7 Online Learning Strategies & TipsPosted In Online Education | Posted By Kristy Robins
How to Get the Most out of Online Learning
Online learning became popular by necessity, but now that students and parents have gotten a taste of its benefits, it seems it’s here to stay. Since the spring of 2020, more than 65% of American households with students in grades K-12 have utilized some aspect of online learning. For many families, it was such a good fit that they plan to continue. Online learning isn’t for everyone, but for some students, the benefits of online learning make it a sensible choice.
As a new school year begins, many parents are wondering how to help their children get prepared to navigate online learning and how to support them during the process. Here are some tips to help your child excel in his or her online learning journey.
Set up a Comfortable Learning Environment
In order to make the most of online learning, your child will need a dedicated learning space. For starters, your child will need a table or desk and high speed internet access. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that he or she has a comfortable chair and ample lighting. If at all possible, choose a space that can be cut off from household distractions during school hours, or if that’s not possible, consider investing in a headset with a microphone that allows your student to tune into lessons and class activities and tune out background noise.
Be Prepared on the First Day
Before the course begins, be sure your child is equipped to log on and participate in class activities. Place your order for textbooks and any other materials he or she will need well in advance to be sure your student is prepared on the first day. Find out which browsers work best with the online platform and get them installed ahead of time so that your student can become familiar with them. If possible, your student should practice navigating the online system and accessing the course website to avoid stress on the first day. First impressions matter, even in an online class, so do all that you can to help your student be ready on day one.
Create a Daily Schedule
Enlist your child’s help in setting up a schedule that works for him or her. Start by blocking off time in class and time for independent study and completion of assignments. Be sure that all household members know when the student will be in class so that they can observe a “do not disturb” policy and avoid distracting or embarrassing the student during live classes. Additionally, make sure your student’s physical needs are accounted for by including designated break and meal times when the student can mingle and talk with other household members so that he or she doesn’t feel isolated. Setting up a schedule will help your child find a routine that contributes to his or her productivity and wellbeing.
Encourage Active Participation
To get the most out of online learning, encourage your child to actively engage in class activities. To start, make sure your child is fully awake before morning classes. They shouldn’t roll out of bed and jump into an online class. Instead, encourage him or her to wake up in time to get dressed and eat a nourishing breakfast to get those neurons firing and ready to learn. Once in class, your child should plan to participate in class activities, not just sit back and passively wait for the information to fill his or her brain. Taking notes, asking questions, engaging in class activities, and seeking feedback will help your student improve focus and retention.
Connections matter whether a class meets online or in person. Encourage your child to utilize online discussion boards to better learn the course material and to build relationships with other students. Getting to know other students will help your child feel like part of a learning community and may even lead to the formation of a study group. Likewise, your child can benefit from connecting with the instructor of the course and should reach out to ask for clarification on course content and assignments. Building relationships with other students and the instructor will increase your student’s motivation and give him or her an opportunity to seek assistance when needed.
Keep up with Assignments
Procrastination can get in the way of your student’s success. To combat this common problem, your child should use a planner or digital calendar to make a note of all major assignments listed in the syllabus. That way, he or she can anticipate upcoming due dates and make steady progress rather than waiting until the night before the assignment is due. Additionally, it is a good idea to mark social events such as weddings and weekend trips on the calendar to give your child a heads up to prepare in advance. The best way to keep up with assignments is to not get behind in the first place. Learning to be proactive is a life skill that will serve your student well in school and beyond.
Read the Directions Twice
While your child shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to his or her instructor to ask questions, it’s an excellent idea to make sure that the question isn’t already answered in the syllabus or assignment directions. Your student can save time and embarrassment by reading carefully and only asking questions once he or she has determined that the answer hasn’t already been given in course communications sent out by the instructor.
If you’re looking for an online program in writing for your homeschool student, you might want to consider Essentials in Writing. Offering a virtual class for struggling writers, a creative writing class, and a college prep class, Essentials in Writing will help your student become a better writer through engaging mini-lessons and meaningful feedback on written assignments.