The modern studying process has entered a brand new level, which requires a variety of skills to succeed and get into the swing. A massive shift to e-learning that happened 2 years ago made 50% of US students go online to keep up with their studies. A change of learning environment for its online version, the emergence of new challenges, and the need to get used to them as quickly as possible without loss of studying efficiency - all that has landed on students’ heads. Still, it would be unfair to say that e-learning is deprived of benefits - it just takes time to see them all.
Statistics show that the online shift has come to settle, as the eLearning market is growing rapidly and steadily. So if you still lack a clear vision of how to successfully incorporate into the e-learning routine and stay sane, this article will fill your online learning gaps.
Basic E-Learning Traps and How to Avoid Them
When entering an online dimension of their studies, most students feel kind of lost and unprepared, others assume that there’s nothing new to be aware of, and keep studying as if things stay the same. However, e-learning is quite tricky, so mind these pitfalls before starting off:
Taking it Easy
There are a number of factors that make studying online sound like an easy game. But in fact, e-learning requires even more dedication as you are 24/7 surrounded by distractive “homely” objects and spaces.
Not Creating a Proper Study Space at Home
Concentration comes not only from the inside but mostly from the environment we create to stay motivated for learning. So do not neglect cleaning up your space and dividing it into rest/study zones.
The absence of eye-to-eye interaction with a teacher may feel like nobody’s watching you and cheating comes to mind. In fact, cheating is still obvious for a teacher and by turning to it you just ruin your reputation.
Lack of interaction, again, makes you feel a bit isolated and invisible. Psst… they can see you. You’re still a part of your class and your active participation is by no means less necessary than in an offline classroom.
The biggest difficulty of online education is to remember that its efficiency shouldn’t differ from the offline one. Staying at home, don’t put deadlines and tasks off, thinking that you have plenty of time for that, That’s a trap.
Habit Portrait of a Successful Online Student
The transition to e-learning requires a major change of habits or rather keeping the offline studying habits “on” even if a cozy and relaxing home atmosphere tells you to turn them off. Here are some tips on how to keep getting A’s when studying from home.
Work Out a Schedule
Time management is the cornerstone of online learning. Whatever it is you have to do connected with studying or resting, put it down and create a time limit for each task. Staying at home usually messes things up, that’s why it’s necessary to keep to a schedule.
Don’t Lose Your Balance
Online student success relies on a number of pillars, among which balance is the top one. Breaking the fine line between work and rest will result in anxiety, a feeling of constant lack of time, and procrastination. Try to find the golden mean and stick to it.
Keep in Touch With Other Students
While studying online it may seem that all the difficulties you experience are solely yours. It makes you nervous and upset. That’s why it’s vital not to lose touch with the community to see that all the students feel the same. Another benefit is that together you can resolve any studying issue and save up some time.
Keep Distractions To Zero
Of course, you can’t create a vacuum around you, but at least you can turn off the smartphone notifications and put a block on apps like Instagram and TikTok to give yourself some privacy and sharpen concentration.
Use Additional Resources
One of the most widespread school and college tips for comfortable and efficient online learning is to use the tools the Internet has to offer. The variety of platforms, apps, podcasts, YouTube channels can make your studying routine much easier to cope with.
Useful Apps for Online College Students
Following the above-mentioned tip, let’s be more precise about gems you can find in AppStore/GooglePlay to make e-learning as light and effective as possible.
Online education is all about planning, crossing done tasks, and being well aware of deadline dates. MyHomework helps you organize everything you need in one place to save your brain from overload.
Every day you get to create and save dozens of documents, praying that nothing happens to them. Dropbox is a reliable cloud repository for each file with an automatic download option. No paper will be lost.
SelfControl is something that the majority of students lack while studying from home. This app simply blocks the chosen app for a period of time you set. One little thing: once done, you won’t be able to remove the block until the timer goes off.
College assignments are all about essays, research papers and other things that need a reference page at the end. EasyBib saves you time and completes this tiring task on its own. You’ll thank us later.
It’s the simplest and most impeccable note app you’ll ever meet. Evernote is an easily organized space where you can create and save class notes, or whatever it is you need without hustle and mess. Pure perfection.
Passing Online Tests With Flying Colours
Online tests are an integral part of e-learning. Passing an online test might seem easy at first glance, but actually, it requires completing a number of steps before getting an A. Follow up to learn the strategy.
Prepare for Online Format
Here we don’t mean that you should study the test material beforehand. It’s way too obvious. Focus on the technical information about the time, place, and period of the test. Make sure you know which format is implied, surprises during the test aren’t the best thing to experience. If you feel anxious, try taking similar tests on the same platform if possible, that will add a couple of points to your confidence. And last but not least - find a convenient place where nothing will distract you.
Of course, in-class you have to be focused too. But being out of such an environment requires concentrating on a task even more. Don’t forget about time not to hustle afterward. Pay attention that the program works well and you’re not out of it. If so, contact the supervisor. Another great tip is to use Word or GoogleDocs for writing tasks to avoid losing your work because of a sudden system bug.
Do Not Neglect Self-Reflection
Don’t lose touch with your work after you push the “submit” button. If test results are available within a moment, take your time to analyze mistakes, point out weak spots and clear up some things with a tutor. If you’re sure that you’ve got an A, but it looks like an F, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher or professor to check if there have been any system bugs that took away some of your points.
Resources to Boost Test-Taking Skills
The above-mentioned tips are just a part of what you can do to ensure a great final result. Visit the following resources to find out more strategic points and lifehacks for successful online test-taking.
- 16 Online Test Taking Tips
- Test Taking Strategies
- Online Quiz and Test Taking
- Apps and Websites for Test Prep and Studying
- 10 Study Hacks for Final Exams
- Test Taking Tips
- Tips for Taking Online Exams
Combating Student Stress
Studying is stressful itself. E-learning might take stress levels even higher. What to do to be as cool as a cucumber while taking another test or being snowed under an avalanche of deadlines?
Make Weekly Schedules
Stress comes with the understanding that you have too many tasks and too little time. The first tip is not to exaggerate the situation. Putting all the tasks and deadlines on paper or organizing them digitally will show you that you’re quite capable to do them all in time and even have a chance to relax in between
Divide Massive Tasks
Our brain always panics and puts off large and complicated tasks till the latest moment possible. I bet you know that this scenario works badly. Instead, face your fears as early as possible and see that the work is not as huge as it seemed. Break the task into pieces and complete them steadily without hustle and stress.
Online learning doesn’t mean sitting at home 24/7. The pandemic restrictions in most countries are milder than they used to be even 6 months ago, so get outside, meet up with friends or engage yourself in something enjoyable.
See the Benefits
It sometimes seems that e-learning is a constant emerging into tests, essays, and deadlines, with no ray of light. If you start having these thoughts, you need to reread the tip above. Then try to find positive things in online learning, like being autonomous, free to create your own schedule, and manage your time as it is convenient for you. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Mindfulness Apps and Resources
If you can’t deal with stress yourself, try one of these apps and visit the resources we’ve put here for you. They are sure to help.
Breethe - is one of the top mindfulness apps, which has an array of options, videos, podcasts, sounds, and pictures to ensure your relaxation after a long day of online studies.
Headspace - is another famous application for light meditation, regaining balance and positivity.
Calm - is aiming to teach you how to sleep soundly to be prepared for tomorrow.
Each of these resources is targeted at explaining the essence of student stress and answers the most widespread questions on how to reach peace of mind while studying online.
Time-Management Strategy For Online Students
We’ve already mentioned time management as one of the crucial points for online students’ success. Here we go a bit further and introduce a strategy to it.
Don’t Keep Tasks in Mind
First and foremost, write your tasks down. There are plenty of apps that are already there to help you organize your studies and avoid brain explosion.
All the tasks can’t be equally important. Divide them into groups like “urgent” and “can wait”. Without prioritizing you’ll always feel anxious about lack of time for everything.
Study While Waiting
If you are out, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, traveling, or queuing, fill in that period of time with some simple study tasks, so that you won’t even feel you’ve done them.
Studying is different for everyone. Some feel energized in the morning, others - closer to noon or at night. Study yourself to see what’s the best time for you to accomplish tasks quicker and easier.
Best Time Management Apps
There are dozens of great apps to help you organize and use your time to the fullest. Here’s a couple of our favorites which include an array of useful options for both time and task management.
How to Stay Social While Staying at Home
Studying implies not only hitting the grindstone but also communicating with peers, socializing to the fullest. E-learning puts socializing into another dimension which may be not as enjoyable as live meetings but it’s still something. Here are some ideas on how to keep in touch with other students and feel your community.
Be Active in Text Chats
Since texting is the most common way of interaction in class, engage in them to make yourself visible and warm-up discussions.
Engage in Video Conferences
Video conferences are a much greater way of socializing and seeing people’s real emotions instead of stickers. Turn on your webcam to feel a part of it!
Share Your Struggles
E-learning struggles and challenges are the topics that have the biggest student unifying power. Share yours and be sure to find out that you’re not alone.
Clubs for Online Students
Sometimes you need something more than communication in class chats. If you are looking for a wider community where you can share your interests and ideas, check out the following online student clubs to keep you socialized.
- Second Life
- College Blender
- Alpha Phi Omega
- National Communication Association
- Alumni Associations
E-learning is not something you succeed in naturally. It requires time, dedication, a wise approach, and a dozen of other things students have to understand and implement during their studies. While some say that online education is a burden, which in fact is arguably efficient compared to offline learning, others feel great studying from home and get quality knowledge and skills. Why do experiences differ so much? Because you have to be consistent and take your working routine into your own hands. Only then you’ll stop wasting your time and start enjoying the process.