TOP TIPS FOR ONLINE LEARNING AT UNIVERSITY

TOP TIPS FOR ONLINE LEARNING AT UNIVERSITY

Online lectures and seminars is something all university students have become very familiar with over the past few years. Online learning took some getting used to and remains with it’s challenges, especially for university students juggling lectures, seminars and tutorials across multiple modules. Remote learning has become the new normal and maybe the way forward with many universities opting for a mixed approach to university with a combination of in person and online lectures. Therefore we’ve put together some advice for students adapting to online learning, here are the top tips for online learning at university.

1. Stay Focused!

Remote learning often means listening to your lectures in the library or in your uni house. This opens you up to distractions! Try and turn your phone on silent/do not disturb or off completely when you are actively working in an online class or revising online. Your messages and liking your friend’s new post can wait an hour or even two. Studies show that multitasking is very challenging and either activity cannot be done to its fullest in that scenario so isolate your study time- social media and Netflix can be focused on later… I promise the next Friends episode will wait for you after your online class! Staying focused will ensure students get the most out of their online lectures and seminars.

focus scrabble pieces

2. Prioritise

When all your learning resources are online and submission boxes and deadlines all appear on the same screen it is hard to decide what to do first and how to get everything done on time. Well, here is where creating a personal timetable or getting out that diary that mum gave you thinking it was a great leaving gift comes in handy. Organise your tasks based on when they are due and how long they will realistically take you to complete is key with remote learning for university students. Start by attacking those longer tasks and maybe taking some breaks in between and ticking off those smaller ones in between classes or your shorter breaks. If you stick to this plan then slowly those longer tasks won’t seem as difficult as you will have chipped away at them over time, making your online learning experience much smoother.

prioritising

3. Take Regular Breaks

We’re often told that too much screen time is bad for you, and this still applies for students learning online. Make sure you take regular breaks from your screen! A break from watching lectures on your computer screen shouldn’t involve jumping onto Snapchat, Instagram or Tiktok on your phone screen. Take a proper break from all your screens! Rest your eyes, go for a walk, sit in your garden, go make yourself another cup of coffee or grab a snack. Back to back hours of online learning can be draining for university students, it is important to reconnect with the world. Try setting time limits on your social media apps to avoid falling down that rabbit hole of passing the rest of your afternoon scrolling through Instagram Reels. Ironically, one of the best tips for remote / online learning for students is to ensure you take sufficient breaks from being online!

relaxing at work

4. Be Flexible

One of the greatest silver linings of online learning for university students is the flexibility! It can be stressful managing all your commitments alongside multiple lectures, seminars and tutorials across all your modules. With online learning you CAN listen to that lecture later that evening and sleep in, you CAN pause it at a convenient place and finish it off tomorrow, you CAN put your lecturer on double speed or even play their voice back over and over until the concept makes sense. Adapt your approach to online learning in a way that works for you!

5. Participate in Online Discussions

Now we’ve all been there. Your lecturers says those words you’ve been dreading “I’m going to put you into breakout rooms”. Breakout rooms can be incredibly awkward but are an essential part of online learning for students at university. Breakout rooms are there to replace the in depth discussions you would usually have in seminars with your classmates. This is time where you get more 1-1 attention with your lecturer, to better understand the lectures you would have watched online that week. It can be easy to shy away from these discussions behind your screen, but by doing this you only put your own learning at risk. Make the most of online discussions at university, even if your participation is to only ask questions- this is better than staying silent! Participation is absolutely key in making the most of your online learning experience as a student at university!

virtual discussions

Like many aspects of life since 2020, university education has also shifted online. This doesn’t mean that you’re at a disadvantage or your studies have to suffer. Like anything, you just need to adapt to remote learning and these tips will help you do that! Approach online learning at university with a positive attitude and you can achieve great results!

This blog was written by Isabella Impavido, at the University of Nottingham.

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