studying online classes for students

So with the whole world pretty much working and studying from inside their own homes at the moment, it seems like a good time to gather some tips that could possibly be of help.

I've been studying online now for 4 weeks, however in the past, I have taken some online courses in my free time during my long summer holidays, and in that time I think I've figured out what works well for me to make sure I'm getting everything done and hitting all those deadlines. That's why this week I'm here with seven tips that I hope you will find helpful if you too are also studying for either school, college or university online.

7 Tips For Online Classes

1. Keep to your usual school day. When at home it's so easy to step out from the learning mindset since for the rest of the time you usually link school to studying and home for relaxation. But when taking classes online it's best to try and stick to the timings that you would do at school since your brain is set to be in the right mind frame to study that certain class at that certain time.

2. Set out a schedule. Kind of linking to point one, but setting your own schedule. Yes, it's going to slightly weird and harder to study at home but setting yourself a schedule to do other things aside from studying will make sure you still have to downtime that you might feel you will lose when studying from home.

3. Take those breaks. I know some people who once they're in the zone can study for hours after hours. However, for others including myself, we need to take breaks so our brains don't fry. At school we're never learning completely in the whole class time, typically we'll have pauses where we talk to our friends and classmates, so trying to include those breaks will help you feel less overwhelmed. I like to either study for 30 minutes and break for 5, or study for 40 minutes and break for 10. I rarely study for a full hour straight, since with the amount of knowledge that I've somehow got to get into my head its way too much. Plus there have been studies done on the concentration of students during the class time and how the focus drops the closer to the hour you get. Being at home doesn't change that.

4. Set up a space to study. I know it's not going to be the easiest thing to study while your family is also around the house, but trying to find at least one spot where you can study in peace will make it so you don't get distracted and can actually get the work done. So, see if the other members of your household can spare one room where you can set up a table and chair to sit at. And if you do have to study on your bed because you just don't have any other space, try and move your pillows and bedding around so you're not in the same space and position as you are when you sleep. Your mind is a powerful tool but it also relates certain spaces to certain times of the day, so you want to try and make sure where you study is even slightly more different than where you are when you sleep.

Tips For Studying Online

5. Tidy away your work at the end of the work/school day. It might seem small but tidying your desk or workspace of your study materials at the end of the day will mean that when you are trying to wind down in the evening you can't see all the stuff that you have to do. Seeing the materials you have to study even if in a neat pile on your desk if it's in your eye line, will cause that stress that comes with school, so moving it out of your eyesight will help with the time that we all need to give ourselves at the moment to relax.

6. Find yourself a study playlist. Some people listen to classical and some people listen to rock, but setting aside a playlist that is just for when you study will mean your brain will recognise it is time for studying when you listen to it. I know not everyone likes listening to music when they study but even if you put something on that doesn't have words that could take your focus away from the text you are trying to read and memorise, the sound can block out the other sounds that might distract you at home; like your the little kids down the road who are enjoying the sun in their back gardens or the annoying neighbour who decides it's a good time to start all those noisy DIY projects.

7. Don't beat yourself up if you don't get everything done. When our teachers, lecturers and professors set us work we always feel like we have to get everything done in one sitting. However, if we take a step back how often do we actually get all the work done in one lesson at school. I know for me we always seem to be slightly behind as a class because the lecturer is always making sure we understand something before we move on, and everyone takes different times to understand something. So in retrospect not finishing that whole PowerPoint in one day isn't really all that bad. We need to not be so harsh on ourselves, definitely at the moment with everything so out of normal routine.

So that's seven tips that I hope you find helpful!

Have you got any more tips for studying your classes online?

- Sophie

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