Tips for Getting the Most Out of Online Learning | life and art






With the university turning to virtual learning for the first few weeks of the semester and a variant that makes no promises about when we will return to the classroom, it seems that online learning is here to stay longer than anyone else wanted it.




After a fall semester that resembled pre-pandemic schooling, it looked like students at the University of Cincinnati (UC) were ready for a spring semester with more academic freedom than we had during of the past two years.

Falling case numbers and a university-wide vaccination mandate painted a promising picture for the future — until the Omicron variant emerged. With the university turning to virtual learning for the first few weeks of the semester and a variant that makes no promises about when we will return to the classroom, it seems that online learning is here to stay longer than anyone else wanted it.

Despite the widespread use of virtual learning, research—along with the opinions of many students—suggests that virtual learning is inferior to in-person learning. The Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, reports that virtual learning has a negative effect on students, citing a study that found that virtual learning worsens student performance on courses as well as their likelihood of to graduate.

While students are unlikely to ever feel virtual learning is an equal substitute for in-person training, there are ways to get the most out of online courses. The campus may be closed for in-person learning, but the university is still offering its usual services to help students start their semester successfully, even online.

One such service is the UC Learning Commons. In addition to various other courses, Learning Commons offers a one-hour Success Skills Workshop specifically for online learning. Within this course, students learn to use their resources and living spaces and transform them into a useful space conducive to learning.

Additionally, the class teaches students other helpful strategies such as time management, planning, using campus academic resources, and how to better communicate with your peers and professors when you are away from school. class.

Beyond the workshop, other Learning Commons courses that could help students through online learning include “Focus and Concentration,” “Beating Procrastination,” and “Stress and Well-Being.” The full list of classes, along with dates and times, can be found on the Learning Commons website.

Along with being organized and productive, protecting your mental health is another important way to get the most out of virtual learning. By taking care of your mental health, students are better able to prevent burnout, which is important for getting the most out of online learning and maintaining a high quality of life.

According to the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Community Engagement Team, burnout is the culmination of stress resulting from prolonged periods of time.

“Increasing your awareness of the signals your body sends early on when you’re feeling stressed and implementing strategies can often help minimize the overall impact of stress,” the team said. “Frequently take your ‘stress temperature.’ When you recognize that you need a break, take a step back, prioritize, and engage in meaningful, restorative practices that target what you need at that moment- the.”

Another way to avoid burnout is to prioritize self-care. CAPS says self-care includes having a healthy sleep schedule, following meaningful hobbies and relationships, and allowing yourself to rest while checking in with yourself to identify your current capacity before adding others. commitments.

Specifically, CAPS warns against overexertion. “It can be important to tap into your power to say no to things or people who no longer serve you, especially when you’re feeling drained,” the community engagement team said.

Another way to avoid burnout is to create balance and boundaries. CAPS recommends making a schedule for the day, even if you don’t leave the house. Separating “free time” from “work time” keeps your responsibilities from intermingling with your personal life. Even with asynchronous classes, CAPS recommends having a set time to complete this work.

Finally, for those looking for support for their mental health, the university offers resources for students even during distance learning. CAPS offers 30-minute telehealth meetings and the Bearcats Support Network (BSN) allows students to connect with their peers to receive mental health support.

Other university-recommended support networks include Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), a free app for all UC students, faculty, and staff, and Let’s Talk, where students can have a confidential conversation. with an advisor.

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