Most of PSB Academy and partner university classes have moved off campus. What this means is students will be using online learning platforms to immerse in lesson instruction and to work with peers using collaborative meeting software such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams to name a few. Working on your assignments and reading at home will require students to cater some learning space and time to master the concepts during home-based learning.
Here we will provide 8 tips to help students transit in their adjustment towards remote learning and more importantly to stay on top of their studies and coursework.
Tip Number 1:
Structure Your Learning Routine
Apart from scheduled lessons, students should devote a certain learning timeslot for weekly review of concepts covered, to do the pre- and post-lecture read up and for working on the assignments. This reduces procrastination that tends to creep in, so support from peers is critical in providing the motivation to work on assignments timely. Apart from studies, putting short breaks for a walk in the park or to grab a bite during tea break will help learners stay focused and motivated. There are plenty of calendar-apps available that can set friendly reminders to get going with the coursework.
Tip Number 2:
Constant Communications and Exploring New Ideas
The learning platform Blackboard at PSB provides discussion forums and space for peer-assisted discussion which is facilitated by the lecturers. Some of the common lecture conceptual queries may be answered much promptly by your peers and moderated by the instructors. Forming small supportive study groups by locking in virtual meetings with classmates will help to drive the motivation and to stay focused on assignment datelines. Be sure to clarify all doubts with your lecturers – who are here to smoothen your learning journey.
Tip Number 3:
Regardless of when you choose to study, do consider turning your cell phone off to avoid losing focus every time a text message or notification pops up. Set appropriate boundaries to assist in reducing distraction, you can consider activating the Do Not Disturb feature on your PC, or mobile internet device so that you can stay focused on your studies and revision.
Tip Number 4:
Digital wellness for the learner explores the relationship between the learner well-being with technology. Digital eye-strain, blurred vision and neck pain could result from prolonged periods of internet device usage. Do set time for a quick rest off the screen every 15-30 minutes. For long documents, consider downloading them and read offline. Increase the font size on the screen to make reading easier. Practicing digital wellness can help to keep your priorities in mind so that you stay on track with goals towards attaining good grades in your studies.
Tip Number 5:
Researching online for resources in compiling assignments. Make full use of online literature databases such as Google Scholar. Look for main ideas presented from journal or academic papers. Re-read slowly to digest and attempt to paraphrase and write the ideas relevant to your assignment task (such as a lab report or case study review assignment), bookmark relevant articles and resources and add in referencing. There are free citation mangers such as Mendeley or Zotero that are available to assist in reference list assembly.
Do remember to check and proofread for typos and grammar errors. Free writing applications such as Grammarly could be a great assistant to help with the final round of checks prior submission of your assignment.
Tip Number 6:
Communicating and Participating Online
Online classes may seem daunting as the student may feel he/she is learning on his/her own. Aim to build relationships with your classmates, make the first move to introduce yourself and engage in online discussion boards. Form virtual teams as you work on assignments as most courses will require some aspect of teamwork in doing a project or group task. The lecturers and instructors will actively facilitate the progress of the team towards the completion goal.
Tip Number 7:
Seeking Academic Consultations
As online instruction requires the learner to be independent in learning, should you do feel yourself falling behind, speak up. Do not wait till the tests or exams is almost nearing before you ask questions or seek help. At PSB Academy, the lecturers are just an email away, do contact them, set up an appointment and be proactive in asking for help.
Tip Number 8:
Use the Learning Resources Center (that is open to support your learning needs) and the abundance of online virtual library resources that are available. Links are embedded in your LMS with associated lecture chapters to the e-books. Make full use of the resources available to sharpen your inquisitive search to conceptual mastery of knowledge instructed. Stay motivated and work hard.
We hope that the above tips will help you in structuring a learning routine to help you earn your certificate, diploma or degrees to fulfil your goals. Although COVID-19 brings about the need to adjust the learning practices and online classes comes with unique challenges, learners should aim to stay focused, connected and work towards success in their learning journey.