How to Stay Focused on your Online Classes

Focused on online classes

Everyone knows that being 100% focused on school work is close to, if not, impossible. Education is important, but there are other aspects of life that should have your time and energy. Students have a tendency to get off task or be distracted by a plethora of things and its totally normal. But with the advent of COVID-19, the way we function in schools have shifted, and so has our attitude towards the method of education.

If your city is fortunate enough to have lower numbers of COVID-19 cases, schools may have probably opened up in some capacity to adjust to safer social distancing methods and hygienic routines. You’ll be able to attend your classes in-person as long as you follow the guidelines. 

But if you’re like most other cities, school will move to online courses, much like most had switched to during the beginning of the pandemic. This has not only changed the way we interact with our classmates, but also how we approach school altogether.

online classes with dog

What will online school look like?

If you’re new to online learning and distance learning, there are a lot of things that you’ll have to get used to in order to function properly in your classes. Here’s a few things to look out for

  • Mandatory attendance: Studying from home gives you almost no excuse not to make it to class, so schools and universities are enforcing compulsory attendance. Of course, in extreme circumstances it will be excused – but don’t even think about using some crazy excuse on your professors – they will know!

  • Homework Weight: Earning grades will be a bit different online, as probably all your assignments will be due online as well. Since the teacher can’t really help you with your homework, they will just have to check it online. This means that the weight of your homework assignments will be much heavier online, as this is the closest for teachers to assess the overall grades. 

  • Adjusted Grading Scales: Just as mentioned before, homework will be weighed more highly than before because it will be the main bulk of the work you’ll do for your teacher. Tests and exams will also be important, but those will mostly stay the same in terms of points earned. Your in-class exercises and participation points will most likely be transferred as homework. 

  • Technical Issues: Just as most technology nowadays, there will be some kinks and problems with using it properly. Teachers and administration are doing their best to accommodate everyone, but know that technology isn’t perfect and these will be a common problem to run into.

  • Less Socializing: Because you’ll mostly be at home during online courses, the amount of time you spend socializing with your friends like you used to will dramatically decrease. You’ll most likely see most of your classmates on the screen only, so its best to temper your expectations

How can I really focus on my online classes?

With the dawn of online education and courses, lots of changes have been made. But it still doesn’t change the fact that online courses will need your attention just as much, if not even more so than your in-class courses. We’ve come up with a guide to help you stay focused on your online classes and make the most of this weird situation. 

  1. Have a Routine – This is quite overlooked normally, but during the quarantine, lots of people have discovered that keeping a routine of your daily life helps us move along. With a routine, the everyday aspects of life can be on auto-pilot; making coffee, having breakfast, getting ready, and attending classes. Once you get into the swing of things – routines will turn into habits and then turn into productivity. You spend a lot less time figuring out how to live, and more time on the important things like class or work.

  2. Stay informed – Knowing is half the battle! Know what you’re expected to do in class so that you won’t get caught off guard. Make mental notes about due dates and exam dates and plan accordingly. You can also set up arrangements with your classmates to share notes and study together. Staying informed about the latest will really help you stay focused during the lessons or at least focused on your work.

  3. Create your workplace – This is actually a really fun aspect of online learning. Since you will probably be at home in your room, you’ll have a very comfortable setting to learn in. Make it your own, and make it practical. Having things like a mini-fridge or extra chargers and a bookshelf of all your necessary books would be a great set-up for some students. Just make sure it isn’t too relaxing so you don’t fall asleep!

  4. Update your Apps – Since you’ll most likely be using a video conference platform, you’ll want to make sure it all works properly. This means testing it every now and then to make sure updates are installed and working properly. This also means to check your wi-fi connection, as you want to avoid connection issues and miss out on your lessons. If you can, download the necessary apps on multiple devices, in case one of them decides to stop working at some moment.

  5. Avoid Distractions – Being at home provides you comfort, but sometimes you can get too comfortable and it’ll be a distraction from your classes. Instead, setting up your workspace should remove those distractions. Don’t go to class in bed – you’ll fall right asleep! Don’t play video games while the teacher is talking! Instead, move to a room where you won’t be tempted to do something other than learning.

  6. Use your resources – Apart from using your teachers and textbooks for learning, the whole entire internet is at your disposal as a resource. Free links to websites and online practice will help you focus on your studies and make it a bit more bearable. Online apps that boost productivity or that help you stay relaxed and goal-orientated can also be very useful for staying focused. 

  7. Ask for help – When in doubt, ask someone else. It’s really okay to ask for help when you need it, especially since the way we used to do things has changed completely. But even in online classes, homework assignments will still be a drag. Ask your classmates for help studying and for homework, ask your teacher for clarification or extra materials to study from. Don’t be afraid to ask for someone’s help, it’s normal. 

Once you’ve established a good idea of how to focus – try to make the most of the situation and find out how to maximize your efficiency.