How can you stay focused while learning online?

Monday, December 28, 2020

Many high schools have transitioned to online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students also opt for online degrees because they seek the flexibility and convenience that online learning promises.

Many high schools, colleges, and universities transitioned to online learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are ways that you can do well while continuing to learn online?

First, start off by establishing and maintaining a routine.

For first time online learners, it can be incredibly tempting to wake up only a few minutes before an early morning class starts and go on to take the entire class from bed. This is an absolute no-go! It will be way too easy to lose focus while in a place of rest.

Start your morning as if you were going to leave your house! Get up with enough time to wash your face, get dressed, maybe even take a short walk to wake yourself up. And don’t forget breakfast! 

Online learners who are also juggling full or part-time work responsibilities and family commitments will want to establish and set aside blocks of time during the regular week where they can dedicate themselves fully to their online classes.

Set up a workspace at home where you feel comfortable and are able to focus.

It is always recommended to avoid studying or attending your online classes from places where you rest such as your bed or the living room couch.

Your workspace, no matter how big or small, should be quiet, orderly and provide you with the peace you need to focus.

If you have nowhere else to set up but your bedroom, make sure you have a small desk to work on so you avoid working from bed.

Make sure you have the right technology available.

It will be incredibly challenging to focus on your online classes if your laptop or computer keeps disconnecting from the internet. Any issues that keep you from being able to hear or see properly as you take your online classes will get in the way of you being able to focus.

Having the right technology available also means being having access to any online learning management systems that your online classes use. Do your best to have an understanding of the online platforms that your online classes are utilizing to share online material. 

Get rid of distractions!

Close all applications, windows and tabs that you don’t need while you are taking your online classes. If you were in a class in person, would you be using your phone openly in front of your professor to scroll through Twitter or Instagram? Hopefully not. Just because you may able to get away with it while taking an online class does not mean you should do it. 

If you are living with others—whether they are your roommates, friends or family—do your best to let them know that you need to be given time and space when you are studying online. 

Try using different learning strategies.

If your online classes feature synchronous class sessions (live, real-time class sessions), attend the class! Even if the teacher choose to share a recording of the lecture later, it will help you to be truly present at the moment that the information is being shared. 

While you take your classes, take notes in the way that helps you most.

Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.

You may be learning online, but that does not mean you are alone. Reach out to your professors and peers when you’re not sure about something. If there is a concept or assignment you are struggling with, reach out!

Your teachers, counselors, peers and more are there to support you.

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