Have you ever met that one guy who’s just not that good at house projects and blames his tools for it? He could have a custom hand-held electric drill, but when he goes to put in screws he misses the mark, swears, and blames the drill. We all know the type.  

Many people have this same perspective with online learning, expecting it to do all the heavy lifting in learning from home. But online learning can’t do something it’s designed to do unless its strengths are used properly. People miss out on the good that can come from it!  

Online learning isn’t a bad tool, it was simply designed to be used differently than in-person classes were. So, let’s go over some details of online learning, and how students can use it effectively.  

Plan Ahead 

When used correctly, every online learning software includes features to alert students of upcoming assignments and due dates. Whether it’s blackboardd2l, or canvas, this feature is incredibly useful, and shouldn’t be ignored. If you can look on the dashboard and see when your due dates are, keep track of them! Keep a little calendar or an app on your phone that reminds you of what assignments are coming up, and when they are due!  

Or, if your teacher doesn’t use this feature, every due date for important assignments should be listed in the class syllabus. If you read this and keep track of your assignments, you’ll be much more prepared to tackle the next class project that comes your way.  

Time Management 

Once you have your due dates ready, you’ll be able to plan ahead in order to get everything done on time. Some students prefer to plan months in advance, while others are more motivated to get things done when the due dates are only days away! I won’t say one method is better than the other but know yourself! Don’t put things off until the last minute if you know you’ll have a band concert or a track meet the night before your assignment is due.  

Another thing you can do if you know an assignment or paper will take more time to get done, think about times during the week you’ll be able to work on your assignment and get it done well before the due date. If you keep track of due dates and think ahead to when you’ll be able to get things done, you’ll be able to manage your time well 

Take Breaks 

During in-person school, whether it’s homeroom or lunch, you’ll always know the next time you’ll be able to take a breather and not think about schoolwork for a moment. In online school, unless your days are structured to do so, you won’t know when your next break is coming up. It may be helpful to plan this ahead of time so that you are able to keep yourself accountable and give your brain a rest for a moment.  

Studies show us that mental exhaustion from doing too much critical thinking can reduce the quality of further critical thinking, also known as decision fatigue. The quality of work will drop after too much time or effort is invested in a project. Taking a walk, having a snack, or drinking a cup of coffee are proven to restore productivity! 

Know Where and When to Ask for Help 

With in-person classes, it’s much easier to simply come up to a teacher and ask if they will explain a concept that feels confusing. With online learning, you have to be the one to take the initiative, since you won’t really see them in passing. Either with office hours or simply asking them to chat with you after the video call, you need to be the one to get their attention.  

Alternatively, if your teacher either feels unapproachable or unconcerned, there is often supplemental instruction at your school if you know where to look. Asking a faculty member, or a quick google search will tell where and when they meet, and these can be a very great resource! You can also find this kind of supplemental instruction online!  

Check out this list of 13 supplemental resources you might find helpful! 

Another thing that might help is looking up a quick video on YouTube or Google to explain the concept. This is maybe not the best way to get a comprehensive view of the subject, but it can be very helpful in answering simple, one-sentence questions!  

Another Set of Eyes 

Whether you’re writing up papers, or detailed reports, another person to peer-review your work, always makes it better. No matter how hard we may try, whatever we write will always have little details out of place or little things that can be improved upon. A friend, a parent, or even a classmate can be extremely helpful in trying to find these little fixes and can improve your grade a good deal!  

There’s no shame in asking for help. Here at Pass Drivers Ed, we will even have others peer review every article before it makes its way to you. And if we can do it, you can too!  

Initiative 

Finally, online learning takes a great deal of initiative to work. Whether you’re making your schedule, managing time, or finding supplemental instruction, there won’t be people telling you to do so. You’ll have to come to these conclusions on your own and follow through with them on your own.  

This isn’t as much a helpful tip or trick, but more of a prerequisite for online learning to be effective. If you’re going to expect someone to hand you the due dates and remind you constantly, you’ll be quite disappointed. But, when you know what is expected of you, you’re more able to rise to the occasion!   

One Last Thing 

Many of these tips and tricks are dependent upon your teacher. If you have a teacher that is helpful and good at using online tools then that’s great, and you’re in for a good school year! If not, please look at those 13 supplemental resources (linked here and above) that could be helpful. Take the initiative, and do the best you can, since nobody can really ask you to do more than that. From all of us at Pass Drivers Ed, we hope you have an amazing school year! 

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

Have you ever met that one guy who’s just not that good at house projects and blames his tools for it? He could have a custom hand-held electric drill, but when he goes to put in screws he misses the mark, swears, and blames the drill. We all know the type.  

Many people have this same perspective with online learning, expecting it to do all the heavy lifting in learning from home. But online learning can’t do something it’s designed to do unless its strengths are used properly. People miss out on the good that can come from it!  

Online learning isn’t a bad tool, it was simply designed to be used differently than in-person classes were. So, let’s go over some details of online learning, and how students can use it effectively.  

Plan Ahead 

When used correctly, every online learning software includes features to alert students of upcoming assignments and due dates. Whether it’s blackboardd2l, or canvas, this feature is incredibly useful, and shouldn’t be ignored. If you can look on the dashboard and see when your due dates are, keep track of them! Keep a little calendar or an app on your phone that reminds you of what assignments are coming up, and when they are due!  

Or, if your teacher doesn’t use this feature, every due date for important assignments should be listed in the class syllabus. If you read this and keep track of your assignments, you’ll be much more prepared to tackle the next class project that comes your way.  

Time Management 

Once you have your due dates ready, you’ll be able to plan ahead in order to get everything done on time. Some students prefer to plan months in advance, while others are more motivated to get things done when the due dates are only days away! I won’t say one method is better than the other but know yourself! Don’t put things off until the last minute if you know you’ll have a band concert or a track meet the night before your assignment is due.  

Another thing you can do if you know an assignment or paper will take more time to get done, think about times during the week you’ll be able to work on your assignment and get it done well before the due date. If you keep track of due dates and think ahead to when you’ll be able to get things done, you’ll be able to manage your time well 

Take Breaks 

During in-person school, whether it’s homeroom or lunch, you’ll always know the next time you’ll be able to take a breather and not think about schoolwork for a moment. In online school, unless your days are structured to do so, you won’t know when your next break is coming up. It may be helpful to plan this ahead of time so that you are able to keep yourself accountable and give your brain a rest for a moment.  

Studies show us that mental exhaustion from doing too much critical thinking can reduce the quality of further critical thinking, also known as decision fatigue. The quality of work will drop after too much time or effort is invested in a project. Taking a walk, having a snack, or drinking a cup of coffee are proven to restore productivity! 

Know Where and When to Ask for Help 

With in-person classes, it’s much easier to simply come up to a teacher and ask if they will explain a concept that feels confusing. With online learning, you have to be the one to take the initiative, since you won’t really see them in passing. Either with office hours or simply asking them to chat with you after the video call, you need to be the one to get their attention.  

Alternatively, if your teacher either feels unapproachable or unconcerned, there is often supplemental instruction at your school if you know where to look. Asking a faculty member, or a quick google search will tell where and when they meet, and these can be a very great resource! You can also find this kind of supplemental instruction online!  

Check out this list of 13 supplemental resources you might find helpful! 

Another thing that might help is looking up a quick video on YouTube or Google to explain the concept. This is maybe not the best way to get a comprehensive view of the subject, but it can be very helpful in answering simple, one-sentence questions!  

Another Set of Eyes 

Whether you’re writing up papers, or detailed reports, another person to peer-review your work, always makes it better. No matter how hard we may try, whatever we write will always have little details out of place or little things that can be improved upon. A friend, a parent, or even a classmate can be extremely helpful in trying to find these little fixes and can improve your grade a good deal!  

There’s no shame in asking for help. Here at Pass Drivers Ed, we will even have others peer review every article before it makes its way to you. And if we can do it, you can too!  

Initiative 

Finally, online learning takes a great deal of initiative to work. Whether you’re making your schedule, managing time, or finding supplemental instruction, there won’t be people telling you to do so. You’ll have to come to these conclusions on your own and follow through with them on your own.  

This isn’t as much a helpful tip or trick, but more of a prerequisite for online learning to be effective. If you’re going to expect someone to hand you the due dates and remind you constantly, you’ll be quite disappointed. But, when you know what is expected of you, you’re more able to rise to the occasion!   

One Last Thing 

Many of these tips and tricks are dependent upon your teacher. If you have a teacher that is helpful and good at using online tools then that’s great, and you’re in for a good school year! If not, please look at those 13 supplemental resources (linked here and above) that could be helpful. Take the initiative, and do the best you can, since nobody can really ask you to do more than that. From all of us at Pass Drivers Ed, we hope you have an amazing school year! 

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

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