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The Successful Five: Keys to Effective Online Learning

The Successful Five: Keys to Effective Online Learning

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By: Javanique Darby|Communications Studies Major

Henry Ford once said that “anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” This quote is applicable to what is occurring now regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, which has initiated online learning for all schools and universities. 

It has almost been a month since university students have started their online classes, which has its pros and cons, but while these students have to get accustomed to these changes, it may have affected their space (bedroom/home) that they sought comfort in from a long day on campus. The Successful Five refers to five tips that will make online learning less disheartening or tedious.

  • Set goals at the beginning of the semester, and check-in with yourself weekly. In a traditional classroom setting, you’ll often receive verbal or visual reminders of an assignment’s upcoming due date. But without a professor actively reminding you, it’s up to you to make sure you’ve allotted enough time to complete the work so you’re not starting an assignment the day before it’s due. If you’re having trouble holding yourself responsible, pair up with a fellow classmate who is hardworking.


  • PRACTICE TIME MANAGEMENT. The flexibility to create your own schedule is often one of the biggest appeals of taking online classes. But that freedom can also be detrimental if you do not have solid time management skills. The best way to avoid cramming is to look at the syllabus at the start of the semester and make note of major assignments. Mark them on a calendar you check regularly so you know what workload is coming in the weeks ahead.


  • CREATE A REGULAR STUDY SPACE AND STAY ORGANIZED. Set up a dedicated learning environment for studying. By completing your work there repeatedly, you’ll begin to establish a routine. Whether your workspace is your kitchen table, a library, or a corner in your bedroom, it’s important to determine what type of environment will work best for you. Experiment to discover which type of setting boosts your productivity. Wherever you choose, make sure there’s high-speed internet access so you’re not trying to take an online course over a lagging connection.


  • ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. From Netflix to social media to dishes piling up in the sink, you’ll be faced with many distractions that can easily derail your studies. The best online students know how to lessen these distractions and set aside time to focus. Regardless of where you choose to work, consider turning your cell phone off to avoid losing focus every time a text message or notification pops up. And if you’re still having trouble resisting the temptation to check your email or surf the web, try downloading a website blocker. Lastly, avoid doing classes in an area that’s always being occupied by family members.


  • ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE. Participate in the course’s online forum to help you better understand course materials and engage with fellow classmates. Listen to what your lecturers are saying, and if you have a question, ask for clarification. And if you do feel yourself falling behind, speak up. Don’t wait until an assignment is almost due to ask questions or report issues. Email your professor and be proactive in asking for help.

Yes, online classes do have their share of challenges, but following these few tips, will most definitely help you in the most chaotic of times. Remember that this is our new norm until the pandemic has passed, so let’s make this semester, a productive one!

(tips from Northern Eastern University)

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