By Sydney Black
Entering this school year, many students have concerns over how they can effectively engage with their classes in the world of e-learning. Fear not: this is the ideal time to introduce habits that could boost productivity while still learning the material that is key to success in your studies. Furthermore, it is also a great time “to learn adaptability, flexibility, ambiguity, and independence,” says Mrs. Rentz, a Social Studies teacher. While there are many things you could do to elevate your time e-learning there are a few tips that are essential.
Set up a Workspace
While e-learning, it is easy to become distracted by your surroundings whether that be other family members or surrounding technology, such as a television or desktop computer. A well set up workspace easily pushes away distractions. When deciding where to do your work there a couple of factors to consider. First, you should think about what surrounds your workspace. Though intuitive, it is important to make sure that it is located in a quiet space with few electronics or objects that will get in the way of your learning. Secondly, it is important to consider who else is at your house and if there will be any potential noise. It is far easier to circumvent any potential issues if you are aware of them beforehand. Finally, make sure the space has ample lighting and an internet connection. This is a valuable part of your workspace as connection issues can easily lead to missed content. The most important part of your workspace is that it works for you. As long as you are able to stay attentive throughout your classes, you will end up being successful at e-learning.
It is admittedly harder to learn through a screen rather than in person. One way of doing so is taking the initiative to stay engaged with teachers and peers. Audrey Goldberg, a sophomore, notes that it’s crucial “to have good communication with your teachers. It’s okay to email them with questions or to ask for help.” Small group tutorials at the beginning and end of each day offer an opportunity to master the content you find difficult and receive answers to questions you may have in person or over a virtual platform. It is as easy as making an appointment. After your classes go over the material taught that day to reassure yourself that you can comprehend lessons and stay up to date with material. Staying engaged is also making sure you are self-motivated to complete work regardless of the resources you may have access to. Alex Berkman, a Junior adds “while it is challenging, there is nothing more important than making sure we are always on top of your stuff, ready to encounter the next challenge ahead.”
The nature of the new schedule means that classes do not meet every day, so it is easy to let the lack of physical interaction in classes equate to procrastination. Northeastern University found that “Though you can be flexible as to when you choose to complete your work during the week, you can’t put it off indefinitely.” Needless to say, this can lead to missing assignments or issues following the material introduced in classes. However, this can be easily mitigated through a commitment to tracking assignments and organizing work. Allie Cooper, a sophomore, notes that “When we were completely at home, I liked to write down every assignment I was planning on doing, and checking items off one by one.” Additionally, it is helpful to write down a timeline for each of your assignments so you do not wind up writing an English paper the day before it is due. Methods like these can quickly and effectively assuage concerns, while also developing habits that can be transferred into your daily life.
Ultimately, e-learning presents challenges to the way students learn. However, there are four steps that you can take to overcome this: set up a workspace, stay engaged, stay organized, and stay motivated. Not only can you improve your virtual learning experience, but you can also integrate better practices into your routine.