How Liberty students can succeed in newly online classes
A lot has changed at Liberty since students finished spring break.
Ever since Liberty University announced that all residential courses would be moving to an online format, the change has had a dramatic impact on the students. While some have found the move to online classes to be a welcome change, other students are finding the sudden change to be for the worst.
Now without the classroom setting, it can be challenging to stay motivated and not slack off from their traditional schedule (I’m speaking from experience).
However, while being your own boss can be daunting, especially when it comes to education, taking online classes from home can be an incredibly rewarding experience. If students take the necessary steps to stay on top of their classes, the freedom will make the change more bearable.
A great place to start when doing college online is to wake up early. While moving to an online format may seem like a great way to catch a few more hours of sleep, waking up early as you would if you are leaving the house can have a very positive impact on one’s day and routine. Paul Tassi, a journalist for Forbes, works from home. He wakes up at 7:30 every morning and it has helped both him and his career.
“I’ve found it makes me much more productive, much more quickly,” he wrote. “Waking up at 7:30 a.m. every day allows me to start work by practically 7:45.”
Paul Tassi is not alone in his thinking. According to Business Insider, waking up earlier in the day can improve productivity, help you stay in a better mood, and help you get a proper night’s sleep.
There is one major roadblock in trying to get a good night’s rest: a screen. According to Harvard Medical School, whether it’s our phones, our laptops or our television screens, watching a screen right before bed can be detrimental to one’s vision as well as keep one awake due to the blue light that electronics emit from their screen.
An easy fix to all of these is to avoid using these electronics at least two to three hours before going to bed. Even a single hour can make a world of difference. Focus on getting your homework done in the day to avoid overnighters (as those can be incredibly detrimental anyway).
And instead of watching Netflix or looking at social media on a school night, try reading a book in bed to help you rest your eyes before going to sleep. Plus, if the book is a textbook, you can get in an extra hour or two of homework for your classes!
When it comes to students attending their online classes, the environment that they offer is completely different from the environment a classroom offers. Neither the teacher nor the teacher’s assistant can scan the room for students looking at their phones or talking to classmates as they would normally do in a classroom. As such, students are more prone to look at their phones or become distracted from the lecture.
While the best way to engage with the teacher in an online class can be subjective, a great way to stay alert is to take notes. Not only is note-taking shown to improve learning and retaining information, it also is a great way to make sure that you are up to date on any upcoming assignments not mentioned in the syllabus. Taking notes on paper is recommended, as handwritten notes help students learn the material more than when taking notes on a laptop.
As humans, we are prone to dislike change, and that certainly has been the case with the coronavirus pandemic having a major impact in our lives, including our classes. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot find some good in all the changes that have occurred. While change may be hard to embrace at first, if we take time to look at the positives that the change offers, change can be turned into an opportunity.
Online courses may be difficult to adapt to, especially during the middle of the semester. But if adapted to properly, taking courses online can be a welcome change of pace, offering benefits that residential courses on campus do not.
Asher Notheis is an Opinion writer. Follow him on Twitter @AsherNotheis