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5 Tips for Learning Online

It’s been a whole year since the pandemic shifted the learning experience from traditional classroom setting to remote learning. By now we should be able to learn online with ease right? I don’t know about you but I’m still trying to figure it out. So if you’re on the same boat as me and you’re struggling to stay alert during online classes, you’ve come to the right place. So, here are five tips and tricks for learning more effectively online.

No Distractions (Social Media and Netflix)

Yes this includes TikTok. Social media with its amazing power to connect and create hilarious memes, is also a huge distraction. Of course, you’re not the only one, who’s traded listening to their instructors for Instagram, TikTok videos and, eventually falling down the rabbit hole of social media. I get it, It’s addicting. After all, what else are we supposed to do in between classes?

Actually, it’s a really good time to summarize notes, review presentation slides and ask questions. When you’re paying attention to what’s happening in your class, your brain will be able to process and store more information, which is useful for those unexpected pop quizzes. Putting social media aside is a great way to improve your attention spans, stimulate your creativity and more.

Tip: Turn off all social media and email notifications during class time. It’ll reduce the amount of times you check your phone throughout the day.

Get Your Body Moving

With virtual learning, it’s so important to exercise or take a walk, because we can get stuck sitting for long periods of time. A lack of physical activity can hinder you from retaining new information and forming new connections in your brain.

Just like coffee or Red Bull, exercise is a natural energizer. It releases your happy hormones to fight off fatigue or tiredness. It also increases blood circulation to prevent muscle cramping and soreness. The more your body moves around, the better your brain functions. So fitness can increase your motivation and alertness, which are essential for studying.

Tip: Invest in a FitDesk, or set aside 10 minutes of your day doing squats, yoga poses or any physical activity.

Stay Connected

We have a need for human connection, unless you're an introvert and dislike other peoples’ presence. But at the end of the day, we still want to surround ourselves with friends or classmates. Collaborating and discussing topics with other people is another way that you can help improve your learning and get moral support.

Hosting an online study group will make you feel less isolated and alone. And it makes learning way more fun than just listening to a professor talk and talk for hours. Studying in groups also helps you learn more efficiently and effectively.

Tips: Use fun games, flashcards or even a song to help you remember complicated concepts

Take Breaks and Time for yourself

As students, our brains often run on one speed: overdrive, especially during midterm or finals season. But study breaks are necessary, I repeat study breaks are necessary. Taking a pause to relax while doing homework is essential because it gives your brain the chance to refresh and recover, leading to boosts in everything from your productivity, concentration, creativity and happiness.

Be sure to devote time to do what you enjoy, whether it’s dancing, listening to music, eating your favorite snack, or anything that makes you feel happy. Doing activities you love, will help you destress and positively affect your mental wellbeing.

Tip: Take a 15 to 20 minute power nap. But you don’t have time, learn how to meditate.

Create a Routine and actually stick to it

We all have different energy levels throughout the day and some of us prefer to do certain tasks at certain points in the day. For example, night owls are motivated to work and learn in the evenings whereas early birds thrive during the day.

So choosing the right time to learn and study is very important in maximizing your energy and learning more efficiently. Being able to find balance between the time and place you learn is crucial in creating your ideal learning space. Once you’ve found that sweet spot, it’ll boost the quality of your studying and learning time

Tip: Avoid your bedroom or bustling loud areas as your learning space.

Eating Healthy

According to the CDC, healthy students are better learners. Eating nutritious and well-balanced meals can improve your memory and concentration. Yes, you can never go wrong with a nice slice of chocolate cake or freshly fried french fries. But these types of foods are high in sugar and fat content, which can make you feel more tired and sleepy.

Food can affect your energy levels and your effectiveness to learn. Avoid processed foods, and incorporate nutrient-dense fare into a daily diet will promote a healthier body, behavior, and brain power. So choose wisely.

Tip: Meal prep before class. Or pair fruit with protein-rich foods like peanut or almond butter to combat the highs and lows of sugar rush.

Sleep and Brain Health

Ideally, you should be sleeping for approximately six to eight hours. But of course, we’ve all traded good amounts of sleep for an episode of Bridgerton or Riverdale. Sleep is really when your brain gets to recharge, reboot and prepare you for the next day.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you can feel like a walking zombie and can experience mental fog or spacing out. Adequate quality shut-eye can help you think, respond faster and make fewer mistakes. By having regular sleeping patterns it can improve the way your brain organizes and understands information. So stop binge watching and get some sleep.

Tip: Turn on night shift mode before going to bed to get a better night’s sleep.

The key to learning online is to make it simple and develop a system that works for you. Learning online doesn’t have to be hard and frustrating, so use these tips to help make learning easier and effective for you.

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Nemma Espiritu

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