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Welcome back Delaware State Hornets! This isn’t the typical back-to-school feeling that we’re all used to but DESU  is making the best of it. They’re strategically planning student activities according to COVID-19 standards like wearing masks and social distancing. 

But social distancing also means distant learning for many as schools are starting to reopen virtually. Although online learning might not seem that complicated, in reality, many students are finding it hard to navigate, which is why I’m going to give you 6 tips for being successful in your online classes.

Organize

The very first thing you should do is organize...organize...organize. This is crucial for succeeding in anything in life. Things to focus on are having a physical agenda and organizing your semester classes on google drive. Having a physical agenda (at least for me) makes me more productive than having a digital planner. You can add classes, school activities, or anything you need to plan in your life. Google Drive folders will be your best friend as it can hold your papers, documents, presentations, images, pdf, or just about anything for any of your classes. 

Without a plan, you’re more likely to struggle and slow progress towards your goals. Having a clear plan for being organized can help make your goals clear.

Create a routine

When you were regularly going to class in-person there was an established routine. You woke up at a certain time, got dressed, commuted, or walked to your class, took notes, left class, had lunch, etc. But all this has changed now that every aspect of our lives is in one place, so now there’s less incentive to physically get up get dressed, go outside, or do what we would normally do. This new lifestyle of staying inside makes us more prone to fall into unhealthy habits and overall it isn’t good for our mental and physical health. That is why it’s important to have

established a routine that makes you get up in the morning and do what you’ve set out to accomplish. Using your planner from tip one will help you set out what you plan to do for the day.

Be familiar with online tools and ask questions

When you’re on an unfamiliar journey it’s always handy to keep a map just in case you get lost. This same rule applies to navigate virtual learning. You know that you need to take a certain class or classes but how do you successfully navigate them virtually? You start by looking for your school’s IT Department information like their phone, email, and office hours. You can also watch YouTube videos for a better demonstration of how to use and navigate your online applications like Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, and more. Finally, you can ask your professor because they’ve probably run into the same problem(s) you’re experiencing or known other students in the past who’ve had the same problem(s). Overall, make sure to utilize all of your resources because your school wants to see you succeed.

Engage in virtual learning

Even though we’re all online for the most part that doesn’t mean we can or should behave differently than if we were in-person. The only thing that changed was our learning environment so it’s important to keep that in mind so that you don’t compromise the success of your learning. Participating in class discussions, asking questions, and taking notes are all still critical to your success as a student. As we’re all separated from each other class time is also important for social interactions. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social disconnect, so make sure to stay engaged with fellow students and professors.

Create a virtual study group

Studying by yourself was hard enough, but now you have to study virtually but that doesn’t necessarily mean alone. Digital spaces like GroupMe, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and others have made it possible to connect with people in a matter of seconds. Like I mentioned in tip 3 utilize your resources and create study groups with people who are taking the same classes as you are. To start you can create a discussion board post in your online class and ask if people would like to start a study group and to drop their numbers in the forum if interested. You can also get into a club or student org group chats and ask them the same. If you want to reach a wider audience you can always post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platforms you use. After you’ve gathered enough people you can decide on commonly available times to video chat and study together.

Have a clear and quiet workspace 

Learning off-campus is already a struggle. You’re not in your regular learning environment so your first location picks to study might be your bedroom, but you might want to think again. Studies say that studying in your bed will actually make you sleepy as your brain associates bed with sleep. The effects are also vis versa in that you’ll find it hard to go to sleep because you’ve studied all day in your bedroom and so your brain is linking studying to your bedroom. The efficient way to engage remote learning is to have a clean and quiet space with no interruptions, that’s not your bedroom. Being that most of us are at home and home isn’t always quiet you can use your headphones or purchase noise-canceling headphones for studying. It’s also important to link this back to tip 2 in keeping a routine to establish consistency in online learning.

Well, guys, those are all the tips, tricks, and advice I have to share with you all. I’m sure there are more ways and tips for organizing your online classes so keep searching. Overall make sure to apply these tips you’ve learned here to your online classes because they only work if you do! 

Thanks for reading!

I'm a junior at Delaware State University majoring in New Media in Arts and minoring in Entrepreneurship. I like drawing, language learning, and binge-watching Law and Order: SVU. Although, I'm new to writing articles I hope you all enjoy my writing!
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