How To Maximise Learning Online
To borrow the words of Ernest Hemingway: the normalisation of digital learning happened gradually, and then suddenly. Like it or not, e-learning has become part of our new normal.
There are perks to learning online, but some of us cannot help but take note of the negatives. For one, studying via the computer screen glues us to the digital device and increases our screen time to horrific amounts, leading to short-term effects such as neck and eye pain—not to mention longer-term implications on our posture and health.
Next, there is a certain ease to face-to-face learning, as opposed to communicating through the screen. Experts have analysed this and found that the crux lies in body language; specifically, when we are unable to observe non-verbal cues of the people we are communicating with, our brains need to work harder to fill in the gaps.
Whatever your bone to pick with online learning, let it be known that there are ways for you to harness the power of digital learning whilst side-stepping its more undesired side-effects.
Here are four easy tips for you to implement:
Limit Screen Time
Although this first tip might sound counter-intuitive, it is crucial to ensuring that you don’t suffer too much from what some have called “Zoom fatigue”, or general malaise from staring too much at your devices. Both of these things negatively affect your mood and productivity, making learning seem more like a chore than it should be!
Be strict with your screen time. When it is time to log off and rest your eyes, do so — take a solo walk around a neighbouring park (or around your house), help out with household chores, or engage in the non-digital hobby of your choice!
Cater To Your Learning Style
The internet is replete with multiple forms of media, which includes text, audio, images, videos, and any combination thereof. Furthermore, the nature of most e-learning is such that you are not confined to just one space.
These two factors are excellent news for kinaesthetic, visual, and auditory learners who may find that online learning supplements them with what in-class learning could not.
For kinaesthetic learners, explore how you can understand new concepts from the comfort of your own homes. For visual and auditory learners, make use of the millions of educational podcasts and videos to bolster your learning.
For all learners: if you find that you are unable to understand certain concepts, remember that a world of knowledge is available at the click of the mouse. You can easily search for any content that you want to know more about.
Practice Writing Skills
Here at Creative Campus, we have noticed that some of our older students benefit from the ability to type out their essays instead of using the good old pen-and-paper.
Indeed, if you are a fast enough typer, you will find that essays get done a lot more quickly when they are typed. This is largely a result of the lower physical effort needed in typing, as well as the ability to edit as you go; there’s no need to painstakingly squeeze in or cross out whole sentences when you can simply insert or delete them in a few quick taps.
So, why not make good use of this affordance? Practise the key skills of planning and crafting essays on your digital device. When you return to physical writing, you will find that your essay-writing skills have improved.
Communicate More With Your Teachers
Last but not least, it is important that you communicate regularly with your teachers. If you find online classes lacking or excelling in certain things, make sure to voice them to your Teachers whenever possible. After all, they are trying their utmost to adapt to the new learning format as well.
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About The Author
Miss Fiona Tan is a Teacher Associate at Creative Campus. As a Hwa Chong Institution and NUS alumna, she is particularly familiar with what it takes to excel in demanding exam conditions.