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5 Tips for Online Learning

May 11, 2020

Grace College Online Learn from Home

Online learning. “The way of the future.” Many people are hesitant to enroll for an online degree because they’ve always experience learning in a classroom. It’s becoming increasingly evident that online programs and degrees are the way forward for many in higher education. We want to help you adapt to utilizing e-books, video lectures and discussion forums as smoothly as possible. 

So how do we capitalize on the moment? How do we engage our minds and spark creativity within the walls of our own homes? Here are 5 tips to maximize your online education.

1. Check your email daily.

This is critical. The special instruction and detailed explanation that you’re used to receiving from your professor before or after the lecture simply will not exist anymore. This will all be done via email. So check, check, check your email at least once a day to ensure that you’re doing everything that is required.

2. Dedicate time and space to your learning.

It’s important to set healthy boundaries around your school time. Block off a time frame for your textbook reading, a time to listen to lectures, and a time to write assignments for each class and stick to it. Tell your family members, “I’m going to class,” and get in the zone. Pretend like you are actually in class, and prioritize that time. 

After your time slot is secure, choose a space for your studies. Perhaps you already have an office space in your home–now is your time to actually use it! (Be honest, it gets less use than you originally expected. But that’s ok! Move the stacks of paper–it’s the office’s time to shine!) And maybe you don’t have an office. Find a corner in your basement where you can focus, and claim it! 

Dedicating boundaries with your space and time will tremendously help you maximize your online education. 

3. Engage with your online community.

Community is so, so important. You cannot step foot on our campus, or any other Christian college campus for that matter, without hearing it. The importance of learning together does not change even though you are not in the same physical place as your classmates. In fact, if there is ever a time to dial-up peer-to-peer interaction, it’s now!

So what does that look like?

It looks like taking extra time to meaningfully respond to your cohorts in discussion forums. It looks like reaching out to your professor when you are really struggling with a concept instead of sweating about it in isolation. It looks like sharing the stimulating content you learned that day with your family at the dinner table that night. Invite your community into your online learning experience, and be hopeful that beautiful conversations will transpire as a result.  

4. Stay on schedule.

Are there any procrastinators out there? We love you, but this is not the time to put all of the semester’s assignments on hold until the last possible minute. Don’t treat online learning like an extended spring break. If you check out, you are only hurting yourself: 

  1. You will experience heaps of stress at the end of the semester when you are trying to get everything started and finished at the last possible minute.
  2. The quality of your education and your ability to retain what you’re learning will take a major hit. Learning takes time.

5. Contact the library for supplemental resources.

Did you know that the Grace College library staff is still accessible to you? Now you can access the library from your own home. If you need information from an academic journal, periodical, or book that you can’t access from home, the librarians will be ready and available to scan and email you those resources. Talk about incredible service!

You can contact the library to request resources at library@grace.edu.

Follow these five tips, and make the most of your education from home. Happy online studies!