Top 5 Life-Hacks for Distance Learning

Many school and university students now study online: video conferencing classes, sending assignments via e-mail, chatting with teachers. Not everyone finds it easy because the format is unfamiliar. In this article, we will give some advice to students who have been forced to switch to distance learning for various reasons.

Because of the severe epidemiological situation, the ministries of science and higher education in many countries have authorized universities to switch to distance learning and training. This is a typical practice in all countries of the world that helps to reduce the number of cases of infection.

Humanities universities find it easy enough to switch to distance learning, while “technical” universities find it hard to do without face-to-face laboratory work. In most cases, the logic of curricula will or has already been changed in order to preserve the quality of the educational process. Laboratory, practicum, and similar work will simply be moved to the end of the semester or the next semester. There are, of course, other organizational difficulties: software, changes in the format of the used materials, and so on. Not only universities, as organizations, have difficulties, but also students personally. Most of the difficulties are based on false stereotypes. How to deal with them?

Tip #1. Distance education is not a freebie

Unfortunately, distance education is much harder for a student than full-time education. It is hard to maintain motivation in separation from the familiar study group, in the absence of eye contact with the teacher and the disciplining atmosphere of the university. Moreover, classes from home create a false sense of “simplicity” of what is going on, especially if you try to attend them directly from a “lying down” position.

So, any student needs to make more effort to achieve the effectiveness of the learning process, as if to overcome the cozy home atmosphere.

First, we advise you to follow the daily routine typical of regular full-time study. Secondly, we don’t advise you to study remotely in your home clothes: on the one hand, the teacher and classmates see you, and on the other hand, observing the standard rituals of full-time education forces the body to “tune in” to the essence of the process, ignoring the uniform. Also, don’t study lying down – sit down at the table. Thirdly, do not interrupt classes by watching soap operas, movies or playing any computer games.

It is necessary to take the listening material more seriously. Good discipline is the key to successful distance learning even more than successful face-to-face learning. Many studies confirm this, which means that you have to be disciplined.

It is necessary to take the listening material more seriously. Good discipline is the key to successful distance learning even more than successful face-to-face learning. Many studies confirm this, which means that you have to be disciplined.

Tip #2. Video material doesn’t sit well in your memory

In fact, going back to the discipline, you need to keep a record of material (especially lectures), even if you don’t do it in your everyday study. The traditional perception of video material is tightly bound up with the perception of soap operas or movies, which mostly require no effort to perceive and comprehend. After all, just because formulas are not written on a presentation (or chalk on the board) but on a video doesn’t make them any clearer.

What’s more, rereading a recorded lecture won’t help you understand it any more than watching a movie will, but taking notes will. Take notes right during the lecture or seminar. Ask any question you don’t understand right away in the chat, and only then ask in your voice. Such actions will help you understand the study material on your own, without using research writing help.

Tip #3. Ask questions

Many of our university professors have no experience with distance learning. So, they have absolutely no understanding of how to keep the audience’s attention in such a situation. They can’t see the reaction with their eyes, which means it’s hard for them to understand that their material isn’t being understood. Distance learning is not just an online course.

To support the instructor and better understand the material, ask questions as soon as they arise. Moreover, do not be afraid to ask them even more than usual, it will allow the teacher to quickly correct the material. Record the answers in the chat, if the teacher does not have time to enter them there himself.

In this aspect, the proverbial quality of the educational process depends on you as the student. Ask questions by mail and after the lecture or seminar. Without feedback, the process will fall apart.

Tip #4. Distance format requires self-study

Even if this is not said, self-study is a necessary element of distance learning. Many of the content the teacher will not have time to tell you, even if he wants to, and come to the “extras” will be extremely difficult, especially if you have gone home and you have a difference in time zones.

We don’t recommend going home if you live more than three time zones away from the university. Evening classes will end for you in the middle of the night.

Keep track of your gaps in your knowledge yourself. Remember that distance learning is more difficult than full-time education, which means you have to put more effort into the result. Online courses, practice where possible, multiple repeating of tasks is a necessary element of distance learning. By the way, don’t forget to keep in touch with your group.

Tip #5. Lack of motivation

It is obvious that distance learning saves time. You have at least two free hours a day that you don’t have to spend commuting to university. Many universities will reduce the number of classes, for example, by eliminating physical education. You want to spend it on walking or relaxing.

Avoid it. It’s frustrating and discipline drops right away. Better try to take one of the online courses, which are now widely available for free. Focus on humanities and programming courses, because they have developed effective systems for testing skills.

The conclusion is very simple: don’t relax. Despite the seemingly enormous amount of free time among your studies, if you relax, it will only get worse in the end. The current period is a chance for each student to gain a unique competitive advantage in the future job market. A real opportunity to build an individual career trajectory.

Take advantage, but be careful.


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