Written By: Eleanor Pratt
With the majority of colleges offering online courses for the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have had to adjust extremely quickly to a new kind of learning. While many got a taste of what online learning is like during the spring semester, not many students were prepared for a semester almost entirely online in the fall. Students are having to battle things like Zoom fatigue, a lack of social connection, and much more. Luckily there are some tips and tricks that students can use to make the best out of being a remote learner.
One of the most important things a student can do as a remote learner is to create a schedule and stick to it. Online learning can trick students into feeling more laid back and less concerned about work, which can lead to panic later about missed lectures and assignments. To avoid this, students should make their own personal schedule that includes things like when they will attend class, when they will study, and when they will have time for friends and family. An incredibly helpful app is My Study Life, which helps students keep track of information about each of their classes–such as what time, the professor, etc.–as well as keep track of all of their assignments for each class. The app is extremely easy to use and is free to download on most smartphones.
Zoom fatigue is one of the worst aspects of online learning, but there are ways to fight it. To help focus try to put away any distractions like cell phones or even other homework you need to finish. Trying to multitask during Zoom lectures will only cut down how well you retain the information your professor is trying to give you. Engaging in class can help Zoom fatigue and will help you stay alert and ready to learn. Taking notes during the lecture, answering the professor’s questions, and asking your own questions will help the time pass much quicker and will distract you from staring at a screen for hours a day.
One of the very best things students can do to become better remote learners is to contact their professors about any questions or concerns they might have. Learning online can be an incredibly confusing and frustrating experience, but more often than not a simple email to a professor can clear up a lot of confusion and will make a student’s life much easier. That being said, it is important for students to always be respectful in communication with their professors and to realize that this online learning situation is just as stressful for them as it is for us.
When we can go back to fully in-person learning is anyone’s guess, but for now remote learning is our reality, and we have to make the most of it. By trying to stay organized, staying engaged, and utilizing helpful resources, remote students can be just as successful as if they were on campus.