Succeeding in virtual classrooms during COVID-19 closures.

As the state prepares to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-10), more and more schools are closing their campuses and switching to distance learning models. While some of you may have taken online classes before and may find this switch second nature, others may be wondering how they can succeed in school from afar.

  1. Take notes!
    It’s important to treat online lectures or recorded lessons like any other class session. Sit down, pay attention, and take notes! Studies show that writing things down with pen and paper helps your brain form lasting memories—so break out your notebook and start jotting down some notes.
  2. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
    In any classroom environment, it’s important to advocate for yourself if you have questions. Scribble down any notes you have when you complete assignments or watch recorded lectures, and email these in to your professor! It’s important to stay engaged with the classroom dynamic, even from home, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
  3. Put alerts in your smartphone or notes in your planner about assignments
    While Take Stock in College always recommends you write down your scheduled assignments, this expediency is even more critical when completing coursework from home! If you have a smartphone, program your assignments, quizzes, tests, and scheduled lectures into your calendar with reminders on. If you are more old school and prefer a pen and paper model, use your planner and refer to it at the top of each morning. This practice will help keep you from falling behind.
  4. Check your email multiple times a day.
    When you are taking classes from home, email is pretty much the only method of communication your professors and college administration have to contact you. Thus, you must stay tuned in! Check your email every day, multiple times so you don’t miss an important class or school announcements, reminders, or instructions. 
  5. Limit distractions in your workspace.
    When working from home, it’s easy to get distracted. If possible, try to find a quiet space to work. However, we know many of you will be with family who are also working from home or have younger family members running around while you are trying to study. At the very least, try to find a spot that doesn’t face a TV (if you can, turn off the TV!), leave your phone in the next room, wear headphones. Whatever you need to do to focus!
  6. Try to secure technology ahead of time.
    We know not every student owns their computer—in this case, that can make participating in your virtual classes a bit more tricky. Email your school and community library to see if they have any loaner laptops. Check-in with friends and family about borrowing. While going to a community library or cyber café is usually a good option for accessing technology…it’s possible these locations will also be shut down due to COVID-19. If you absolutely cannot access the technology you need to complete your assignments you must advocate for yourself. Contact your professors at the earliest possible moment and let them know your situation. You don’t want to wait too long and fall behind.

Remember, success in virtual learning environments is not that dissimilar from success in a traditional classroom; if you are focused, attentive, and communicative you have all the tools you need to succeed. If you have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to reach out to your College Completion Coach for assistance!

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