Online Learning: Surefire Tips on How to Maximize Its Benefits
Canadians are not exactly strangers to the concept of digital learning, especially in the province of Ontario. In fact, according to a part of the Canadian National Online and Digital Learning Survey released early this year (pre-pandemic), Ontario’s post-secondary institutions are ahead in online course registrations with a 14% growth as compared to the national average of 10%. It was also revealed that all institutions in Ontario offer online learning as an option.
After the COVID-19 virus was declared as a pandemic, this statistical figure increased on a nationwide scale as more and more classrooms moved into the digital learning space, although the exact number is yet to be determined. Key findings from the month of June gathered by RBC’s Thought Leadership website give us a good idea of the rise of online learning in the country: 5.1 million students in K-12, 1.2 million in universities, and 800,000 in colleges and polytechnics. In addition, 540,000 students likely completed their post-secondary education this year remotely.
Learning online is not without its challenges, however. There are those who feel that digital learning platforms don’t effectively track students’ progress as effectively as in-class learning and how they are inefficient in deducing whether students learn at all. Still, as the pandemic continues, we can’t truly do away with the online learning method even when it’s under a learning stage at this point. What we can do in the meantime is look at the glass half-full and come up with strategies to reap the full benefits of e-learning. Below is what you can do.
Keep to a schedule
While online learning might allow more flexibility than in-class learning, this doesn’t mean you can turn your back on schedule planning. Ensure that you have everything ready in front of you once the live sessions begin. It’s best to always have the link to log-in on hand so you don’t have to search for it in your files. If your instructor has provided links to resources for the class discussion, make sure that you’ve reviewed these, and have the links open or saved as bookmarks on your browsers for easy reference.
Now, even when the sessions are not live and are instead recorded, don’t put off viewing them until the last minute. Act like you’re still on a strict in-class schedule, and log on to watch the recorded sessions at the same time each day, if possible.
Have a dedicated study nook
Again, it’s great that e-learning can be done wherever you are, such as in the kitchen so your go-to snacks are within reach or in the living room so you can keep an eye out for your parents’ package delivery. However, moving from room to room in your house to keep up with your class notes can be detrimental to your learning because it causes disruption. What you can do is choose a study nook and stay there for the majority of your time learning online.
Put your phone away
It’s always tempting to reach for your phone every time it lets out a message received tone. After all, it’s not like a teacher will give you a scowling look if you take a peek at your friend’s photo of a newly minted Beetle for his 18th birthday on Instagram. However, the more you continue this habit, the more you will fall into the FOMO curse. So the best move is to put your phone away while you’re doing your online classes. If you simply can’t part with your mobile device, then put it on Airplane mode.
Maintain communication with your classmates and instructors
Being under a lockdown doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Today’s e-learning platforms make it tremendously easier for classmates to connect with one another and for students to connect with their teachers. If there’s something you need clarified with a project, reach out to fellow students via forums or don’t be shy in shooting an email to your teacher. This is also a good way to socialize so your life isn’t purely about your subjects.
We hope that the above tips will be helpful as you fully embrace online learning during these COVID-19 times. Remember though, give yourself a break in between studying! Happy learning!