Tips and Tricks: How to ACE Online Classes



    Hi, everyone! In this article, I won’t be writing about anything serious like I did in my previous ones. This time I want to share some tips and tricks I have been doing since I became an online college student! Initially, the idea emerges because some of my friends have been asking me about it, and I have been repeating the same answers every time. So, I thought, why don’t I write the written form about it? And, here it is!

The first tip is to make your study environment comfortable. Set your study area−be it living room, your room, or dining room−a comfortable space for you to join online classes or just to study. It is said that setting up your study space similarly to your offline class environment could enhance your productivity. I heard this tip from a YouTube channel named Hujan Tanda Tanya, and it works for me. It helps me feel like I am in a serious area so I have to activate my serious mode. 

The second one is to eliminate distractions. Usually, I stop the distractions by putting my phone far away from me, charging it, not opening WhatsApp on my laptop (unless the lecturer asks us to), and always trying to turn my camera on. By turning on the camera, I learn to behave adequately and decrease the urge to play on my phones, because I feel like I am being watched. So, there will be a strong possibility that the lecturer will ask me some questions about the lesson, and in order to avoid embarrassment, I tend to pay attention more to the lecture with the hope I could answer whatever question she/he will ask me. Besides that, using my phone while turning on my camera is kind of rude. So, basically, it is all about self-awareness and self-discipline. Your awareness and the ability to be disciplined are challenged just by joining an online class. 

The third one is the most important step you should do if you are too lazy to study by yourself. The thing you must do is to pay attention to the class while you are attending the class. Try to absorb the lesson right when the class is being held, not after the class ended. It will only give you additional homework and no one would like to have a bunch of homework. So, make use of the time by paying attention and writing down the explanation using your own words. Taking a note is one way of paying attention that you could very much do! Especially now that we tend to have more online classes than offline, so we get the privilege of writing them down using our device, be it on OneNote or Notion, so we don’t have to write them down manually. But, of course, you can write it down manually if you want, the most important part is to find a fun way to learn and engage in class for you! This leads us to the fourth tip! 

The fourth one, besides making your study space comfortable, do not forget to find a fun way to learn! We like playing games because we find them entertaining and fun, but I won’t be comparing playing games with studying of course. Just think about it, if we are doing something fun, we will probably enjoy doing it because we enjoy feeling the feelings. Especially if we could reach our goal at the end of the process. My fun way to learn is usually studying while accompanied by white noise or brown noise. Sometimes, I also study while watching Markiplier playing scary games, which is very fun because as I am studying I feel entertained by the commentaries done by him. Of course, you don’t have to follow my way of studying, you could find your own way. Perhaps annotating the textbooks you have and writing down your own understanding beside a certain passage (with a black-red-blue ink pen) will be the fun way to study for you. You will never know until you do it!

Last but not least, the most important tip of all is to pay attention to what you are thinking about something. What you think about something matters. If you think this course is hard, you will be finding it hard to follow the lesson because you think it is hard from the start. You think about it as if it’s a final decision, “this course is hard,” so your mind won’t help you find a way to ease the difficulties of this course, because it is final. It is hard. But, if you say it like, “Wow, this course is rather challenging and I need to study more about it,” you will find another way to help you study this course. Change the word ‘hard’ to ‘challenging. Never define something with a negative definition because it could affect your mind and how you act. 

Moreover, defining someone–in this case, your lecturer–with something negative is also not going to help you make the challenging course bearable. So, try your best not to label someone as something that could draw negative energies because once again it could affect your mind and the way you act towards them. Here is the best picture to describe what I mean. I found this picture on Twitter.

Okay, I think those are all the tips I want to deliver. You don’t always have to follow my way of study, but perhaps mine could help trigger you to find your own ways! Remember to not wait for the time to be right to change because it will never be the right time. Time is unpredictable, we always thought we have more time but in fact, no one knows.  So, do not take your time for granted and be more mindful about it. Your future self will thank you for it. 

Writer: Marsha Almira

Editor: Andrrea Zelina