School on screens

Ways students can adjust to virtual school


With all of the chaos going on in the world right now, many things are changing. Whether it is going out with friends, going into work, or even going to school, the world is adjusting, and students especially need to try and keep up. The switch to 100% online school for the 2020-2021 school year was not one many expected back in March when schools decided to end the academic year early, but the decision was made in order to keep students and staff safe during these unprecedented times. Although there are both pros and cons to the new stay-at-home way of learning, there are definitely ways to make the switch easier for students. 

Northeastern University published an article for all students explaining strategies for virtual classes.  “Treat an online course like a “real” course. When it comes to online classes, you need to have the discipline to sit down and say, “I am going to work on this,” as well as the dedication to actually follow through. Though you can be flexible as to when you choose to complete your work during the week, you can’t put it off indefinitely,” the article states. It is emphasized in the article how important accountability is for students as virtual learning provides students with more freedom. The university also writes about how development of time management skills is crucial for online success. 

Ohio State has also published several articles concerning the switch to virtual learning now that the online concept has become much more popular among schools. “Remain engaged throughout the entire course. Make use of office hours on a regular basis and ask questions of instructors or peers if needed.” The idea that instructors and teachers are not the only ones who can help students  has become much more noteworthy with the introduction of virtual learning. The utilization of one’s classmates can be extremely beneficial to a student. Study groups and text message threads can be helpful when collaborating or studying with fellow students. It is important to note, though, that when working with other students it is vital that everyone do their own work when required. If students copy one another, almost no one is learning the content and it defeats the purpose of attending school in the first place. The article mentions this fact and encourages students to join forces, but be independent in their own learning. 

Chloe Salman is a senior at Battlefield this year and while making the switch from in person to online school she has developed some of her own new habits. “I would say a tip for online learning would be to not have your classes in your bedroom because your brain associates your bedroom with sleeping, watching TV, playing on your phone, etc,” says Salman. “Also, what I have changed in my life to adapt would be turning our spare bedroom into a classroom that I use to do my homework and zoom classes and it has really helped me stay on task and motivated me to complete my work.” Chloe is just one of the many students whose senior year has been turned on its head by COVID-19, but she says that by applying certain adaptations to her work habits, this school year can still be a success. 

When keeping in mind all of these tactics for online learning, the switch from in person to virtual education can be made much easier. It is a new way of learning for most people so asking questions can be greatly beneficial for students. Teachers, classmates, and administrators are all there to help the student body with the transition. Although this school year looks a little different, that does not mean it can not be great!