Taking classes online for the first time? You aren’t alone! Adjusting to an online classroom can be tough for students who are accustomed to face-to-face classes, but TC’s faculty and staff have offered some tips and advice for making sure your online classroom experience is a success.
“Set aside YOUR time with minimal distractions… even in chunks of 30 minutes. Make a daily schedule of what you will accomplish and check it off for a visual of successful accomplishments. Set a timer on your phone or even a kitchen timer. Reward yourself when you meet even a tiny goal, such as completing a task.”
“Create a space to study. Make small goals and reward yourself when you meet them. Communicate with your instructor when you have challenges.”
“Decide on the best times of day (when you have the most energy) to work on coursework. Stick to a schedule as much as possible so your subconscious will be trained to be ready. Keep a running list of questions or suggestions that you can share at future Teams meetings. Rest and practice self care. Reach out to your instructor and/or support services when you have questions or need help.”
“If you teacher gives you a ‘free’ class time to work on online materials for the course use that time for the course. Maintain relationships (or form new ones) with class mates so that you have people to talk with about course content. Make use of professors virtual office hours and the ability to call or chat via Microsoft Teams and have one on one conversations with professors much like you would in your face to face setting.”
“Stay motivated, watch videos, watch the Food Network, try new recipes and keep feeding your passion.”
“Check your college email! Call the help desk if you’re having trouble, no matter what! Stay in contact with your professor any way you can. They are there to help!”
What about tests? As we have moved to an online testing format, for many of us it is a new experience. We no longer have the quiet of our classrooms or the Testing Center to take our tests. It is now up to us to create our own testing environment. Here are a few tips that might help you with taking tests online:
- Check your computer. Avoid last-minute problems! Make sure you’ll be in a location with an adequate Internet connection and your computer is charged or plugged in.
- Study the class materials! Even if the test is “open book,” it’s still important to study and review just as if you were taking the test in a classroom.
- Plan your time. Start your test with plenty of time to spare for submitting the test. Don’t wait to the last minute, just in case a technology issue occurs. Determine how many minutes you have on each question and pace yourself accordingly.
- Carve out a quiet test-taking spot with minimal distractions. Turn off all notifications from IM, your phone, your email, and elsewhere (or, set them to silent). Shut off the TV and radio. Let everyone in your household know you will be taking a test, so that they’re less likely to interrupt you during that time.
- Determine when you will take the test. You may have to take the exam at a specific time; however, if the test will be available for several hours (or even a few days), choose a time that presents the least potential for distraction, interruption, and stress. If you have children, you may want to wait until they go to bed.
- Gather all that you’ll need to take the test. If you can have materials such as notes, books, or writing implements with you, be sure that they’re set to go.
- Take a deep breath! Once you’re logged in, take a moment to relax and get focused – then begin the test.