Experiencing online difficulties? Here are quick fixes.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Many university students have found themselves unexpectedly engaging in online college classes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s quickly talk about a couple of quick fixes for some of the difficulties of online learning and distance education.




What are some of the most common problems for students taking classes virtually through online college? 

  1. Technical Issues
  2. Time Management
  3. Motivation
  4. Missing In-Person Interaction
  5. Uncertainty Regarding The Future

Technical  Issues

Whether they are minor issues that resolve on their own and within a matter of seconds or major issues that require assistance, technical issues are almost always expected when working online.

The fix?


Stay in touch with your professors and let them know about what’s happening! Let them know what your issues are and what it is you are doing to resolve them. They should understand if the fix is not a quick one.

Perhaps they will even lend you a hand by recording class sessions as a backup. 
 
 Dawn Coder, the director of academic advising and student disability services at Pennsylvania State University’s online campus shared with the U.S. News, “There will be technology issues, and I think it’s important that every student understands they’re not alone in that, to allow themselves the patience to work through the problem.” Afterall, there is usually a fix for the issue. Technical support services offered by universities can be useful as well.

Time Management


Learning at home means that there are more distractions than usual. Many college students live with family and perhaps younger siblings. Others may live with roommates. 

Distractions make it difficult to manage time. 

The fix?

Build a schedule for yourself. Figure out what you need to do and when you want to do it. Once you have a schedule pegged down, share it with the people that you live with! This way, they know when to give you time to be concentrated and focused.

Find a quiet time and place in your home to complete coursework. 

Motivation


Students not attending class at a set time on a physical campus may have difficulty finding motivation to start on coursework. It can be difficult to stay motivated at a place that is normally associated with rest and relaxation.

The fix?


Set daily, weekly and long term goals. Daily and weekly goals that you can check off will help you remind yourself that you are completing tasks as you work. Long term goals will help you stay motivated for the future. 

Staying in touch with classmates, faculty and academic staff can also help you out.


Missing In-Person Interaction


Some students may be seriously missing in-person interaction with friends and classmates. 

This adjustment can be difficult for students taking classes that are truly better suited for the in-person class format, such as those that involve practical labs.


The fix?

Do your best to take advantage of the tools that you have. Use Zoom, Skype or FaceTime with classmates and professors in order to engage in discussion about the material that you are studying.


Uncertainty Regarding The Future


Many college students have felt anxiety in the last months due to the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. There is even more on students’ minds as the country reels against the institutions of systematic racism and people protest everywhere after the killing of George Floyd. 

The fix?

What can students do if they are feeling too much pressure? Talk to college counselors and take advantage of the psychological services that colleges and universities provide.




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