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5 Tips for Online Learning

Online learning. “The way of the future.” While scholars predicted long ago that technology would do away with face-to-face classroom learning, the traditional vehicle of education remains the preference for many. And for countless students nationwide, this week is the first where they must adapt to utilizing e-books, video lectures and discussion forums. This is quite an adjustment. And the coronavirus has forced online learning to be the mechanism of education for the foreseeable future. So how do we capitalize on the moment? How do we engage our minds and spark creativity within the walls of our own homes? It’s not going to be easy. So here are 5 tips to maximize your online education.

1. Check your email daily.

This is critical. The special instruction and detailed explanation that you’re used to receiving from your professor before or after the lecture simply will not exist anymore. This will all be done via email. So check, check, check your email at least once a day to ensure that you’re doing everything that is required.

2. Dedicate time and space to your learning.

It’s important to set healthy boundaries around your school time. Block off a time frame for your textbook reading, a time to listen to lectures, and a time to write assignments for each class and stick to it. Tell your family members, “I’m going to class,” and get in the zone. Pretend like you are actually in class, and prioritize that time. 

After your time slot is secure, choose a space for your studies. Perhaps you already have an office space in your home–now is your time to actually use it! (Be honest, it gets less use than you originally expected. But that’s ok! Move the stacks of paper–it’s the office’s time to shine!) And maybe you don’t have an office. Find a corner in your basement where you can focus, and claim it! 

Dedicating boundaries with your space and time will tremendously help you maximize your online education.

3. Engage with your online community.

Community is so, so important. You cannot step foot on our campus, or any other Christian college campus for that matter, without hearing it. The importance of learning together does not change even though you are not in the same physical place as your classmates. In fact, if there is ever a time to dial-up peer-to-peer interaction, it’s now!

So what does that look like?

It looks like taking extra time to meaningfully respond to your cohorts in discussion forums. It looks like reaching out to your professor when you are really struggling with a concept instead of sweating about it in isolation. It looks like sharing the stimulating content you learned that day with your family at the dinner table that night. Invite your community into your online learning experience, and be hopeful that beautiful conversations will transpire as a result.

4. Stay on schedule.

Are there any procrastinators out there? We love you, but this is not the time to put all of the semester’s assignments on hold until the last possible minute. Don’t treat remote learning like an extended spring break. Your classes are still in session. If you check out now, you are only hurting yourself: 

  1. You will experience heaps of stress at the end of the semester when you are trying to get everything started and finished at the last possible minute.
  2. The quality of your education and your ability to retain what you’re learning will take a major hit. Learning takes time.

5. Contact the library for supplemental resources.

Did you know that the Grace College library staff is still accessible to you during this time? Now you can access the library from your own home. If you need information from an academic journal, periodical, or book that you can’t access from home, the librarians will be ready and available to scan and email you those resources. Talk about incredible service!

You can contact the library to request resources at library@grace.edu.

Follow these five tips, and make the most of your education from home. Happy online studies!

Tagged With: Campus Life, Connected Community, Education, Service