3 Steps to Mastering the Online Classroom: Prepare, Engage, Indulge!
by Megan Green -- October 10th, 2014
I’ve always thought of myself as kinda old-school…I prefer talking to my friends rather than texting, my phone still has buttons, and I often find myself Googling social media jargon (what is a #TBT??).
So, if I can master the online classroom, anyone can! Here are the tips and tricks I’ve picked up in my first few weeks:
1. Prepare – A little preparation help you get the most out of the virtual classroom.
- Read! Okay, that seems a little obvious, but you would be surprised how quickly readings for class can fall lower and lower on the to-do list when you have “work” work, writing assignments for school, or a social life. Make time for your readings—even an hour of skimming can make the difference between following along in class, or struggling to keep up.
- Minimize distractions. Kids, pets, spouses…they are all potential distractions during your online class. My secret weapon for combating distractions is EXHAUSTION! On nights I have class, Pippa (my puppy) gets to go for an extra-long walk! Nine-times-out-of-ten she curls up in her bed under my desk and sleeps through class:
…In an emergency I bribe her with cookies (this may work with kids too!)
- Be a rebel; ditch the headset! The first day or orientation I got a stylish head-set I was told to wear for all our online sessions. I’m going to give you the same advice my mentor gave me: ditch the headset! Your DEL-provided laptop has speakers and a microphone, so you can still participate without enduring the discomfort of smushed ears.
2. Engage – you’ll get more out of class.
- Raise your hand. I don’t mean have digital “manners;” I mean be willing to jump in and add to the discussion!
- Chat. It is a great way to check in with your classmates, lighten the mood, or add to ask a question.
- Smile for the camera:) Seeing my classmates is my favorite part of logging in! Especially when they get new haircuts (Katie!) or new hats (Rob!).
3. Indulge – just because you can!
- Have a drink! Whether its a cappuccino or a cocktail, enjoy a little indulgence you couldn’t have in a bricks and mortar classroom.
- Get comfortable. For me, that means fuzzy socks. For you, it might mean having class from your Lazy Boy recliner…either way, it is a lot more comfortable than the rows of tight plastics desks in most college classrooms!
Current and former DEL-MEM students: Do y’all have any other tips to share for making the most of the online classroom?