In an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, at the time of publication, around 90% of Americans are currently under stay-at-home orders - even here in Mississippi. In the wake of these sudden and disruptive changes, online learning is offering some hope for students and teachers who are still finding ways to teach, study, and collaborate despite these major obstacles.
These social distancing and self-quarantining measures offer students an unprecedented amount of downtime that can be used to get a head start in finishing their degrees. Throughout this pandemic, the C2C Program and C2C Coaches continue to support returning students. The only difference is that communication has been temporarily moved to email, chat forums, and other virtual means.
Fortunately, Mississippi universities and community colleges have already been providing online learning opportunities for years. As more and more students now turn to this alternative for completing their degrees, these institutions are in a great position to expand their offerings. Online learning opportunities will only continue to increase and may even become the new norm.
Whether you’re taking one course at a time or knocking out an entire degree online, here are some online learning tips to help you make the most of this opportunity and your newfound downtime.
Make a dedicated studying space
While it’s true that online courses can be completed from anywhere, many students underestimate the importance of having a dedicated working space. You can only use the kitchen table or living room for so long before the constant distractions start draining your concentration and maybe even your grades. If you don’t have an entire room to spare, a small corner in your room should suffice. Here are some key components of any study area:
- Good lighting from different angles
- Having all essentials within arm's reach
- Using music to help drown out distractions
Take advantage of school resources
With online education, you might feel more disconnected at times than those on campus. In reality, all of the same resources that are available to onsite students are still there for virtual students too. Colleges throughout Mississippi strive to make online classes as connected and supportive as possible. You’ll have direct forms of communication with your professors, teaching assistants, and fellow classmates. Some colleges might even provide extra resources such as private tutors. To get the most out of your classes, you should always take advantage of this help. A C2C Coach can help you get connected to all of these school resources.
Find a virtual study buddy
As an online learner, you don’t have fellow students sitting with you in every class, but that doesn’t have to keep you from finding a virtual study buddy to make studying a little more enjoyable and helpful. Going over definitions on your own can get dry pretty quickly. If you’re looking for a different way to study, simply reach out to other students through text, email, or dedicated chat rooms to see who would be interested in starting a study group. You could use videoconferencing apps or FaceTime to get together for a study session if meeting in person isn’t an option.
Get in the zone with study music
Everybody has a preferred genre of music for improving concentration. Maybe you like smooth jazz, lo-fi hip hop, or classical music. Either way, you can make use of this music to block out distractions and keep your attention hyper-focused on the task at hand. There are several apps like Spotify and Apple Music that let you make playlists. After making a playlist, you can access it from your tablet or computer to get into the study zone whenever and wherever you need to. Students can even get significant discounts on these music streaming apps just by being in school.
It’s tough to sit down and remain focused with all of the beeps, blurps, and buzzes on your devices. Whether you receive a message on your phone, a Facebook chat on your tablet, or a new email on your computer, the same technology that’s allowing you to take virtual classes can also be a major source of distraction. When you set aside time to do coursework, shut off devices you don’t need and turn all notifications to ‘do not disturb’. You could even block distracting websites on your computer to keep your productivity at an ultimate high.
Stay physically active
Everyone knows that staying active can have tremendous benefits for your physical health, but you might not know about the advantages it can have for your studying too! Getting regular exercise can help boost the production of brain cells - literally helping your mind work more efficiently. Being active has also been shown to improve your focus and memory. This means you’ll be able to concentrate easier while retaining more. If you’re short on time, even a little bit of exercise can help.
Get out of the house
Just because you’re taking classes online, that doesn’t mean you have to remain cooped up in your room for days on end. Getting out of your house or apartment could make you more productive by offering new surroundings, better lighting, more comfortable seating, and maybe even better WiFi. You can try local coffee shops, bookstores, public libraries, and even a nearby university. Switching up your study environments regularly can help prevent boredom. Even if you make it a part of your everyday routine, taking your work out of the house from time to time can be really beneficial.
MS colleges with online programs
Universities and community colleges throughout Mississippi have been offering online programs for years. These opportunities are expected to expand due to the recent outbreak, and the C2C Program can help you find the best option to meet your needs. Contact any MS public university or community college to find out more about their online learning opportunities for adult learners.
How C2C can help
The Complete 2 Compete program is specifically designed to make it easier for adult learners who want to finish their degrees. Every participant will receive personalized support from a C2C Coach who will be there throughout every step of the process. Having helped several MS students graduate while taking online courses - even World Series winner David Dellucci - these C2C Coaches know what works and what doesn’t. From the minute you enroll to the moment you receive your degree; you’ll receive aid from the C2C Program both in the form of a coach and financial help through the C2C Grant.
Speak with a C2C Coach today to see how close you are to graduation already.