Over the past two years, our way of learning and studying has wholly changed. The pandemic has prevented us from attending physical classes and forced us to look for alternatives. For every student during the pandemic, taking online classes has been a challenge. It is not something that we are used to, so it is pretty reasonable to feel overwhelmed by online classes. Seven tips for online classes that will help you succeed during the pandemic.
A decluttered environment creates a decluttered mind. And nothing is better for studying than a fresh mind. Our study environment directly affects our study session quality. This is one of the apparent tips for online classes that every student so often ignores.
Students start their online classes in a messy space. Sometimes it is hard to find their stationaries, notebooks in a cluttered environment leading to repeated breaks in an online class. This hampers the rhythm, and they are less likely to retain anything from their online classes.
Every student should sit down for an online class 10 minutes before the class begins. He should make sure that he has everything he needs. Also, it is best to declutter the mess in his desks to create a soothing environment that motivates him to stay more focused.
It is so easy to be distracted in an online class. One notification bell can absorb you into the distracting social media world. You cannot turn your internet off. Then how do you prevent that from happening? I have a solution for you.
There are many apps out there that can help you to block these distracting websites, but I would recommend you these two :
Forest: Forest is an app available for Android, IOS, Mac, Windows, and even as a chrome extension. It has a simple yet aesthetic interface. Every time you start a focus session, a virtual tree is planted. You can set your own timing for a session. Your tree will continue to grow, but if you leave halfway, your tree is going to die. It also has a blocklist and allowlist to add websites to block or allow respectively according to your needs.
It is free for Android but 1.99$ for the IOS app. There is also an in-app purchase option.
Freedom: This is another app that can help you to stay away from distracting internet elements. Freedom users report that they gained an average of 2.5 productive hours each day. It is also available for all devices and also a chrome extension. Freedom has no timer; it is used explicitly for blocking websites and apps. Some advanced features help you with ambient sound for focusing, session annotation & session history.
Pricing includes :
- Monthly – 6.99$/month
- Yearly – 2.42$/month
- Forever- 64.50$ / month
Both of these apps can be helpful in your online classes. They can block any websites or apps that are likely to create distractions.
Besides using apps, you might want to use your phone in airplane mode to prevent unnecessary phone calls. It is also best practice to remove any other physical elements like storybooks, gaming consoles & other things that might consume your attention.
Protecting your eyes:
On average, students of 8-12 years of age spend 4-6 hours in front of screens while teenagers use up to 9 hours a day. (1) This number is alarming. Online classes would add to this screen time. Spending this amount of time in front of screens can undoubtedly cause eye strain and fatigue. Although eye strain is not harmful, it can cause irritation and loss of concentration from online classes. Preventing eye strain is crucial.
Research suggests that making simple changes like re-positioning, blinking, taking regular breaks, and proper lighting can help prevent eyestrain. Here are things you can do in this regard :
Sit far from the screen:
It is best to sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen. Try to give your screen a high-five. If you can give a high-five to your computer correctly, then you are sitting too close.
Positioning the Computer screen
Ideally, you should look down at the screen at an angle of 15-20 degrees. This angle helps because it keeps your eyes moisturize and healthy.
Humans naturally blink about 20 times per minute. But if you are focusing on a screen, then this time reduces to almost half. That is why you need to consider blinking consciously. Try to break deliberately every 5 seconds or so.
Adjusting your computer display settings:
It would be best if you changed your brightness according to your environment. If you are in a well-illuminated room, reduce the brightness and increase it if it is dark. Avoid taking online classes in a dark room because it can severely harm your eyes and cause eye fatigue.
Another thing you should consider is the color temperature. This is a technical term for the spectrum of visible light by a color display. Bluelight is said to cause more eye strain than orange/ red. Reduce color temperature for better visual acuity.
Use all of these measures even if you are taking classes on your phone or tablet.
Learn the perfect posture for preventing back pain.
Among all the tips for online classes, preventing back pain is something that students ignore pretty often. They spend long hours sitting on the desk and end the day with back pain. This is uncomfortable and can potentially hamper your academic performance.
Here is what you should do for preventing back pain while sitting on a desk during online classes:
- Do not sit in the same posture for an extended period. Change your posture once in a while, even if you are in a good posture. Sitting like a robot is likely to cause both neck pain and back pain.
- Make sure there is enough space for your knees, thighs under your desk. Adjust the desk if it is too low.
- Adjust your chair in such a way so that your elbows do not remain inclined towards your desk. You want your elbow to remain parallel to the keyboard as much as possible.
- If your chair is too high, you should use a footrest. It can be comforting for you. In the absence of a footrest, you can use a small stool.
Record all your classes:
It is not easy to remain focused the entire time in a one hours class. You are likely to get distracted or tired over time. It would be best if you recorded all your lectures so that you can review them any time you want. This action will help you for making notes or understanding any information you missed during the class.
Your classes are most likely to be conducted in Zoom or Google Meet. Here is how to record your classes:
- Click the option ” Record.”
- If the host has enabled recording permissions for participants as well, Click ” Participants” to see which participants are currently recording ( Sometimes you might forget to record, you can find a friend who has done the recording for you)
- After the class ends, Zoom will convert the recording for accessing them.
- Click “More.” Record Meeting.
- Wait for some time
- Click more again. Select “Stop Recording” to end
- Recorded files will save to the meeting organizer’s My Drive > Meet recordings folder.
You can also use other services for recording your online classes:
These three apps will let you record any class/meeting without the intervention of the host/organizer. So you might want to use them too, in case you don’t have the permission to record your classes ( Some institutions don’t allow it for certain reasons)
Take productive breaks
There are breaks between the two online classes. What do you do in that break? Let me guess, scroll through your phone. This is what all the students do, and it creates eye fatigue for having constant screen time. It is not recommended.
When you get a break between your online classes, make sure to leave your desk. It is best if you don’t touch your phone/ computer at all. Leave them be and try to clear your mind because you need your mind alert for consuming information again. Most students fail to concentrate on online classes because they become jammed with the online information of different websites and social media. Avoid this vicious habit.
Things you can do during this time:
- Talk with your family members
- Have a walk
- Take a cup of coffee
- Take any type of sweet ( Glucose increases cognitive function and helps you to focus)
- Take heavy breaths ( Oxygenate your brain )
- Take a shower etc.
Take it seriously
This statement is very obvious, but so many students out there do not take online classes seriously. The sole reason is that it is a virtual class, making it difficult to feel its physical presence. It does not seem important. But unfortunately, it is crucial for your grades.
Students should take online classes just like they take their traditional classes. Some students find ridiculous excuses to avoid these classes. But they forget that these classes matter the same and are going to affect their grades.
Every student should attend the classes regularly and try to remain as focus as possible. I know that it is not always possible to stay focused in an online class students need to try much harder.
This pandemic has changed the way we live our lives. Online classes have made it possible to pursue education even amid a global crisis. Online classes are a new concept that we all are trying to adapt. It is not easy to accept something we have never done in our lives, but we got to try. These eight tips for online classes are for helping all those students who want to make these classes as effective as a regular class.
Hope that this article helps you. Best of luck and Stay Safe.