Covid-19 has brought in more unprecedented challenges than ever for students nationwide. One such change was a switch to online classes. According to Statista, in March 2020 itself, school closures due to the pandemic affect close to 1.38 million learners worldwide in different ways. Many students were forced to pack bags and vacate the campuses and to switch to a completely online mode of learning.
In November 2020, many school and college-going students of all ages are still struggling to adapt to the new pedagogy style. In fact, In a survey of more than 400 college students whose schools recently switched over to online education – conducted in March by Barnes & Noble College Insights – 60% of students said they felt at least somewhat prepared for the change.
Most students find attending online classes (that too without any initial preparation) worse or much worse than in-person classes. There are a variety of issues that students are today facing due to online mode of learning. Luckily, there are ways to overcome if not combat these common problems, here are 10 of our super tips:
1. Technical issues & limitations
Whether it is language learning apps, virtual classes, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, there has been a great upsurge in usage since Covid-19. All of these however depend on functional computing equipment and a sound internet connection. A lot of students face sudden drop-offs, random white noise interruptions, and voice breaks while using the internet for learning. The problem is paramount for online real-time classes.
If you too are bogged by continuously apologizing for dropping off because of bad WiFi, here’s what you can do:
- Invest in getting a good optical fiber-based connection, they usually deliver higher speeds and are more reliable
- Technology is here to stay for a long time in the world of learning, invest in gadgets, and cut down on other expenses this year
- You can consider buying robust equipment at student discounts or EMIs (no interest EMIs)
- Use your school’s technical support system to debug issues with learning software
- Stay in touch with the teachers and tutors via messaging apps and e-mails
2. Distractions and lack of 100% focus-time
Staying at home 24×7 and attending online classes seem to complement each other, but however, they do not! There are several distractions right from the honking horns, noisy chimneys to the usual noisy chatter of others at home. Do the following to give yourself more focus time:
- Clean up your room because things store energy. De-clutter your room – first of all, to get rid of the not so easily perceptible distractions
- If you live in an extremely noisy neighborhood, investing in a room silencer could be an extreme step! Instead, get thick carpeting and wall covering for absorbing noise
- Actively (and politely) ask family members to cut down on the noise of television, kitchen equipment, etc.
- Meditate every day for 30 minutes to focus your mind better and to become more mindful of your surroundings without letting them disrupt your focus
3. Inability to stay self-motivated
It’s considerably difficult to stay positive and upbeat all by oneself all the time – we agree!! These times of 100% online classes aren’t going to last forever and hence, until the situation gets better, do this to stay motivated:
- Maintain a PHYSICAL notebook/diary based tracker – ticking off a checklist at the end of the day is the most ancient way of remaining motivated
- Give yourself a pat! Reward yourself with a mini-treat or a movie break after successfully completing a certain goal
- Talk to your friends and family about your daily learning schedule and your little achievements – their appreciation will augment your motivation
- Engage in a creative task every week to switch the mood up
- Deploy services of a tutor who can help you stay upbeat by helping you with a subject and by being your key listener for all general problems with learning during these times
4. Lack of one-on-one guidance and discipline
Interacting with professors and teachers online is not sufficient for soliciting the amount of guidance one may need. This is why hiring a tutor can help significantly with structuring the learning and providing a personalized approach.
This is why you must hire a tutor:
- A tutor can help you with subjects that you may require additional help with or with creative endeavors like art and music with professional finesse
- One solution doesn’t fit all – virtual school lessons aren’t enough to address all questions and doubts of every student. A tutor can very easily fill that gap by giving one-on-one attention to each of their students
- Working with a tutor gives you a sense of discipline and routine that is quintessential for long term success
- A tutor can take you through concepts at a much deeper level than a regular school lesson
You can now get the services of professional private online tutors and our dedicated StudyPOD at a click!
5. Health issues and the impact on learning
Online classes have led to a lot of health issues which are a direct result of spending long hours on the computer. While this is unavoidable to quite an extent, there are some quick fixes to minimize its effect on our overall health:
- Use anti-glare glasses or blue-light filtering glasses to protect your eyes from the damage caused by the long hours of looking at the computer screen
- Avoid using laptop/ iPad/ mobile phones in a dark room
- Maintain good posture while sitting – keep your spine straight and avoid drooping your neck
- Elevate your laptop/computer to a comfortable eye-level – neither too low nor too high as compared to your regular eye level
- Take at least 8-10 hours of sleep and if possible, try using guided sleep meditations for a deep sleep
- Hydrate yourself well and avoid binging on fried foods while attending a virtual class with your camera off (see, we know it all! :))
6. Exhaustion and fatigue due to overuse of technology
Working on a computer or a phone day in and day out can be exhausting for even adults! Children attending online classes are even more vulnerable to this exhaustion. An easy way to overcome fatigue caused by the overuse of technology is to – TAKE A BREAK! Yes, it is as simple as that!
Go to the terrace and spend some time outside even though going to a park is impossible in the current scenario. Take a break from studies not by watching television and exerting your eyes again but by doing some stretching, relaxing yoga, or aerobics – basically anything that involves physical activity.
7. Lack of collaborative learning and brainstorming
Another direct impact of Covid-19 led school closure is a significant drop in collaborative projects’ based learning. While you have only video calls to keep in touch with your friends, you can still reap the benefits of collaborative learning. Here are the top 2 actions you can take in the next 5 minutes:
- Join a virtual study group – usually, ones under the guidance of a tutor work best
- Participate in online competitions – for e.g. take part in that science quiz or essay contest that you’ve been seeing an advertisement of!
8. Expectation mismatch and lack of communication
A lot of mishmash of information and expectations happens when there is little or no interpersonal communication. To avoid being all over the place about course expectations, ask questions proactively to your teachers. Get clarity on grading criteria, syllabus, and examination pattern by simply asking as many questions as you can. Don’t postpone any question by labeling it trivial and make sure that you keep a written record (on e-mails) of such conversations wherever required.
In the case of a tutor, you can always ask upfront questions like:
- Duration of the course and of each lesson
- Frequency of lessons in a week
- Assessment structure (periodic tests)
- Reading material that’ll be provided and the books you’ll be expected to source, etc.
9. Drop in grades
A significant consequence of all the commotion around online learning is a drop in grades. Many students have reported a perceptible drop in performance on tests ever since the schools went online! Here is how Talentnook can help you alleviate this instantly:
- Learn and train under the aegis of the experts – choose from hundreds of tutor profiles, ask for demo lessons and work with only the best
- Periodic tests, progress reports, lesson plans, student resources – find them all customized for you by Talentnook’s professional private tutors
- From learning piano to preparing for standardized tests like SAT, there is plenty of help around, all you have to is ASK! Basically, just log on and get in touch with tutors and state your expectations clearly (e.g. an X point increase in a test score)
- Save your time in asking for references and hunting for random tutor profiles online, get all the help in one place, and get started with your rocket speed learning right away
While it is all easier said than done, we are sure some of these tricks will help you wade through the unknown waters of online learning better. Stay put and keep yourself motivated, while you reap the actual benefits of online learning – flexibility, learning from the comfort of your home, access to leisure time more than ever, time saved in commute, etc. Let’s look at the brighter side, together! Visit Talentnook and get professional help specifically designed for online learning!