Virtual classes have become an educational phenomenon over the last decade.
It used to be impossible to picture a school year without in-person classrooms, but now people use the internet to earn degrees and advance their education.
After you enroll in college, you’ll likely come across distance learning sooner or later. Taking classes online gives students more independence, but it also presents new challenges.
Check out a few tips to learn how to succeed while taking virtual classes, so you don’t waste your time or money by giving them a try.
1. Set a Strict Schedule
It’s easy to stay on track with school when there’s a physical location to visit during the week. Students new to online learning sometimes forget to join video calls or check their course websites because they have other things to worry about at home.
Setting a strict schedule is the first step to success with virtual classes. Set alarms to remind you when to attend a video conference or begin a test. Calendar notifications can help you remember to respond to comment boards or prepare for upcoming deadlines.
2. Create a Work Space
People enjoy the freedom of virtual classes because they can work anywhere, but where you work can improve your grades. Instead of completing coursework from your bed or couch, dedicate a space for your education.
You’ll slip more readily into a focused mindset and increase your overall productivity when you sit down to work at a desk or a table. You can use any place you don’t usually spend time relaxing or sleeping.
Even buying a small desk that sits next to your couch or bed will set aside a space that fosters learning and improved focus. When you step away for the night, you can shut off your mind until you’re ready to start again tomorrow.
3. Try Different Study Methods
Sometimes it’s a challenge to study for online classes. You might complete a discussion board or send an essay and feel like you have nothing but free time. Students who complete courses from home have to pay more considerable attention to their study habits so they thrive on their own.
If you’re not sure how to study without classmates quizzing you in person or meeting you at the library, try a few of these science-backed study methods to find what works.
Stick With Print
E-books are cheap, but you may do better with physical copies. A study found that 90% of students polled preferred books in print over digital copies. The act of turning pages and writing notes in the margins helped them remember the content better, which may be the case for you too.
Listen to Music
Listening to music can also help you study if you play the right songs. Skip the catchy pop tunes and soulful country songs for lyricless, classical music. The Mozart Effect is the theory that classical music improves brain cognition and recall abilities, which studies have found to be true.
Hit the Gym First
Before you try another frustrating round of flashcards, go to the gym. Science has shown that exercise boosts your brain power by pumping fresh oxygen and blood as you workout. It may be the kick of natural energy you need to strengthen your mind and study better.
Change Study Locations
When you enter your room, the library or wherever you study, do you feel overwhelmed or exhausted before you pull out your study materials? It may be because you’ve spent too many hours bent over your notes in that place. Change your study location by going outside or to a different room to see if it helps you focus and keep up your energy.
4. Personalize Your Schedule
Everyone needs to complete a set of courses to earn their degree or finish their grade, but virtual classes allow for a little more flexibility. Personalized school schedules benefit students of all ages, but especially during the college years. Adjust the intensity of your courses, the subjects and hours per semester. Find the balance that makes your personal life and education enjoyable.
other valuable tips:
5. Remember to Rest
People who can hyperfocus and enjoy working ahead typically do well with virtual classes, but that can also be what makes school difficult. Although it’s great to get ahead of your course calendar and crush your task lists, it’s also smart to build in rest periods.
A good night’s sleep improves your academic performance by lowering your stress levels and giving your mind time to recharge. You’ll feel ready for the day if you give yourself time to sleep, eat and recover from your workload.
Communicate With Your Professors
The smartest thing you can do to succeed with virtual classes is to communicate with your instructors. They’ll help you adjust and be ready to help with whatever questions you have. If you use tips like these and establish relationships with your professors, you’ll fly through your online courses.
Image Credit: succeed while taking virtual classes by twenty20.com
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