With the spread of COVID-19, we’ve suddenly found ourselves at home. The shift to working from home as a student can be jarring and challenging. Don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
While navigating the brave new world of online education, whether you’re taking online film classes or online music production classes, here are some of our top tips for making the most out of school from the comfort of your couch (or bed, no judgment).
Ok, you’ve got your laptop or tablet, your comfiest chair, and your WIFI connected. Now, how can you get as much out of online classes as you did going to campus every day?
Our favorite tips for online learning
Have a dedicated study space. This could be a desk, on your couch, or at the kitchen table. Studying in the same space every day can help you get in the mood for work.
Set up a schedule for study. Just as important as using the same space is working at the same time. Get yourself out of bed in the morning and get started. Procrastination is the number one grade-killer in online learning.
Take notes. Even if all your material is available online, get out a notebook and take notes! It has been proven to enhance your memory of what you learn.
Fill in your planner. As soon as you get your assignments, write down when they are due. Put your planner or calendar in a place where you can check it often. You might not have an instructor or classmates reminding you of due dates, so don’t get caught off guard.
Write down learning objectives. Teachers all over the world have seen the power of creating learning objectives and how they can help their students. Don’t discount them. Write them down so you know what you’re supposed to get out of your course.
Overlearn the material. This means learning it every way you can — just like when you were learning the alphabet as a kid. You sang it. You wrote it. You looked at it. You might have even touched it (hello, magnetic letters). Figure out ways you can do this with what you’re learning now.
Actively participate in everything you can. From online discussions to commenting on other people’s work, do everything you can to be involved. It will help you feel connected to your online campus community.
Network. You might think this is all about getting a job, but it’s essential if you want to truly succeed in online learning. Email your instructor with questions. DM your classmates. Talking about ideas or questions will help you master what you’re learning.
Review often. Just like overlearning the material, reviewing will help you prepare for midterms and exams. Even if you just dedicate 15-20 minutes every week to go over the learning objectives, you’ll be surprised at what a difference it will make in the long term.
Hold yourself accountable. There’s no one making you attend online lectures, no one to help you complete that project. Especially now, with such unique isolation as a student, make sure you check in with yourself often to see how you’re doing. Are you meeting your goals? Are you doing everything you can? Are you practicing self-care? All of this will help you get the most out of your time as an online learner.
Helpful Resources to Bookmark
With the huge shift to online learning, you’ll want to have the best resources on hand.
Here are some of our favorite online resources for school:
How to record online lectures. This site has a few how-tos with different software to help you record video lectures so you can re-watch or listen any time you want.
Online flashcards. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Flashcards can really be helpful for review. You can find cards created by other students or create your own, online. Quizlet is an iOS app that allows you to create your own.
Study groups. Set up Google chats or Zoom meetings with your classmates and study together. Here are some tips and tricks for better Zoom meetings.
Your instructor is your number one resource. Remember — they are here FOR YOU. They’re teaching because they care about you. Asking questions or talking through an idea are conversations professors crave. Reach out. They want to hear from you.
While online learning may not have been what you originally signed up for, you can still have an incredible experience as a student at The Los Angeles Film School and The Los Angeles Recording School, a division of the L.A. Film School. Remember, we are all in this together!
For more information about our COVID-19 alerts, please visit our L.A. Film School alerts page.