Keeping up with online learning


Unsplash / Glenn Carstens-Peters

We can all account to how challenging this year has been in essentially all aspects. For college students across the nation, we  have had to adjust to the new normal of online learning. While some may claim that online classes have gone smoothly, most can attest to the struggles and frustrations that have been occurring as a result of  assuming this new mode of education. Finding the motivation to keep up with deadlines seems to consume most of our time nowadays. 

From feeling disconnected from peers and professors to the endless loads of assignments that flood Blackboard and Canvas, oftentimes it can be common to feel discouraged and simply swamped from the speed at which the semester is passing us by. Most professors argue that an online setting gives students more time to complete assignments, therefore, they demand the need to augment the amount of coursework. Ultimately, this creates a habit of senselessly fulfilling assignments with the objective of getting it done by a deadline, rather than thoroughly comprehending the material. 

It almost feels as if we’re on a high-speed treadmill, rampantly becoming fatigued without a break. In particular, this mode of learning may attract students who excel in their organizational skills but appears daunting to procrastinators. The idea of staying  in bed and watching Netflix is quite tempting when most classes are online. As for home life, many of us are expected to handle more responsibilities on top of schoolwork, making it difficult to prioritize tasks accordingly. 

On the bright side, online learning does have its advantages. For one, many of us commuters are relieved at the thought of avoiding the commute to campus everyday. Hybrid classes, for the most part, offer us the best of both worlds, in which we maintain the in-person interaction while also keeping the online component. Most professors have been understanding and flexible with how recorded lectures can be viewed at any time. Thankfully, certain instructors have permitted quizzes on Blackboard to be opened with the mode of being able to take it more than once giving students a second chance. This is especially helpful with online learning since lagging Wi-Fi has shown to be a true challenge during these uncertain times.  

My advice to all students is that we should stay positive and make the best out of this situation. Create a realistic schedule based on your work pace and stick to it. I personally find the Pomodoro Technique to be beneficial when studying because it amplifies your productivity in short spurts of time, while giving you adequate time for breaks. This particular method works by creating a to-do list and tackling each task through 25-minute intervals followed by either a five-minute break or 15-minute break; this cycle continues until you have completed your to-do list. Forming virtual study groups (productive ones, of course) is also essential during this time as it encourages you to be held accountable for sticking to both your study time and your assignments. Additionally, push yourself to exercise once a day, as it helps with endorphins and puts you in a good mood. This is a challenging semester, but not an impossible one. Good Luck!