Tips for Online Classes

Tips for online classes

It’s not news anymore that the schools all over the world are doing classes online. However, remember that we take this time cautiously and seriously and that being productive isn’t always the end goal but rather to be safe and help keep others safe as much as we can.

Given that a lot of us are doing classes online, here are some of the tips I gathered to help you figure out how to get the most out of them. This is divided into three groups: for those with video calls, for those without video calls, and for the architecture students, specifically.

Tips for Online Classes

FOR VIDEO CALLS

#1 Look for areas in your house with the fastest internet connection.

This is possible if you’ll be attending your online classes through your laptop. Positioning yourself where there’s the fastest connection means probably less connection problems or lagging. 

#2 Check and test your lighting.

Youtubers use ring light for a reason and that’s adequate lighting! If you’re going to rely on natural or room lighting, make sure it doesn’t cause shadows to your face.

#3 If you can, check and test video calls.

If you can do a practice video call with a friend then that would be great! It will allow you to see how well your connection will perform, how much lighting you have, and it will help you determine any future problems you might encounter with calls. 

#4 Set up your microphone, if any.

Having a microphone means better audio (assuming the microphone is of decent quality.) 

#5 Background noise (fan, air condition, etc.)

Cars aren’t the only background noise you might encounter. Check to see if your fan or any other cause these noise!

Tips for Online Classes

FOR THOSE WITHOUT VIDEO CALLS

#1 Look for areas in your house with the fastest internet connection.

A fast internet connection would mean faster downloads and most probably cause less problems. 

#2 Set up / update your drive.

I assume your school would be giving handouts if you’re not required to attend video conferences. Get your school drive or personal drive ready for them! Don’t procrastinate in organizing in order to avoid losing files. When I was doing uni work, I both had my hard drive and Google drive contain my files. 

#3 Stick to your routines as much as possible.

It’s a lot easier to slack off when you have your own schedule on your hands. You might think the freedom will make you happier but a lack in system can make you miserable as well!

#4 Check your emails / notifications everyday.

Now that you don’t see your professors everyday, make sure to keep checking your emails every morning or have your notifications turned on! Your professors could be emailing you at this moment. 

#5 Turn off notifications during class hours/video call hours

Have your phone and other devices on silent mode in order to avoid distractions and disruptions. The same goes when you’re doing productive work as it can help you focus. 

#6 Block other websites

There are different programs out there that can block websites for a period of time that you set. I personally used SelfControl. It was intuitive or easy to use and it was effective. 

#7 Have snacks beside you, if you can

Assuming you’re allowed to eat, then it helps to keep snacks within reach. It helps both your brain and your hungry stomach! Thinking and learning is a lot of work. 

Tips for Online Classes

FOR ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS

Although the efficiency of online classes is debatable for our field, here are some of the things you can still try to do in attending them; these are what worked for me and the others when we were consulting with our adviser for thesis. 

#1 Be persistent and always keep in touch. 

It’s a lot easier to hide from your professors as they literally cannot see you. This can be dangerous as it can make you lose momentum for your work and end up having to suffer more in the long run. Keeping in touch with them will be helpful. 

#2 Respect work time and off time for yourself and for others. 

Overworking still and always will lead to burnout! If you have the schedule on your hands (self-paced learning), remember that it is still important to make time for leisure and for other people. Let’s assume professors have this, too. 

#3 Use messenger, emails, Google Drive, or other medias to send works and back. 

Since most of our work is visual, you can use different platforms to send them back and forth with your professors, if they approve. It helped me and my professors when I annotated my drawings as well. 

#4 Have a separate work space from your “rest” space

Having the same space for both will confuse your body as to when is it time to relax and when is it time to work. 

#5 If your school uses a self-phase system (follow your own schedule), know what time of day you work and study best. 

Each one of us work best in our own time. Try to figure out what time of day you work best then start your most daunting task from there. It is better to start with the hardest (and most urgent) task as you can lose willpower more and more as you go on. 

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