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  • Writer's pictureHiFive Education

Navigating Online Learning

Online learning has presented a variety of new challenges for students. We’re here to provide new first-hand tips to help students excel as they continue navigating the online schooling environment. Below, we’ve compiled some of the expert advice our mentors and tutors have provided for students of HiFive.

Home School Setting & Ergonomics

The learning setting itself might be the most evident difference between online and face-to-face learning. Switching from a traditional classroom environment to the student’s own home is a difficult transition, and it often leaves students struggling to stay focused, given the many distractions that exist at home. Some recommendations to battle “at-home-distraction” include plugging in earbuds, ensuring students are learning in a quiet room, and removing phones and other electronic gadgets from the study space. Silencing phones or placing them out of reach is a great start to eliminating the temptation to check those notifications!

It is highly recommended to avoid working on the bed or couch. Although snuggling in a cozy bed all day sounds appealing, studies have shown that it decreases productivity and induces fatigue. You are most likely to do your best work sitting upright on a desk or at a table. Just make sure you are comfortable, undistracted, and engaged!

Understanding Course Material

If your student is struggling with internalizing and understanding their course material, do not worry - they are not alone. Given the virtual nature of online learning, many teachers lack their face-to-face techniques to fully engage students. While teachers themselves are not to blame, the fact remains that some students struggle with grasping concepts when taught virtually. If this applies, we advise that students take notes either on OneNote or paper. Actually writing things down is proven to increase retention of information! Another important note is to ensure students actively listen to lectures, which means not being afraid to unmute and ask questions! Teachers will appreciate the engagement, too. Communicating with your instructor through email or attending help sessions is also a great way to fill in the learning gap. And of course, 1-1 tutoring is another great option, as it provides even the shyest students the chance to get questions answered.

Scheduling & Routines

Time management is more of a struggle than ever before with online school. We recommend getting a planner or notebook to record when assignments are due so students may stay on track. Managing assignments, class meetings, and assessments can be hard without careful planning, so we encourage writing down daily tasks each morning so that throughout the day, students can hold themselves accountable to their goals as they work towards them! Using online tools such as Google Calendar can also be beneficial for planning out the day on an hourly basis and keeping track of to-do lists. The more specific the plan, the more likely students are to stick to it!

Health & Wellness

Both mental and physical health need to be in peak condition for students to be the most effective learners. We encourage students to receive an adequate amount of sleep each night, presumably around 7–9 hours. If students are not able to meet this goal for sleep, they should consider taking “power naps.” While they cannot substitute a full night’s sleep, these short, 30-minute naps can help students recharge and revitalize before studying. Exercise is also a key factor in maintaining student engagement. In fact, exercise is proven to increase concentration and improve mental health, while also creating a stress-relieving outlet, away from screens. Walking, running, playing sports, and even dancing around a room are just a few ways to stay fit.

We wish you and your student the best of luck as they tackle the challenges to come, and hopefully, these strategies will serve you well.

Let us know how we can help.

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