With the COVID-19 Pandemic, online learning (and working) have become commonplace, but for a lot of people, this change in lessons hasn’t been an easy transition. Once you get used to the differences (and embrace them) between online and in-person lessons, students often prefer the ease and convenience that online lessons provide. Learning online, whether it be for school, tutoring, or taking an online course (away from school), we’ve put together a quick list of things you can do to make the most of your online learning experience.

1. Pretend that you are in a classroom. Try to imagine that you are in your classroom, and that you do not have whatever is attracting your attention more than the lesson. For example, if you would not have your phone out in a classroom, do not have it out during your online lessons. It is an easy thing to do to keep your focus where it should be (on your teacher/instructor).

2. Tell your family/friends not to disturb you while you are in class. It’s a pretty simple concept that if you are doing a lesson, people around you should not disturb you, but it happens far more often that you might think.

3. Do not take it any less seriously than an in-person lesson. It might be tempting to consider online classes as less important or to think that you do not need to study them as much as your in-person courses. This is a common misconception. It can be harder to do courses fully online when you do not have any live lessons with your teacher/professor/TA.  

4. Do your homework. Often, students think that just because the teacher will not be able to collect the assigned homework means that they do not have to do it. This is another misconception. Just because it is not for marks does not mean that you do not need the skills and knowledge the homework is supposed to teach you.

5. Turn off/put away all distractions (phones, social media, pets, etc.). It might be hard to do at the beginning, especially if your phone is going off all the time, or your friends are messaging you on social media, but this is a necessary step to making the most of learning online. It can be tempting to do your lessons with a pet in your lap or on your desk; however, this can be very distracting. It can even be difficult to see how distracting it is until you think about what was just covered in class and you are not sure. Play with your pets before and after the lesson, but during the lesson keep your attention where it should be.

6. Do not try to cheat. Just because it seems like it’s easier to cheat when you have online lessons, doesn’t mean it is. There are a lot of test-taking software that monitor you while you are taking the test. If it notices anything amiss, you can fail the test/course. At the end of the day, when you cheat, the only one you are cheating is yourself. There is a reason the teacher is trying to teach you that particular topic (chances are that there is something later on in your schooling that you will need to know that topic for). If you never learn the topic, when you need it to learn something else, you will fall even more behind.

One of the easiest ways to explain this concept is if you wouldn’t do it in your classroom, don’t do it in an online setting. With the COVID pandemic, chances are at least some of the in-person things we were used to before, will become more frequently found online (some jobs, purchasing items online instead of in stores, etc.). Being prepared and finding your personal strategy on how to make the most of the online sessions will allow you to make the most of your online lessons and beyond.



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