss the point, or react inappropriately. Good equipment is not expensive today. It is worth investing in. It’s a matter of your comfort and efficiency.
Make yourself comfortable
Distance learning has that advantage over traditional forms of learning that you can create a perfect environment for your studies. Choose a comfortable place, take care of proper lighting, and keep a cup of your favourite tea or coffee at hand. Make the learning time a pleasure, not just another hard chore. Air the room where you study before you start classes. It’s good for your brain as better oxygenation means greater efficiency and the ability to perform intensive intellectual work.
It is also important to tidy up your place of study. This will greatly help you concentrate.
– Learning should always be planned – says Marta Kozak-Gołębiowska, director of the Digital Education Center at Vistula University. Use your calendar to mark lectures and practical classes. Even if they are displayed in the University systems, you can still miss them.
It is also good practice to archive everything that really matters. Do it online, e.g., in the cloud and also offline, e.g., in specially created catalogs or binders for handnotes.
Track your progress – use a notebook, planner or online tool to write down the learning stages and tick them off after completing each task.
Keep an eye on the deadlines for submitting papers and projects as well as tests. Please, do bear in mind that missing deadlines may have a negative impact on the final grades.
Use your talents
Make notes on the computer when you learn, or even better by hand, because handwriting supports the memorizing process. On the other hand, making notes on the computer is more effective as it allows you not only to copy and save texts, but also take screenshots of important illustrations or diagrams.
Use your talents to support your online learning process. If you like to draw, make visual notes of the lectures. Use colours, drawings to better memorize the content. Auditory learners, on the other hand will surely find it helpful to listen to the recorded lectures. You can also record your own conclusions and notes on the voice recorder of your phone. Those with strong analytical minds should make notes in the form of tables and charts, and those who usually think over many things at once and like digressions should make notes in the form of a mind map.
When studying online, it is sometimes difficult to keep your motivation for learning. When you think that you have to complete an entire, large and complex course, you often refuse to learn it right away, the task seems too big to bear. – So, divide the process into small stages even as short as 15-20 minutes a day – advises Marta Kozak-Gołębiowska. Tick off each stage once you complete it, so that you can see your progress, and this will support your motivation.
Stay in touch with other students. Set up a group on the social media, support and motivate each other.
Contact the lecturers. Ask questions and share your doubts. They will definitely support you.
Reward yourself! For each completed task, exam or semester – grant yourself a smaller or larger reward. It really works.
Studying online is great
Studies are a great time in life. The most important thing is that you learn new things, broaden your horizons, meet people and discover yourself. Each form of learning has its advantages and limitations. Each of them is great. Online studies help you develop digital competences, self-discipline and time management skills. You also learn creativity. These competences are crucial in life. You will use them in future – and with success.