With under a week to the start of the new semester, it is obvious that it will start online. That being said there are two kinds of students in the world. Ones who enjoy online classes and those who do not. If you are the latter then I am sure you have a hard time focusing and being productive and the following are some of the ways that you can get the most out of online classes.
Do not sign in to the classes in bed. The first sign that you will not pay attention is joining the class while still in bed. From experience focusing is harder because you are so relaxed and tend to doze off for the better part of the class. So to start the day right, when you join the class, be at your reading table or desk or a place where you can be comfortable and focus on the lectures.
Have a normal timetable as you would if the schools were not online. With schools being online we may have adjusted our timetables and biological clocks. We may find ourselves watching movies and series in the wee hours of the night. After all, we do not have to wake up to go to school for that 8 am lecture right? This may affect your concentration span and you may have a hard time paying attention or grasping concepts. This is because even if you can still manage to stay awake to the part where you have to say ‘Yes professor, I am here’ your mind may have logged off long before you even realized it.
Minimize the time spent on your phone during lectures. Like in a normal in-person class, we normally do not use our phones and our attention is fully on the professor, even in online classes it is an effective habit to concentrate on the class. It is easy to just use your phone for the duration of the class because nobody is there to check you. But if you want to get the most of online classes and be on top of your schoolwork by the end of the semester it is important to minimize the time spent on your phone during the lecture.
Take notes. This may seem silly especially since you can always watch the recorded classes after. But writing down important points as the professor is explaining is more effective as you will pay maximum attention. And when you re-watch the recorded classes you will understand the concepts better.
Trick your mind. If you are anything like me, sometimes when your mind knows it’s at home it is in relax mode and may not give you the best. How I trick my mind is sometimes instead of signing into classes in my pajamas, I get dressed as I would when going to school and change my reading location in the house. I go to a different room and somehow I can be productive.
As the new semester starts, it may come with its challenges but what matters is having the right mindset and mentality. I wish you a great semester in advance.
Written by Fidel Gatimu
International Student Ambassador from Kenya
Civil Engineering BSc
University of Pécs, Faculty of Engineering and IT
Study in Pécs, Hungary - Kenyan portal