Typically it is hard for students to stay on top of their schoolwork. In college, a majority of students are balancing work with on campus, extracurricular activities and schoolwork, which can already be difficult. With the new normal that COVID-19 has created, college students have been stripped of their set patterns for the semester and have now been forced to create new ones.
Some students thrive with face-to-face learning therefore online learning can become an issue with how these students deal with course work. Assistant Professor Ryan Korstange of University Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, provided tips to maintaining motivation during this time. The first thing that Korstange recommends is for students to “guard your time.” “You do not need large amounts of time to be productive. Instead, be intentional and focused in short blocks where you can work without interruption,” he said in the online publication, The Conversation. It is also suggested that students, when learning remotely, determine how much work is needed and that they divide larger projects into smaller ones. “Write down the work you need to accomplish, because there is a limit to how much information you can recall and process at one time,” explained Korstange. When it comes to quizzes and tests it is best to allot appropriate time to prepare and for dividing projects, work with them in a sequence and treat them like small goals. For example, starting with research for a paper, then writing, proofreading and then some.
Kevin Homicile––Manhattan College, graduate student, computer engineering
“Online classes have definitely required a major adjustment. I had taken an online class over the summer, where the class was built for a remote learning environment but this change was different. I say this mainly because a lot of the classes that I take are difficult to lean remotely, because you don’t have access to a lot of the physical environment. Nevertheless, a lot of the professors have done a great job seamlessly transitioning into that learning environment in order to make sure that we continue our education,” said Homicile.
Like most students there is a tendency to find a positive out of a negative especially with trying to make remote learning work for them as individuals. “My experience has been pretty enjoyable. Mainly because a lot of professors are trying to create various office hours for us to go see them when we need help with an assignment, a topic that was covered or anything in general. It has been a little tough keeping up with a rigid schedule at home, mainly because of all the distractions at home. But that still hasn’t completely stopped me from focusing on the required materials that I need to learn,” Homicile said.
Daniel Raymond Jean Jr.––Alfred State College, undergraduate junior, sports management
Although the coronavirus has shifted habits, the balancing act can become a challenge. “Online classes have been easy and complicated at the same time. There are a couple of moments that assignments for like three of my classes are due on the same day. It’s overwhelming for me to get them done as soon as possible. If I can’t complete it on its due date, I would just email or call the professor,” expressed Jean.
One of the tips experts recommend for students and parents working from home is to maintain routines. Routines look different for everyone across the board, but it all boils down to getting the work done. “My routine for the online classes is putting an alarm on my phone 30 minutes before class. I’m already used to taking online classes because I took four of those last summer. Now, since the schedule of the assignments has changed, I had to change mine as well. There are times that I don’t sleep until like 3 or 4 in the morning, but all that matters is that I get my work done,” said Jean.
Remote learning has forced students to adapt quickly to these circumstances. Undergraduate and graduate students seem to be rolling with the punches and making do with what they can in this new reality of learning.