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Online Learning: Tips to Maximise Efficiency and Productivity

When the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world, governments rushed to introduce safety preventative measures as well as drastic procedural changes to maintain continuity in operations. The education sector was not unscathed, as schools were forced to temporarily close down and had to shift to the online space to conduct learning as per ‘normal’. Both schools and enrichment centres in Singapore and beyond, had to engage in the ubiquitous use of virtual learning.

While Home Based Learning (HBL) is arguably not a new concept, the current situation of total and partial shutdown of schools is. This means, unlike pre-COVID HBLs, online learning is conducted for more than a week. Prior to this, teachers and students alike are not equipped to teach and learn via online for continuous weeks and months, without any possibility of physical interaction. Navigating this new space is, no doubt, a challenge.

If you are having trouble adapting to the new changes and find your productivity dropping, let’s first preface this: it is alright! Before you fret and beat yourself for not performing just as well, understand that it is normal to find these adjustments difficult. To help you out with that, we have come up with a few tips to help you gain back your momentum and maximise your efficiency and productivity during this online learning period.

Removing Distractions that Can Veer You Off Course

An attribute that makes online learning so different from the traditional classroom is flexibility. On top of learning in the comfort of their home, students can also gain more control of their learning, as opposed to the traditional classrooms where the teachers are the ones who set the pace of learning. This flexibility, if not utilised well, will give way to distractions and, worse, complacency.

To combat this, start by creating a comfortable and productive working area. Make sure to remove any forms of distractions that can veer you off course. This means working away from your bed and putting your phones on Do Not Disturb or Airplane modes when studying.

Example of a distracting working arrangement
Example of a conducive working arrangement

By removing any forms of distractions, you can give more attention to your tasks at hand, effectively increasing your productivity and efficiency.

Making a Schedule and Sticking to It

Since you are not in the physical presence of your teachers and peers, you may find online learning to be less stressful and more relaxed. This, unfortunately, is a slippery slope. When you’re too relaxed, it can translate to a possible dip in concentration and dedication to your learning.

To remain committed to your learning, you can make a schedule to keep track of your tasks and your progress. When creating a timetable, be sure to set small, realistic goals. Refrain from setting unattainable goals as not only does this reflect poorly on your overall progress and abilities, but it can also demotivate you should you fail to meet your goal.

You can leverage the convenience of technology and use these apps to make your schedule: Google Calendar, Evernote (notes organiser and daily planner application), and Toggl (time-tracking application).

Taking Productive Breaks

The lack of structure in online learning, relative to traditional classrooms, can be both a bane and a boon. On the one hand, this offers flexibility to the students. But on the flip side, this also means that the line that separates studying and learning is now blurred. As a result, online learning can quickly become very stifling, especially now that there are no designated breaks to interact with your peers and the like. No doubt, dedication is essential in learning, but so is resting. When the brain is overwhelmed and overloaded, you risk suffering from neurological and psychological effects.

To avoid this from occurring, be sure to intersperse productive breaks in your schedule. You can try exercising or meditation for a few minutes before resuming your task. You can also try implementing the Pomodoro technique, which involves a 25-minute work sprint and a 5-minute break right after. Regardless of your approach, you are discouraged from doing anything schoolwork related during your rest.

Bear in mind that these productive breaks are highly individualistic. You will need to try and test each technique to see which can best boost your concentration during your breaks.

Finding the Support You Need With Jocelyn Chinese

It takes time to find which studying habits work best for you, and even more time to adjust to the shifting educational process . In such challenging times, it pays to seek out help to better support your learning and education.

If you find yourself needing help in your Chinese language at the Secondary or JC level, we can help! Jocelyn Chinese takes pride in being a Chinese tuition centre in Singapore that constantly strives to help students enhance their learning potential – and this time, it’s no different. Our online lessons continue to reflect our teaching methodology: to offer exam-oriented classes and tap on effective bilingualism for better engagement between our tutors and students. Our online programme also includes two new initiatives: individual consultations and a deferred payment programme for families affected by nationwide measures.

Make great strides in your education with us!

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