Online learning gives you the flexibility to study from anywhere and anytime. For asynchronous classes, you can pick up where you left once you’re done with your daily errands. For synchronous classes, you can tune in while you’re in a coffee shop or if the discussion isn’t too difficult, you can even listen to your professors while you’re driving to and from work.
The best thing about online classes is that they allow virtually everyone to continuously learn despite the hurdles of work, personal life, finances, distance, and other factors. It has been especially popular among middle-aged career workers who want to redevelop their skills or gain new ones to compete with the younger generations and keep up with technology. But during the pandemic, it is through online learning that students—young and old—could keep up with the need to learn.
But it is also worth noting that online learning isn’t foolproof. It is not a perfect method to learn. It might not even be sustainable unless people know how to maximize their time. Online learning, contrary to popular belief, is a lot of work. Because there are no face-to-face interactions, students have to do more in terms of readings, presentations, reports, activities, and assignments.
Instructors have to find a way to determine how much their students are learning. They can do that by assigning tasks to their students. In turn, it has been challenging for students to juggle their classes and the demands from the other areas of their lives.
Is Multitasking Bad?
There has been a lot of things said about multitasking. Some said to do it; others said don’t. Those who don’t want to multitask believe that it can decrease productivity instead of maximizing your time. Although there is some semblance of truth to this, the fact remains that if you can do it well, multitasking can help you accomplish and learn more.
Many mid-career employees are in a work-study program so that they can learn skills and earn at the same time. These programs intend to help students learn about the industry they want to enter while also providing a way for them to earn. These are perfect for workers who either want to upskill or reskill. Those who cannot afford to go to college might also find these programs their best chance to capacitate themselves.
Take Notes During an Online Class
The chances are that your mind is racing to many other things while your virtual professors and classmates are doing their presentations on Zoom. Your minds tend to focus on a million other things except for your actual class. But if you use this time to take notes, you can train your mind to listen to the speaker. How else can you take notes if you are not listening? The good thing is that you can check and revisit your notes later on when you forget some areas of the discussion.
Record the Class
If you are allowed to record the class, do it. Take advantage of the fact that you can revisit what was discussed at a later date. Admittedly, it can be hard to focus during an online class because of distractions in the household, the coffee shop, or wherever you might be. So sometimes, all you can do is revisit your notes or, in this case, the recording of the class. If you can record the audio-only, that would be better since many of your classmates might not be comfortable with a copy of that recording with you.
Class time is the best time to ask your professors questions and clarifications. If something is unclear to you, this is the best time to ask them to clear any misinformation. Reaching out to them after the class is both futile and a waste of time. Most of your professors are busy with their personal lives, too. They might not have the time to answer your email. The same goes for your classmates. They might not have the time anymore to get back to you for any clarificatory questions.
Make use of your time well, whether you’re in class or at work. Every second of every day counts, including in school or your career. By now, people should have learned what they could be missing by not maximizing the time they have for leisure, work, and learning. You never know when another pandemic or breakdowns in technology can happen. So, while there are still avenues, learn and work as much as you can.