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4 Ways to Make the Most of Online School


While online school can allow you greater flexibility and a wider variety of course options to choose from, it can often be a difficult adjustment to make and comes with some disadvantages, such as issues with time management and limited social interaction. Here are four ways to make the most of online school.

  1. Designate a Learning Space

While you may be tempted to log into your online class from the comfort of your bed, this isn’t exactly conducive to learning. Designating a specific area where you’ll be virtually attending classes and completing homework means that your brain will associate this spot with learning, and you’ll be less prone to getting distracted. 

Be sure to choose an area that has a desk or table, a comfortable chair, good lighting and a stable Internet connection. You should also try to distance yourself from distractions like television and noise. If you don’t want to sit in the same spot every day, consider a portable office for sale, which can give you the freedom and flexibility to work from whichever location you choose.

  1. Dress for Success

Attending online school requires you to be both physically and mentally prepared. Although it may be easier to learn in your pajamas, this will hurt your studies in the long run. One study found that clothing influences an individual’s psychological processes, a phenomenon known as enclothed cognition. For example, in one experiment, the researchers found that individuals who wore a lab coat had increased attention, as compared to those who weren’t wearing one. 

While this doesn’t mean that you have to get all dressed up for class, it shows that the clothing you wear can affect your productivity. Staying in your pajamas signals to your brain that it’s time to relax, while getting dressed conveys that you’re ready to start your day. Separating work and relaxation time by the clothes you wear can help you to succeed in online school.

  1. Take Notes

Although your teachers or professors may record your online lectures and post them for later viewing, it’s best to go the traditional route and take notes during class. There have been numerous studies conducted that show that taking notes keeps you alert, promotes active learning and improves retention and comprehension. In addition, writing notes by hand has been shown to boost understanding and absorption, as writing involves more complex cognitive processes than typing. 

To follow a good note-taking process, it can be beneficial to create a mind map, which can help you visualize how certain topics relate to each other by beginning with a broad concept in the center and then drawing nodes that extend from it and contain related sub-concepts. You should also aim to study your notes no later than 24 hours after class, as this is when the material is freshest in your mind and will be easiest to encode into long-term memory. Use different colors to make connections between related information, and add questions or new ideas in the margins.

  1. Connect With Others

Online school can be isolating, so it’s important that you stay connected with others. This can mean setting up an online study group or even comparing notes one-on-one with a study buddy. Research has shown that individuals learn most efficiently when studying with others, as learning is a social activity. While studying with friends can help you better understand the material, it can also be a good way to break up the school day and get some much-needed social interaction, which has been shown to decrease stress, boost mood and allow you to form lasting connections.

Online school can be difficult to navigate at first, but there are ways to be successful and have fun in the process. Don’t be discouraged if you experience setbacks, as these are all part of the learning experience. Consider these four steps if you want to make the most out of your online schooling experience.

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