5 Tips for Staying Engaged During Online Lessons
With a growing number of schools opting for remote lessons or hybridized models this fall, online courses will be a part of many students’ reality. While completing coursework from the comfort of your bedroom might sound appealing, it’s important to stay just as engaged as you would in a classroom or lecture hall.
Many students are still adjusting to the transition to remote learning and discovering how to make the most of virtual coursework. If you’re looking for some pointers on how to stay engaged during remote lessons, keep reading for our top tips.
Build a Distraction-Free Zone
Don’t overlook the important role that your physical space plays in your ability to focus and concentrate. While your favorite spot at the library or desk at school may be temporarily unavailable, strive to recreate an optimized workspace at home. This could be as simple as repurposing a chair at your kitchen table or a corner of your living room. What’s most important is to view this space as your work zone and eliminate distractions such as cellphones, television shows, and loud music.
Make Note-Taking Non-Negotiable
Taking notes can be a win-win: in addition to jotting down important takeaways, simply the act of transcribing what your instructor is saying will require you to stay engaged in the class. Consequently, make it a goal to take notes in every class, even if the material is also available online or via email. Whenever your mind starts to wander, come back to your note-taking, and focus on writing down as much of what your professor or teacher is saying as possible. After class, review your notes and edit them down to synthesize the takeaways from your most recent lesson.
Keep a “Camera On” Mentality
Some classes may require students to keep their video camera on during lectures and discussions to ensure that every participant is fully present. Whether this is a rule that your instructor enforces or not, approach each class as if your camera was on. Most students would model their best listening habits if they knew there was a chance their teacher or professor would see them, including taking notes and staying fully present. Pretending that your teacher is viewing your behavior during class will inspire you to model your own best practices for participating and engaging in a virtual course.
Create Your Own Quizzes
Everyone is likely to pay more attention if there’s a chance that there will be a pop quiz on the material you are reviewing. Add some accountability by creating your own pop quizzes that will help motivate you to remain engaged. After each lesson, jot down a few potential test questions based on the material you reviewed. Refer back to these queries the next week and strive to write down the answers without looking back at your notes. Consider recruiting a friend to adopt the same practice and share questions with one another for an added challenge.
Keep a Question List
Asking thoughtful questions is a sure-fire sign that you’re listening and analyzing the material that’s discussed in every class. Even if you don’t wish to voice your queries, keep an ongoing list of questions based on your lessons, and required reading materials. During each online lesson, write down at least 3 queries based on the topics covered that day. If you’re struggling to come up with questions, it may be a sign that you need to remain a bit more engaged during your next class.
While remote learning is an adjustment, students can make the most of it by staying on top of their coursework and giving every class their all. If you are looking for more guidance on building strong study habits, our team of experts can offer personalized advice.