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Many students might feel overwhelmed by the abrupt shift to online education.
Learning from home is not without its difficulties. But here are some tips and strategies that USF Instructional Technology faculty members James Hatten (PhD) and Sanghoon Paris (PhD) recommend to help you succeed in the transition into online learning.
It is difficult to focus on assignments when you are sitting down and also streaming Netflix. Dr. Hatten, who is an expert in online teaching, recommends students choose an area of their home that's free of distracting distractions.
Dr. Hatten says, "The couch is probably the worst place to be at." "Get up! Find a spot in your home that you can use as your workspace."
One can feel stressed if there are three courses being taught at once. However, it is possible to avoid this by giving each class a specific time. Dr. Hatten shared the following example: Dr. Hatten recommends that students work on one course between 11 a.m., and 3 pm. This schedule allows students create a structure which is not possible with traditional in-person classes.
Dr. Hatten stated that "most people either procrastinate (or get too involved) and won't shut down (their computer)." "Set aside a certain time."
Apart from the time you need to complete your assignments, it's a good idea also to schedule a time to review each of the tasks for each class in order to create an agenda for each week. Doing this will ensure you don't forget about submitting an assignment.
It is difficult to study together with classmates or receive immediate clarifications from classmates when this time is limited. But, you can maintain that sense if collaboration and community by creating virtual interactions on platforms such Microsoft Teams or GroupMe.
Chunking refers the act of taking large amounts of information or tasks and breaking them down into smaller parts. Dr. Hatten suggests that students "chunk," their time instead of staring at computers for three hours at once.
Dr. Hatten explains, "Work one class, determine a task and then reward your self at the end." "So, what does that mean? Get up, have some coffee, get a snack and then go for a run. Then, return to do the next piece.
There are many ways you can create a routine that will keep you productive and organized. But sometimes, you might feel demotivated and have difficulty completing the task. Dr. Park’s research is focused on online learning motivational interventions. She explains why students might feel this.
"Online courses basically refer to the fact that you learn separately from others," he said. "The feeling of being isolated from your peers and your instructors--that emotional and physical distance--can cause motivational problems."
Dr. Park recommends that individuals first identify their motivation levels and then figure out why. Here are some strategies Dr. Park suggests to students.
There are times when you have to review a tedious assignment or task. Instead of shrugging it off and moving on, think about how you could make the assignment/task interesting. This strategy is about using your imagination in order to change the work you produce.
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