With the world in a pandemic, lots of students can’t go to their schools anymore. While a lot of schools are offering online classes to their students so they can still get an education, it can still be a struggle to adjust from physical classes to online classes. In this article, I am sharing 7 study tips for watching online lectures at home. I also included tips for preparation and what to do after your online.
1. Make a planning for the online lectures. You can make a distinction between pre-recorded lectures and live lectures. Pre-recorded lectures are lectures that have been uploaded and can be watched whenever you want. Live lectures are lectures that require your attendance at that moment, otherwise you’ve missed the class. For both of them, it is important to create a schedule for yourself.
First you need to be sure how many lectures you have and when they are available to watch. If your school provides you with online lectures only, you need to make sure that you know exactly when you have to be in the online class. If you have access to pre-recorded lectures, you can generally watch these at any time.
So once you have figured out what lectures you have and when they take place, it’s time to start to make a schedule that is easy to follow. For example, I currently have access to pre-recorded lectures, which allows me to choose when I want to watch it. I choose to watch my online lectures in the morning, because I am more productive during the morning and it’s easier to get my online lectures out of the way quickly so I have more time to do other things.
You can put your schedule on paper and put it on your desk so you can see when you have to watch your next lecture or you can create a digital schedule and add some notifications when your next lecture is about to start. Once you have a schedule for your online lectures, it will be easier to prepare yourself.
2. Prepare yourself for the upcoming lecture. It is important to prepare yourself for an upcoming lecture. Depending on what you normally do, you should prepare yourself for your lecture like you normally do. I personally make sure to read the study material from my textbook that we are going to discuss in class and I also look over the online material that is available, like the PPT if the professor provides us with one. After preparing myself, I feel a lot more confident in class.
Preparing your upcoming lecture doesn’t just mean study related things, it also means making sure you can watch your online lecture peacefully. Ask your room mates or family members if they can be more quiet and not bother you when you are busy. Tell them the time frame you need for watching your online lectures and tell them why it is important to you that you need your space to be calm.
3. Make sure there are no distractions when you are about to watch an online lecture. This means that you will need a work space to watch the online lectures. Pick a quiet place in your house where you can watch the online lectures without getting disrupted by other things.
If you want, you can use headphones to create some kind of study zone to get less distracted by things around you.
Also, make sure to clean your work space before starting the online lecture. Make sure you only have the things around you that you will need during the online lecture. A clean space is a clear mind so it’s very important that your space is neat and tidy when you are trying to study.
Remove all things that you won’t need during your lecture, wipe the surface of your desk clean and add a cup of water so you can take a sip whenever you need.
4. Make a choice: notes on paper or digital notes. Before you start watching online lectures, you need to make a choice between paper or digital note taking. Both have their own benefits. Taking notes on paper makes you remember more easily, and because it is a lot slower, it forces you to listen to what the teacher says and write down the most important things. A laptop enables you to take notes a lot faster, so you can write down a lot more. It also is a lot easier and your hands won’t get tired that fast. The only downside is that there is a chance that you will write down everything the teacher says without thinking about it, which will make you remember a lot less.
I personally prefer taking notes on my laptop, simply because it is a lot faster and I have all my notes in one place. At the end of the course I print my notes and start annotating and add things where necessary. I notice that I can focus a lot better on my work if my notes are not handwritten. But then again, it’s your own choice, we all have our own preferences!
5. Don’t use the pause button: I have said this in one of my previous videos already and of course this tip only applies if you can pause the lecture, but pausing the class will only slow you down when you are watching. Pausing the lecture means that you create some time for yourself to slow down to write down the things that you otherwise would have missed. But think about this: if you missed it now, you also would have missed in in a real life class. And is the note really that important if the teacher didn’t repeat it or gave you some time to write it down? Probably not. If you use the pause button, you will also be more easily distracted, because you create an opportunity for yourself to do something else or to notice something else. My advice is to stay in the study zone by not using the pause button.
6. Make a quick summary of the lecture you have just watched: this will help you understand the study material a lot faster and it will help you to memorize. I have done this lately, and it really helps to put some of the study material in another perspective. I try to keep the summary of the lecture on maximum one piece of paper. This will keep the summary short and you will have an overview of the most important things of the lecture. It will also be a great tool to use when you are studying for your exams later on.
I would especially recommend this if you are taking notes on your laptop. It is easy to zone out and just write down whatever the lecturer is saying in class. This is why it is a helpful exercise to quickly write down the most important things. It’s also great to make tables and drawings and charts that are a lot more difficult to make with a laptop.
7. Last but not least, treat yourself after watching an online class. You’ve made it! Take a break and treat yourself for attending another class. Also, don’t forget to give your eyes a rest, because staring at your screen for a long time makes them tired.
You can watch the video here:
Those were my tips for handling online classes. I hope you learned some tips that you can use when you are attending your next online lecture. Give this video a thumbs up to let me know you enjoyed the video & subscribe to my channel if you want to see more videos with study tips! Also leave me a comment down below to let me know what online classes you are taking!