The coronavirus crisis has affected students at all levels, and it continues to do so as the new term begins with continuous updates to safety guidelines. As students look set to receive less face-to-face teaching hours and more digital alternatives, they must adapt to new ways of learning. We’ve compiled our top suggestions for students who are adjusting to this new digital element of their education journey.
Set a learning space
While spending less time on campus might allow for you to enjoy a different kind of morning routine with no commute, making sure that you are learning in the right kind of environment is important. For example. If you are attending your virtual sessions from your bedroom, rather than getting up/dressed and ready for the day, then you risk blurring the lines between home and study. Ensuring that you have a clear space to work in with little background interruptions is key, and even if it is a small area, it will encourage the right mind set.
Find ways to be social
While co-ordinating group study/catch up sessions might seem like a digital endeavour, making the effort to chat to your course mates can help you all maintain a sense of normality throughout your studies. From attending online seminars and tutor sessions, to simply catching up on the work you are all progressing through, these interactions will become invaluable when you are accessing fewer contact hours with your peers and tutors. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges for students and teachers alike to overcome, but with the right resources you can still enjoy a social element to your learning, albeit digitally.
Set goals and stay accountable
When you aren’t studying at college or attending sessions in person, only you can be accountable for your productivity and how you manage your time. Tackling this might mean making a daily to-do list and setting clear, yet realistic goals for yourself. Giving yourself a clear idea of your workload for the week ahead on a Monday morning could work for you, planning in time slots for each item on your list.
Having online sessions can mean that your routine is quite different, spending more time learning independently. While many students are used to socialisation and structured days, online learning will mean spending more time off campus and planning your own time. This means that looking after yourself is essential, as spending too long behind a screen can have negative impacts on your productivity. In turn, if you aren’t following a set structure, then your concentration will likely be impacted.
Making sure that you are well rested, and that you aren’t exerting yourself over hours that you wouldn’t usually cover are both good for creating a healthy routine. While online learning is more flexible, it also requires a lot of discipline both for study and for making sure that you are looking after yourself too.
Many students will be navigating new splits between online/offline studies, as education providers commit to the ‘blended learning’ approach, which preserves learning amidst unprecedented circumstances. By adding each element outlined above into your online learning approach, you can get the most out of your studies this term.