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Education

7 Virtual Learning Tips for Students to Ensure Success

After spending several years learning in a physical classroom setting, the transition to virtual learning may prove difficult for some students. They no longer have a live teacher in front of them, nor do they have a cohort of learners around them who can help and support them the same way they do in a real classroom. Though things may not seem normal, this may be the new normal for the foreseeable future.

Here are some virtual learning tips for students to adjust to this new educational environment:

1. Know the Expectations

One of the best virtual learning tips for students is to take the time to understand what exactly your teacher is looking for you to do.

Each teacher will have expectations in terms of note-taking, assignment completion, and attendance.  Make sure you know what each teacher expects and attend each class prepared.

It would be best if you also went in with a degree of patience and understanding. While you are accustomed to in-person learning, so is your teacher. They’re trying to get used to virtual learning too.

There will be a learning curve for everyone involved, and things will be different for teachers and students alike.

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2. Have the Proper Technology

Since you have to use your home computer or tablet, you will need to ensure that you have everything required and that it is working correctly. After all, 4.4 million students don’t even have consistent access to computers for virtual learning, and many more don’t have a stable internet connection.

So ask yourself the following questions:

Is your laptop charged and/or plugged in? Is your internet connection running smoothly? Does your Zoom microphone work? Is the microphone sensitivity too high or does your microphone sound like a robot? What about your webcam?

It is always a good idea to sign on for class a few minutes early. That gives you time to have everything loaded and troubleshoot anything that does not appear to be working properly.

3. Prepare Your Learning Environment

Aside from having what you need in the technology department, some courses may also require other materials. Here is a list of useful items to have within reach:

  • Paper for taking notes
  • Pens and pencils
  • Markers, crayons, or pencil crayons
  • Highlighter
  • Calculator
  • Ruler
  • Water bottle and a snack

Virtual learning for students will also require a study space that has adequate light, and that is comfortable. It is also a good idea to have an area that is free of outside distractions so you can stay focused and motivated to study.

4. Establish a Routine

Teachers who are providing virtual learning for students will stick to a schedule. They will most likely be available during a specific time slot each day. Though students will have to be online for any lectures and to ask questions, some of the allotted time may also be used for completing assigned work.

Now, instead of being in a class for 60-90 minutes, students may only need to be online for the first 15 minutes to attain the required information before logging off and completing assigned work.

It is essential to establish a routine so that the time teachers are allotting for classwork is not wasted. It is a good idea to follow a regular school day schedule as much as possible. Having a schedule will prevent students from falling behind and not completing the work on time.

If you feel like you are caught up or ahead in a course, use the time to work on other subjects, hold study sessions, and to get prepared for your next online session of the day.

5. Remember Your Daily Physical Activity (DPA)

DPA is still an essential part of the curriculum but can be challenging to deliver as an online program. And according to the World Health Organization, over 80% of kids don’t get enough exercise.

A Physical Education teacher may want students online to discuss rules of sports and techniques. Still, the onus is on students to remain physically active.

Here are some tips for virtual learning in Phys. Ed.:

  • Get up from the computer between classes to stretch out your body. Now that you are not moving from classroom to classroom, you may be more sedentary than usual.
  • Go for a walk or jog.
  • Have a trampoline? Get jumping!
  • Use the basketball nets outside on the school grounds to shoot some hoops.
  • Find a YouTube exercise channel you like and get moving.
  • Play VR games that help you work up a sweat like Just Dance or Beat Sabers.

Physical activity helps to improve your mood, increase energy, and awaken your brain for learning.

6. Talk to Your Teachers

The teachers are still available for you when you have questions and need help with your work. Virtual learning for students and teachers will look and feel different, so it is vital to keep communication open.

Also, the teacher may be looking at 20-30 students on their screen and may not notice if you have your hand up to ask a question.

Some online learning platforms have a virtual hand you can raise, or the teacher may have a signal that you are to use. Find out what the procedure is and if you have questions, make sure you ask!

If the teacher does not recognize you, turn on your mic and address them politely, and they will acknowledge you. If you feel confident and don’t have any questions about the work, it is still important to maintain a connection.

At the end of class, ask your teacher how his weekend was or mention that you saw him walking his dog! Or tell a story about something that happened at your house. Teachers miss that kind of communication with their students, and it is an integral part of their day.

7. Talk to Your Classmates

Having the opportunity to talk to your classmates and maintain a certain level of socialization is also important. Your teacher understands this as well and will provide opportunities for interaction when possible.

Another benefit to signing on earlier is that you may have an opportunity to socialize before the teacher is ready to begin the lesson. One of the most complex parts of virtual learning is that the social aspect is not the same as in-person schooling.

Remember to remain engaged. If someone asks a question during class or posts to a discussion board, be prepared to participate and help to create dialogue.

You may also want to set up online study groups of smaller cohorts so that you have more opportunities to speak with your classmates. Group chats using social apps are also a great way to stay in touch.

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