With COVID-19 forcing millions of students into a distance or distance learning setting, many students are struggling to fit in outside of the classroom. Here are some of the common obstacles with distance learning and ways to beat them.
The distraction that never ends
Students often equate being at home with leisure or after school time. With many schools moving from face-to-face to online, students are now expected to make use of their home space for distance learning. With that comes a long list of distractions that wouldn’t be available in traditional classrooms, including television, cell phones, video games, or even family pets. Whether you walk into a study session or study for a test, try to remove all distractions around you and use a quiet place. Focus on the task at hand. Make a checklist of things you need to accomplish each day and tick off each item when you’re done.
Lack of motivation
Studying outside the classroom requires efficient self-discipline and time management skills. Since nothing reminds you to complete assignments or study for exams, you have to rely on yourself to stick with assignments and get things done. Sometimes this can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of giving up. Making plans, setting achievable goals, and taking breaks to recharge yourselves are all ways to help you stay motivated and stay on track.
Failure to stay in touch with instructors
Running ideas by your instructor or asking them questions is easier to do before or after class. But how can this be achieved when you don’t see your instructor physically during distance learning? Contacting your instructor by email is helpful, but you may not receive immediate feedback from him when you need it. If possible, schedule a phone call or video call with your instructor and prepare it with questions or topics where you need feedback. Find out what your instructors are working on and plan ahead to go to his calendar.
Feel disconnected from your peers
No face-to-face classes means you won’t be able to interact with your students in person to work on group projects, study, or just relax together. Completing school work alone can often lead to feelings of isolation, depression, or anxiety . Get around this by scheduling regular phone or video calls with friends and classmates to feel connected. Take social distancing trips with a friend. Interact with your neighbors from a safe distance. Staying connected with other people improves your mental health and well-being, while making you feel supported.
Don’t talk and fall behind
It’s easy to take online lessons and feel too intimidated to speak up when you have questions. Feel free to contact your instructor and ask for guidance or clarification on topics you don’t understand. Form online studies or discussion groups with other students who are interested in reviewing course material and studying together.
Distance learning comes with its many challenges, but it also provides students with opportunities for flexibility, convenience and networking with your friends.