Guest Post from Not so Modern Girl
Students across universities in the UK are facing online learning in many subjects. Whether you prefer learning over Zoom or not, it’s important that you have a productive and successful University experience, and you know just how to make the most of this new, online teaching experience.
I recently graduated from the University of York, and my final term of University was all taught online as the pandemic started to hit the world. While it was only this final term that was taught online, it was one of the most important terms of my University career and it certainly opened my eyes to just how resilient students, tutors, and University departments can be.
During my time getting used to this new mode of teaching, I found a few ways to make the most of online learning during that all-important final term, and hopefully, those tips can help the next round of students grappling with their University subjects.
|Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash|
Even though you’re not going into class at University, looking smart and feeling ready for class is an important step to succeeding in your online classes. For me, if I’ve got my make-up and outfit on (just as I would if I went to University in person) I automatically feel more awake, more productive, and ready to start learning.
Obviously different routines work for different people- and some people love working in their pyjamas! But when you “arrive” at a class feeling smart and ready, I personally think it impacts the quality of work you can achieve.
Do the work beforehand
This is a big one. Of course, not every class can be your best! I’ve definitely been guilty of skimping on the reading before a class if I’ve been out with friends a lot that week, or if I’ve not been very well.
However, I think sometimes it’s easy to feel that we need to prepare less if we don’t have to go into classes in person. We don’t have that shameful moment where everyone else has done the work, and we don’t feel stressed if the teacher picks on us and we flounder a little.
But just because you can hide behind your keyboard, it doesn’t mean you should put in less work beforehand, and it’s a central part of making the most of your University experience!
Put your phone away
When classes aren’t in person, I think it’s super easy to lose concentration! During my final term, I often caught myself messaging my boyfriend or checking the news instead of concentrating on my Zoom call or online work. And if the tutor didn’t insist that people put on their cameras, it was the perfect excuse to check Twitter.
So, I think a great way to make the most of your lessons is to put away your phone and get rid of all distractions while you work!
Write up your notes afterwards
Making the most of online learning is all about finding opportunities instead of cursing the fact that you can’t see your teachers or classmates in person (which let’s be honest, isn’t ideal).
If things are online, it means they’re often recorded- which gives you a chance to replay the material in your own time! And after a class, you have more time to write up your notes or clarify certain concepts. Instead of running home or popping to another class, you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home.
Just because teaching is online doesn’t mean you get less contact with your tutors, as you can email or phone them to discuss your work- and it’s always possible to create group chats with your classmates and make the most of this time online.
Interruptions are an annoying part of working online, especially if you’re engaging with other classmates during a Zoom call. So make sure to tell anyone you live with- friends, family, or housemates- that you’re starting an online lesson.
Finding a space you can work well is also important, and however, you work best you need to decide where to set up your computer for online classes. At the moment, it’s harder to make our way to the library or University café to work – so make sure to find a space with plenty of light, good Wifi, and easy access to snacks!