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What are some study tips for online learners?

The transition from in person learning to online has been difficult. I am stressed because my teachers gave me homework all at once and I can't complete all the assignments. I used to have high grades and now they are suffering #education #studying #study #studying-tips

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Larry L.’s Answer

Hello Tasfia,

You will want to develop a project management mentality when doing your assignments. What I mean by that is that even though you have a lot of assignments give each assignment a priority level and complete the assignments with the highest priority level first and stick to the order you determine unless something changes quickly.

You can base the priority on items like the due date of the assignment, amount of time it will take to complete the assignment how much will this assignment impact my grade in the class.

This is an unprecedented time in our lives, but don's get stressed out if possible we are all in this together.

I wish nothing but the best for you in all of your endeavors.

Larry
Thank you comment icon I wanted to thank you as soon as possible. Tasfia
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Suzanne’s Answer

Hi Tasfia,

I am married to a university professor and all of his classes are online now. It has been very disorienting for his students to be sure. I studied for my Master's degree online while working full time. I know you have a myriad of classes, you have been abruptly thrust into the online learning platform, and you are missing you physical school and friends. But I have a few tips:

1. Treat learning at home like you would a physical class. If your teachers have real-time classes, sculpt your other class work around those set time-points.
2. Print out (if you can) or save on your desk-top the syllabi for each class
3. Write a list in a dedicated notebook of the readings, assignments, tests for each class so you can track when you have competed tasks
4. Keep a physical calendar listing the days that assignments are due and that tests will be held.
5. Find out from your teachers the dates the homework assignments are due so you can sequence your work.
6. Email your teachers if you have questions, concerns, or just need help. Keep in communication!
7. Email your peers! Talk about what's going on. Find out how they are coping and what they do to keep fit and keep happy.

So, the key is to organize the work and then organize your time. Set up a workspace in your home as a dedicated home school. Make it as pleasant as possible. Keep a notebook of your assignments and a paper calendar of due dates.

I hope this helps!
Sue

Thank you comment icon Thank you I appreciate you. Tasfia
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Kei’s Answer

Hi Tasfia.

Here are some of the tips I can share:

1. During online classes, make sure you are in a quiet place where you can have undivided attention
2. Treat this session as if you are inside the classroom, take down notes, take screenhots if needed if your teacher is presenting something
3. Make a calendar and list all your homework and due dates. Complete them in chronological order based on what's due first
4. Reach out and ask for help from family members or friends
5. Set a study time daily so you can focus on getting things done

Hope that helps!
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Becky’s Answer

I completed three degrees online and I have tried to convey this information to others many times. Ultimately, you need to find your own groove and learn what environment best supports the way you learn.

Some people like dark quiet spots while others like to study to music. Any way you choose to study, you will need to limit distractions and work on a schedule. Those two things seem to be key when you talk to people who are successful at online studies. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you I appreciate your taking the time. Tasfia
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Kathryn’s Answer

Hello Tasfia,

You are not alone in this struggle! I made this transition several years ago and now I have 2 children who have suddenly forced into online schooling. Everyone has given you great advice.

Someone else said, treat your classes as you did while you were in a physical classroom. If you switched mid-year due to COVID, then continue the schedule you were maintaining while in class. If not, my advice is to set a schedule for each of your classes & follow it. Don't feel pressured to complete all your assignments in one day. This will ultimately lead to stress, frustration & can lead to sloppy work making your grades suffer.

In addition, please be sure you understand the instructor's requests. For example, when assignments are due (even the time of day can count), if you are required to post to class discussions and when you need to have those completed by.

You've got this & hang in there!

Katy
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Krasti’s Answer

Hi Tasfia,
There are a lot of great advice shared already. I do want to highlight and emphasize some key factors that I think will help you in online studying.

First, you should ask yourself, why are your grades suffering? Is it because you have too much assignments and too little time? If this is the case, try to look up some time management tips, such as blocking a specific time of your day to just study online and pacing yourself.

Is it because you are getting distracted at home and thus, not understanding the content fully? If so, try to find an isolated area where you can take your online course without getting distracted. Keep your phone away from you. Don't go browsing on other sites while your studying.

Is it because you are not engaging online as much as you were in a class setting? If so, try having a conversation with your teacher to see if there is anything that the teacher can do to help increase engagement level.

Is it because you don't like reading online? If so, try to print out the content so that you have it in front of you and can highlight and take notes.

There are many reasons why online learning can be difficult for some people. Narrowing it down to the reason why you might be affected negatively can help resolve it.

Krasti recommends the following next steps:

Identify the reason why online learning is impacting you negatively.
Create an action plan to work on the reason.
Talk to your teacher or parent about it for further insights and advice (good to get other people's perspectives who you can help you directly)
Thank you comment icon Thank you Krasti Tasfia
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Angela D.’s Answer

Hi Tasfia! Great question! I echo the previous smart advice. Here are my additional gentle recommendations. Frankly, one of the best strategies is time management for homework, assignments, essays/papers, and projects. An organizer/checklist will keep you focused toward deadlines. Prioritize. You don't need to study harder, but smarter. By doing so, you will free up a little more time for: precious sleep (crucial for memory formation/retention/retrieval); some exercise (endorphins are hormones/chemicals released by the brain that can relieve pain and stress); and more opportunities to prepare nutritious meals (you need brain food!). Okay, what I mean about studying smarter is outlined in the website below. Edutopia is an organization primarily for K-12 teachers to teach smarter, but also has great resources for students. A brief summary of smarter studying is to eliminate multi-tasking and engage in high intensity habits (pre-testing, spaced practice, self-quizzing, interleaving practice, and paraphrasing/reflecting). Short term mastery can be attained with easier, less effective studying techniques...which may be enough to get you through a quiz/test, but not for long term memory/mastery. I hope this helps...best, Dr. B

https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-research-backed-studying-techniques

P.S. I've taught online for years in higher ed and have been an online course evaluator as well. Virtual environments require certain skill sets and some professors/teachers just weren't prepared for this sudden shift through no fault of their own. Communication and feedback from students will be helpful so they can consider course adjustments now in real time and moving forward in the future. We listen to the voices of our students...after all, you're our first priority!
Thank you comment icon Thank you Angela Tasfia
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Simeon’s Answer

I think if I were you, I would reach out to each of your teachers and see which ones will be the most lenient with letting you catch up on your work. Then, I would start with the strictest teachers and work my way backwards toward the more lenient ones in terms of work completion. Also, I would start by looking for assignments you could complete in less than an hour and start by knocking out the quicker ones to build your confidence and earn a little credit in the eyes of the teachers. Any effort you can demonstrate that you want to pass will change many of their minds to offer you more leniency than they might have before. Don't overthink turning in the best material possible; focus on at a minimum completing everything first. A 70 might sound bad, but it's much easier to recover from than a 0. Plus, many teachers end up rounding up grades after the fact.
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