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Emotional Well-being

Online Courses ImageFebruary 28 - March 6, 2021

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges were forced to move classes online. For many students, this may be their first time taking online courses, leaving them unsure of what to expect.  If you are one of those students curious about how to approach this fully online study, these tips have been gathered to help you succeed as you continue with online learning throughout this crisis.

Emotional Well-being Readings

Four Success Tips for Online College Classes During COVID-19

Tips for Online College Classes

These tips and advice below can help you address their unique challenges to get the most value out of your online program. 

  1. Treat an online course like a “real” course.

When it comes to online classes, you need to have the discipline to sit down and say, “I am going to work on this,” as well as the dedication to follow through. Though you can be flexible as to when you choose to complete your work during the week, you cannot put it off indefinitely.

  1. Hold yourself accountable

Set goals at the beginning of the semester and check in with yourself weekly. In a traditional classroom setting, you will often receive verbal or visual reminders of an assignment’s upcoming due date. But without a professor actively reminding you, it is up to you to make sure you have allotted enough time to complete the work, so you are not starting an assignment the day before it is due.

  1. Practice time management.

The flexibility to create your own schedule is often one of the biggest appeals of taking online classes. But that freedom can also be detrimental if you do not have solid time management skills. Without them, you might easily to find yourself cramming before classes or handing in subpar assignments.

Look at the syllabus at the start of the semester and make note of major assignments. Mark them on a calendar you check regularly so you know what workload is coming in the weeks ahead. Do not forget to factor in prior commitmentsthat may interfere with your regular study schedule so you can give yourself enough extra time to complete assignments.

Create a weekly schedule that you follow, designating certain hours each week to reading, watching lectures, completing assignments, studying, and participating in forums. Commit to making your online coursework part of your weekly routine and set reminders for yourselfto complete these tasks.

When working on your assignments, try time-blocking, allotting yourself a certain amount of time for each task before moving on to the next one and setting a timer to keep you accountable.

Check in periodically throughout the term and look at how you are spending your time. Ask yourself: How much time am I dedicating to course reading and assignments? Am I regularly underestimating the time it is taking me to get things done, forcing me to cram the nights before the exams?A little self-reflection and adjustment can go a long way.

  1. Create a regular study space and stay organized.

Set up a dedicated learning environment for studying. By completing your work there repeatedly, you will begin to establish a routine. Whether your workspace is your kitchen table, a library, or the corner booth in a local coffee shop, it’s important to determine what type of environment will work best for you. Experiment to discover which type of setting boosts your productivity. Wherever you choose, make sure there’s high-speed internet access so you are not trying to take an online course over a lagging connection.

Setting up a regular workspace or office will also help you to stay organized. Knowing exactly where important dates, files, forms, syllabi, books, and assignments live will help keep you on track towards hitting your goals. When setting up your study space, make sure you:

Have a high-speed internet connection

Have the required books, materials, and software for the course

Have headphones for listening to lectures or discussions (especially important in shared spaces)

  1. Eliminate distractions

From Netflix to social media to dishes piling up in the skink, you will be faced with many distractions that can easily derail your studies. The best online students know how to lessen these distractions and set aside time to focus.

  1. Figure Out How You Learn Best

Once you have established where you will learn, think about when and how you accomplish your best work. If you are a morning person, make time to study first thing. More of a night owl? Set aside an hour or two after dinner to cozy up to your computer. If the kids require your morning and evening attention, try to carve out a study session mid-day while they are at school. Brew your usual cup of coffee, put on your go-to playlist, and do whatever you need to get into the zone and down to business.

  1. Actively participate.

Participate in the course’s online forum to help you better understand course materials and engage with fellow classmates. This might involve commenting on a classmate’s paper on a discussion board or posting a question about a project you are working on. Read what other students and your professor are saying, and if you have a question, ask for clarification.

Make sure you are checking in as often as you can, too. The flexibility of online learning means that if you have 30 minutes before dinner plans, you could squeeze in a discussion response around your schedule. Set a goal to check in on the class discussion threads every day.

And if you do feel yourself falling behind, speak up. Don’t wait until an assignment is almost due to ask questions or report issues. Email your professor and be proactive in asking for help.

  1. Leverage your network.

Online classes may sometimes make you feel like you are learning on your own, but this could not be further from the truth. Most online courses are built around the concept of collaboration, with professors and instructors actively encouraging that students work together to complete assignments and discuss lessons.

Build relationships with other students by introducing yourself and engaging in online discussion boards. Your peers can be a valuable resource when preparing for exams or asking for feedback on assignments. Do not be afraid to turn to them to create a virtual study group. Chances are good that they will appreciate it just as much as you will.

Practice Makes Perfect

Online classes are an excellent option to help you earn that degree you need to fulfill your goals. Though they come with their own unique challenges, following the advice above can help you be successful even in the most chaotic of times.

TAO-Therapy Assistance Online

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) provides 24/7 access to resources to help you feel your best emotionally.  TAO contains videos, activity logs, and other tools that can be completed anytime and anywhere you have internet access.  TAO is free to the campus community. 

Go to Tao Connect and enter your SWOSU email address to log-in.

Leaving Your Blues Behind

  • Monday-Module 1-Session 1: Feelings and Thoughts
  • Tuesday-Module 2-Session 2:  Relaxation Strategies
  • Wednesday-Module 3-Session 1:  Unhealthy and Healthy Thoughts
  • Thursday-Module 4-Session 1:  Layers of Thinking
  • Friday-Model 6-Session 2: Social Supports

Guided Meditations Interactives

If You Want More Inner Peace Well-being and Happiness Learn to Meditate

There are many types of meditation practices and exercises you can do on your own.

Go to Tao Connect and enter your SWOSU email address to log-in.

  • Positive In, Negative Out (5:14)
  • Meditation for Restful Sleep (5:16)
  • Finding Your Happy Place (6:22)