6 Tips to Transition to Online Learning

Online learning is not for everyone, but sometimes it's necessary, especially times like these. These six tips can help you adjust to taking classes online.

As a student, you have routines that help you through each school year. You know when you're supposed to go to class, what study methods work for you, and how much free time you'll have in the evening for homework. It all revolves around attending class or managing your after-school activities, but that's recently changed for most students.

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted daily life as we know it. Along with many businesses, schools have shut down for either weeks or months. It doesn't look like school calendars will get back on track anytime soon, so you might be trying to transition to online learning. It’s not always easy to get used to, but you can get the hang of it with a few easy tips.

Whether you're in high school or college, you can create a new routine and still succeed in all your classes. Check out these six tips to help you adjust to e-learning.

1. Plan your day

When you had to go to school, you followed a daily schedule. You may have woken up at the same time every day or started your homework at a certain time before or after dinner. Now, instead of having a clear-cut routine defined by when you leave your house and when you get home, you spend every day at home.

Planning your day with an in-home schedule to follow will provide you with a sense of focus. Instead of feeling like you're on vacation with empty days ahead of you, get up at the same time, take a regular lunch break, and form a routine that works for you. Following it diligently will make e-learning easier to handle.

2. Designate a work area

It's tempting to grab your laptop and start working on your next essay or reading assignment from the comfort of your bed. Although it's fun to snuggle up in your pajamas and never leave the comfort of your warm blankets, it doesn't help your mind shift into study mode.

Defining a work area in your home or apartment is recommended by many for working from home, and it definitely applies to doing schoolwork from home. You might have a small desk in your bedroom to use, or maybe you’re working at your kitchen table—just make sure you have a designated space you only use for school. After you finish classes for the day, you can relax and have fun elsewhere in your home away from your workspace. 

3. Remember to communicate

You might feel nervous about taking online courses because you feel alone, but there are always ways to keep in touch with your teachers and classmates. Email your teacher or professor and create an online forum specifically for students in that class. Start an email chain of study tips or questions. You could even send out a text to your classmates to keep everyone engaged. Help and support are always a quick message away!

Related: Connecting With Colleges During the COVID-19 Outbreak

4. Arrange virtual study groups

For many students, a significant advantage of traditional classrooms is the option to get together and study with your friends. It often helps to coach each other through flashcards or study notes to learn more difficult material, so figure out how to do it from home. Find out who wants to study together and arrange virtual study groups through video chat or a forum. Anything from Skype to Google Hangouts will connect everyone when it's time to prepare for your next big test or exam and will keep you from feeling isolated as an online student.

5. Keep your motivation in mind

It's easy to push yourself to learn something new when you're in a classroom or on campus, but while you're at home, you might struggle to stay motivated on schoolwork that doesn’t hold your interest. Finding motivation is the best way to focus on your schoolwork and beat procrastination. Make a photo board to hang above your workspace with images like graduation caps, your future career, or whatever pushes you to continue your education. If you can remember what drives you, you'll conquer any online classes. 

Related: How to Fight Your Procrastination and Find Your Motivation

6. Be kind to yourself

This may be the first time you've ever tried an online class, which makes a full schedule slightly overwhelming. Be kind to yourself as you learn how you work best from home. Take your time to find your motivation, work in a designated area, and participate in online study groups. These tips for e-learning can teach you how to succeed outside the classroom.

If you’re feeling isolated and can’t get in touch with classmates or friends, hang out with the student vloggers on our YouTube channel!

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About Alyssa Abel

Alyssa Abel

Alyssa Abel is an education writer who helps students and teachers pursue their passions. Read more of her work on Syllabusy


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