Essential Remote Learning Strategies
By: Mia Morrison & Kasey Hagedorn
Consistent blocks of time for classes
Set a consistent schedule! When you create a consistent schedule with your class you develop the consistency of in-person classes and are less likely to be distracted by social media, your bed, or other distractors. It is too easy to “forget” or procrastinate online coursework – consistent blocks of time help you remember and schedule time to complete work.
Communicate with instructor
Communication is so much more important in an online setting because it doesn’t happen naturally. Communication is a two-way street with a professor; it builds a relationship and helps you engage more fully with the resources and the course. You will then feel more comfortable to ask questions and be more involved. If you don’t know or understand a topic, make sure to ask. Also, keep in mind the importance of professionalism in the online environment.
Communicate with and engage with classmates
Establish pathways for communication with your classmates. Developing a sense of community makes class much more interesting and engaging as well as providing a support system for when you are struggling or need a question answered. Being part of a group will also keep you engaged and remind you to complete assignments. Group projects can be difficult online so making sure clear and conscious communication is occurring early and often is necessary for success.
Start work early
Start work earlier rather than later. It is good procedure to overview the amount of work each week or set amount of time to understand the time and effort that will be needed. Schedule those blocks of time and stick to them. When distance learning, it can seem that there is additional time; however, there are more variables that can cause problems. For example, your internet could crash the day you planned on starting that big paper. Starting work early minimizes potential problems that come up during daily life. Starting work early can also help you better stay on a set schedule which can help your academic achievement, mental health, and hours of sleep.
Remote classes are unique
While the learning objectives and goals remain the same, remote learning differs from in-person classes. It requires more student autonomy, advocacy, and drive. Be proactive! Reach out, engage, look it up! You must take responsibility for your time and efforts.
However, this year, you may have been thrust into the online learning world rather quickly and without choice. Please keep in mind, remote classes may not have been the plan for anyone involved in your education. You, your family, friends, classmates, professors, and advisors did not necessarily sign up for remote classes. Adjustments need to take place and this takes time. Be flexible, be graceful, be kind.
About the Authors
Mia Morrison is the Advisor and Lecturer for the Instructional Technology programs at the University of Maine. She focuses on the incorporation of technology tools and digital resources to promote curiosity, customize the learning experience, and inspire learner ownership and growth.
Kasey Hagedorn is an M.Ed. student at the University of Maine. As a Graduate Assistant with UMaineOnline, she works to improve the available online services and the online student experience.
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