As Kansas State moves towards online classes for the rest of the semester, students used to sitting in a classroom must adjust to digital platforms. While this comes with obvious perks — staying in bed and working in pajamas for example — students may also run into troubles such as struggling to manage their time, limited internet access and loud homes. However, there are some simple solutions to common problems students could face.
1. Time management
Some professors plan to keep their regularly scheduled class time available for students to communicate via Zoom, Skype or Canvas which should — hopefully — benefit students by providing structure to their schedules. That being said, some professors will probably post assignments and expect students to be on top of them.
For these classes, I recommend checking Canvas daily to ensure the assignments due that day are finished. Another option is to check in at the beginning of the week and write down all assignments and their due dates and cross them off your to-do list as they are finished. I personally like writing a to-do list and crossing them off to give me a sense of accomplishment, but find a way that works best for you.
2. Peace and quiet
Having siblings, parents and even grandparents around is always nice, but it can also lead to loud environments. I know my house is always loud and to get work done, I have to go to my room and tell my family I need peace and quiet to work.
If you are the in the same boat, I recommend asking your family for quiet hours and explaining that you need some alone time to work. They want to support your education and should be understanding of the situation.
Distractions are everywhere at home and when you’re trying to do homework, you will do anything to get out of it. There’s Netflix to binge, a nap to take and pets to entertain, but sadly, those aren’t good excuses for professors.
In order to stay focused, try to work in a room with minimal distractions. I always listen to podcasts and music when I work, but that isn’t for everyone. It also helps to be comfortable — for example, instead of sitting at a desk, work at the dining room table so you can spread out. Working in bed might not be the best option, but do what works for you.
4. Homework help
Professors are here to help you succeed — so ask questions. They will be utilizing readings, Zoom meetings and videos to teach, but people learn in different ways. It’s better to ask for help when you need it than wait until it’s too late.
If you are having trouble learning the material, YouTube can also help. There are many tutorials available for free which could explain the material in an easier-to-understand fashion.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, it provides a place to start. It also helps to remember this is a new experience for the professors and Teaching Assistants as well as you.