Tag Archives: online learning

Tips on Attending Your Zoom Classes

Attending your zoom classes might seem to be the same as attending your live ones, but it is, in fact, completely different. Have you ever noticed that it’s harder for you to focus on the topic when the class is online? It is the first difficulty that most of the students face now with the changes in a learning format. Keep reading this article to learn more about how you can make the most out of your zoom classes and improve your productivity as an online student.

Learn More about Zoom Etiquette

Yes, there are some basic rules for attending online classes that are quite similar to the rules of attending your live classes. You probably are familiar with all or at least with the majority of them. Here are a few:

  • Be polite, and don’t speak without reason. Imagine everybody speaking during the call. That would be impossible to hear your professor talking. That’s why you should speak only when you are asked or when you need to ask a question.
  • Mute your microphone. Muting your microphone is necessary so that you don’t disturb other conference members with random noises like your phone ringing or a car driving next to your window. Everyone should have an opportunity to focus on what your professor is saying.
  • Stick to the instructions provided by your professor. It might be required for you to join a zoom call with your camera on or don’t speak throughout the conference and use the specific button to “raise your hand.” Always follow these instructions and make sure you check your syllabus before the class starts.
  • Don’t make fun of your professors and group mates. It’s an obvious rule but the one which is often omitted. Students pull various pranks on their teachers and each other, and it’s definitely a no-no.

The rules above are just the basic instruction on how you should behave during your classes. In any case, be free to ask your professor about specific requirements regarding your online classes.

Find a Perfect Spot 

The place where you study is one of the key factors that affect your concentration and productivity. There are a lot of things that you should pay attention to when organizing your study space, such as:

  • Enough lighting. Good lighting is highly important when you are studying or working. Make sure you study next to a window to get the most out of the daylight and pay attention when picking light bulbs for your lamps or ceiling lights as they differ depending on the color temperature. Make sure you pay attention to the marking on them: 3,500 to 4,500 K means that the bulb will produce natural light, which is the best solution to avoid eye strain. Bulbs with warm light (1,500 to 3,000 K) allow you to relax and rest, which is good for your bedroom but not for your studying. On the other hand, bulbs with cooler light (around 6,000 K) are great for workspaces and help you focus but might not be appropriate for a bedroom. 
  • No distracting noises. It’s crucial to create a place free from outer noises for you to focus on the class and show respect to other members of a group call. Close the door when your class starts and asks your family or roommates to avoid walking into your room while you are studying. You should also mute your phone and turn off your TV.
  • Comfortable seat. The chair that you are sitting on while on your zoom classes should be comfortable and appropriate for work on your computer. It’s not the best choice to sit on your bed during zoom calls, as it might negatively affect your focus and also will be spotted by other members if your camera is on.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a perfect place for studying that would satisfy all of the criteria above. It would be excellent if everyone would have a separate room for classes at home, but it’s not that easy to make it real. So, just try to pick as a quiet and comfortable place as possible.

Use All the Features

When talking about computer software, we always should understand that we all don’t use popular programs the same way. Why? Because there are more experienced users who know how they can ease their lives with hotkeys, settings, etc.

Here are a few pro tips that you will definitely find useful when using Zoom:

  1. Record your classes. It’s great when you have an opportunity to go back to the class that you had last week and freshen up the material in your mind or edit your notes if you have missed something. Recoding your classes is also useful when you just can’t focus during the class itself and would like to rewatch it later. Zoom allows you to record your conference calls with just one button hit.
  2. Change default settings. If you are afraid that someone might see or hear more than you would like them to by accident, be sure to make your camera and microphone turned off as a default setting. This way, you will have more control over these instruments when joining a call.
  3. Use hotkeys: spacebar – push to talk; Command + Shift + F to enter or exit full-screen mode; Options + Y to raise a hand. This is way faster and easier than clicking Zoom buttons.
  4. Take advantage of the “share the screen” button whenever you need to ask something that is easier to show on your screen.
  5. Change your background so no one can see how messy your room is.

These were the best tips from us on how you can improve your online studying with Zoom. We hope that you will find our tips useful. Good luck with your studies!

Tips on Handling Group Projects

a group of students work together

If working on a study project in a group isn’t your cup of coffee, it’s totally fine. The majority of students prefer working by themselves as they are afraid of getting a low grade because of someone’s irresponsibility and mistakes. However, working in a group is a great way to boost your communication and delegation skills as well as teach you teamwork and organization. That’s why schools over the world implement group projects into their study programs and always will.

So, are there any ways you can make this project really work? We believe there are. And this article will provide you with the most effective tips on how to handle your group projects. By the way, these tips will definitely come in handy in the future, as you will likely face group projects throughout your career. So, let’s get started.

Establish Great Communication

Nothing can work in a group if there is not enough communication between its members. When you work on a project together, it’s essential to communicate at every step, give your feedback, and cooperate.

For example, before you even start, you should clarify and discuss the goals of your group, the part that each one of you will take and the requirements or rules that you will follow throughout the project. Every person in the group should know what is expected from them and when. Some people are less responsible and are easily distracted, so discussing the deadlines is one of the most important things, so that you can avoid missing the project deadline because of one of the members of your group.

If you feel that there is a need to make one of you a team leader who will control the process, you should definitely do so. Not many students like that approach, but when it comes to teamwork, a leader can make a difference in the process of organization and communication. This person might be responsible for the revision of the work, assistance in the research or writing process, keeping the group organized, and delegating the duties.

Share Everything You Find

When discussing the rules that you are going to stick to in the process with your teammates, talk about the rule of sharing. That means that everything that you find, e.g., sources, materials, useful links, diagrams, and data, should be shared with everyone in the group.

If you work in some kind of a team chat, or a shared file or folder, you can just put everything that you find in there, so everyone can use the same sources and save their time and effort. This way, your work will be much more effective. This will also help you avoid misunderstanding or conflicts in the group as every person will have access to the same materials as everyone else.

Set the Timeline

As mentioned earlier, discussing your deadlines is essential. But when you work on a longer project, it’s much more effective to break the project into smaller steps and tasks and set the deadlines for each of them.

This is how you establish a timeline, where you can see the progress of the project as a whole and each of the members in particular. Your team leader can track the tasks that are already finished so that they can be revised and polished if needed. You can also easily track if some of the members of your group miss their deadlines and put the team down. It’s better to know about while the work is still in the process than just right before the due date.

Brainstorm Ideas in a Team

What is the main advantage of working in a group compared to working on a project by yourself? The opportunity to produce more ideas and solutions. Brainstorming ideas in a team is much more effective, and there is a higher possibility that someone will come up with just a great idea on how to approach a problem. In this case, you will be able to take the right approach and get a higher grade.

Additional Tips

Here are a few other quick tips that you might find useful:

  1. Schedule regular meetups. Even if you can’t meet in person to discuss all the details, you can regularly meet in a group chat, have conference calls, etc. This way, you can make sure that everything goes according to schedule, and everyone knows what they need to do and how they should do it. By the way, check out our tips on how to handle your online classes better.
  2. Respect the opinions of each of the team members. Every member should feel free to voice their ideas and problems.
  3. Stay firm when it comes to deadlines but avoid starting conflicts. When the work needs to be done on time, there should be a maximum effort in a team and minimum excuses. However, starting an argument isn’t the way to make it work. If you need some help with your group project or any of your assignments, you can turn to our team at any time.

These were the best tips from us on how to organize group study projects, and how to make them work. We hope that you found these tips useful. Good luck with your studies and your teamwork!

6 Great Tips for Succeeding in Online Classes

a guy is sitting in front of his laptop

More people than ever are enrolling in distance learning and online classes. The number of students who are taking classes at home – either as a supplement to academic work they are doing or as their primary means of obtaining a degree – has been increasing significantly over the past several years.

If you’re currently enrolled in online classes, here are six great tips to help you succeed and make the most of your opportunity.

1. Get Tech Savvy

Before you begin your online education, you need to ensure you have all of the techs you need in place, and that you know how to use it. Find out what the hardware requirements are for your online courses; once you do, you should also verify that your computer and all of your mobile devices are compatible with it. If you don’t have high-speed internet at your home, find somewhere that does. You should also find out if you need any specific software for the course, then purchase and install it. Finally, once everything is in place, you should do a “test run” on your online curriculum platform, so you are comfortable with all of your software tools.

2. Be Disciplined

Maintaining focus and motivation is absolutely critical for success in online education. Unlike traditional classes, you won’t have the benefit of working alongside fellow students, or physical access to teachers or professors to assist you. You will have to develop and maintain an academic structure on your own to ensure you have what you need to succeed. One of the best ways to do this is to live your life like you actually are attending classes. Wake up on schedule and get dressed as if you are going to a physical classroom with a professor and other students. Try to go to a venue such as a library to do your homework. Maintain a work and life schedule like a student who is attending school would do (see more below). Little actions like these can help you maintain your personal discipline and give you the structure you need to succeed in your online curriculum.

3. Stay Organized

When it comes to online classes,  staying organized is even more important than in traditional study programs. Most online students do the bulk of their virtual attendance and homework at home. So, make sure you have a tidy, organized workspace in your office or room to help you stay organized while studying; don’t just sprawl out on the dining room table with your laptop and all your papers, or you might lose important information. Have a good system for keeping all of your class materials, whether they’re papers or files, organized in your home and on your computer. If you travel to a different location for classwork, such as a library, make sure you have a briefcase or backpack loaded with everything you need to accomplish your classwork, too.

4. Have a Study Plan

Since online coursework is often more self-directed than standard classes, having a good study plan is critical. You’ll need to ensure that you attend any online seminars according to a set schedule, and will also have to program time to study and do homework. Many students use written planners or calendar books to track when their online classes are and to program time to do work outside of class. Additionally, there are many great apps and programs, such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, that you can use to develop and track your study plan. It doesn’t matter how you do it – managing your time will be critical to your success in online classes.

5. Avoid distractions

In order to maintain discipline in your online classes, you will have to be adept at avoiding distractions. If you are attending class virtually, nearly everything around you can distract you from learning, and make it difficult to succeed in class. Your smartphone, social media, and other people in your home or apartment can become major impediments to maintaining the appropriate level of focus on your online coursework.

If you find the outside world intruding on your studies, there are several things you can do to regain your focus:

  • There are apps that block your phone for a period of time set by the timer. You won’t be able to use your social media or text until the timer goes off. Apps like Flipd, Stay on Task, Offtime,  are great choices for this, although you can find many others that do the same thing.
  • Switching your phone or mobile devices to airplane mode will keep those distracting messages from popping up while you are trying to study.
  • Moving mobile devices to another room or turning mobile them off altogether while studying can keep you focused.
  • Retreating to a quiet room in your home, or another location altogether can help prevent interruptions from your family, roommates, or friends.
  • Never attend online classes or do your reading and homework with a TV on.

6. Ask Questions

When you’re attending online classes, don’t forget that you are still actually in class; if you don’t understand a concept or other course material, don’t be afraid to raise your hand (virtually)! Find out what the professor’s or teacher’s protocol is for asking questions when the online class begins, and then use it whenever you don’t understand something. In some cases, the online course software may have a built-in function for “raising your hand,” indicating you have a question; in other cases, you may have to send a chat message to get the instructor’s attention. If all else fails, ensure you follow up with your instructor via email. Don’t let the online class system keep you from learning what you need to know.

Parting Thoughts: You Can Succeed in Online Classes!

Participating in online classes is a great way to get an education or critical skills needed in the world today. However, online education is quite different than traditional learning institutions and can present many unique challenges to students. So, take the tips offered here into consideration and apply them as you begin your online curriculum.  And if you struggle a lot with your assignments, you can turn to our team. Doing so will help you put your best foot forward as you set off to accomplish important academic goals. Best of luck as you begin your online studies!