When COVID first hit last spring, schools had to unexpectedly pivot and move from traditional, comfortable, in-person classroom learning to an online platform.
Many of my clients (whom I saw virtually – we at TutorPUG had to pivot as well!) were – understandably – a bit miffed about paying for in-person instruction and having to suddenly learn online. “If I’d wanted to take the class online, I would have,” many grumbled.
However, there is a huge, vast, Grand Canyon-sized difference between “online curriculum” and “emergency remote instruction.” This past spring, we experienced the latter. Preparation for a course intended to be administered in an online format takes months of planning. Homework problems and quizzes and tests are prepared in advance. Lecture notes are made available online, and there are additional resources provided…but mostly hours and hours and hours of careful thought dictate a true online course.
Hopefully, with schools one after the other adopting either a full online format this fall or a hybrid version, there has been enough time for instructors to adequately not only prepare online course material, but learn to navigate the online teaching portals. I’ve been a student in (and taught!) both online classes and traditional classroom classes. From both perspectives, I’ve cobbled together some steps to being truly successful in an online format – but it applies to the “regular” classroom, too.
1. Establish a growth mindset.
2. Treat it like actual school – Suit up. Show up. Participate.
3. Take ownership of your learning.
4. Meet your teacher/instructor/professor
5. Read the course material that will be covered in a lecture…BEFORE the lecture.
6. Don’t assume that an online course is easier than in person.
To succeed in our virtual academic environment, treat it just like a physical classroom environment, but without the hassle of having to drive to school, jockey for parking, or walk to class. With that extra time you’re saving, you can read those chapters for lecture the night before!