Many students may feel overwhelmed by the sudden switch to online instruction.
There are many challenges to learning from home. Here are some strategies and tips that USF Instructional Technology faculty members Sanghoon, PhD and James Hatten, Ph.D. recommend to help you make the transition to online education.
Start setting yourself up for success from the beginning
- Create a learning environment that is productive
If you want to be productive, it is not a good idea to work on assignments while sitting in a slump and watching Netflix simultaneously. Dr. Hatten is an expert in online learning and teaching. She recommends students pick a place in their home that is free of distractions.
Dr. Hatten states that the couch is not the best place to be. “Get up and make your home your office.
- Establish a time frame for reviewing and completing assignments
It is possible to feel high stress when you are working on multiple courses simultaneously. However, this can be avoided by dividing your time between each class. Dr. Hatten shared an example of working on one class from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Students can create a structure that is similar to traditional in-person classes.
Dr. Hatten states, “My belief is most people either procrastinate or get too involved that (their computers) won’t turn off.” Have a time limit.
It’s important to set aside time each week to review the assignments for your classes. This will ensure that you don’t forget to submit an assignment.
- Get in touch with your peers via virtual interaction
It is not possible to study with other classmates in the library, or receive on-the-spot clarifications by classmates during this period. You can still maintain that sense of community and collaboration by forming virtual interactions via platforms like GroupMe or Microsoft Teams.
- To break down tasks, use the ‘chunking strategy
Chunking refers to the process of taking large tasks or large amounts of information and breaking it down into smaller pieces. Dr. Hatten suggests students “chunk”, instead of spending three hours staring at a screen on a computer monitor, by following a pattern.
Dr. Hatten states, “Work on one class and then figure out a task. Then reward yourself at the finish.” So, I’m saying: Get up, have a cup of coffee, grab a snack, and go for a run, or simply get away for half an hour. Next, go back to the beginning and continue with the next section.
Keep Motivated with These Ways
There are many steps you can take in order to establish a routine and keep your productivity high. However, sometimes you may feel a lackluster and find it hard to complete the task at hand. Dr. Park’s research focuses on creating motivational interventions for online learners and explains why students might experience this.
He says that online courses are basically a way to learn apart from other students. Motivational problems can arise from feeling isolated from your peers, your instructors and yourself.
Dr. Park advises people to recognize when they are feeling low in motivation and then find the root cause. Here are some strategies that he recommends to students.
- Increase your interest in the job
Sometimes, a task or assignment may seem tedious. Instead of ignoring it and letting it go, consider how you can make the task or assignment more interesting. This strategy involves using your imagination to modify the work that you turn in.
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