Advice to make online learning successful during coronavirus
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – For many faculty and students, moving to digital learning was an undesirable greeting awaiting them after spring break was hijacked by COVID-19.
While millions take online classes each year others would have us believe it is a second-rate educational experience.
The traditional classroom provides a familiar structure where a course is scheduled with a set time and place, with a predetermined group of students who gather for lecture and discussion.
Most online courses are asynchronous which means they can be engaged at any time and in any place, and that live interaction with another human will almost certainly never occur.
While this offers an enormous amount of freedom and flexibility, it also has the potential of disconnecting students and professors from the relational interaction and engagement that makes a classroom such a dynamic social learning environment.
Three Tips for Online Learning Success from Dr. Kevin Corsini at San Diego Christian College:
1. To be successful in an online course a student or faculty member must consider a few important factors. The familiar and assigned structure of the traditional class is absent, so decisions must be made and a self-imposed structure created. First, when is the best time to participate in your class? Be deliberate and choose a regular time to engage your class that is not only convenient for your schedule but also conducive for your learning style. Some learn best at the crack of dawn, others into the late hours of the night. Consider the ideal learning time for you when your mind is sharp and you can get the most out of your studies.
2. Second, be intentional about the space you choose where you will regularly engage your online course. Ask yourself whether you learn best in the solitude of your own home or in the midst of others at a local coffee shop. Everyone is wired uniquely, figure out what works best for you and get to that spot each week for your class. Having a consistent location for your online class will help create a physical framework for learning and lead to a more enjoyable experience.
3. Finally, pursue relationships in your online class. Be intentional to learn the names of your classmates, reach out to your professor and initiate dialogue, work to create connections with those in your course. This is the most significant factor that determines whether your online class will be rich and vibrant or stagnant and dry. If you are assigned weekly discussion boards, be consistent with who you interact with and work to get to know them. Ask questions, seek out help, and offer to support those who may be struggling. Remember, your online classmates are real people with real lives, and they have the power to make your online class a real learning experience.