Anybody who tried distance learning knows that maintaining focus and keeping the same levels of achievement as with traditional schooling can be extremely challenging in such an environment. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced many of us to participate in it, whether we want it or not. Some students take to it naturally and even find online classes more effective and efficient than the normal ones. However, for a vast majority of students, the transition to distance learning came as a nasty surprise. Many struggle to adapt to these changed conditions even now; however, these past months have taught us many things. What if you can benefit from distance learning but have trouble adapting to it? What should you do to make this transition easier? Let us pay closer attention to the issue.

How to adapt to online learning

Define the Situation You Are In


Both for you and your family members. For many people, staying at home is associated with vacation or weekends. When we stay at home, we subconsciously feel that we are not supposed to work, or at least to work hard. Our family members tend to treat us in the same way: if you stay home, it means that you are not busy doing anything useful. As a result, it is all too easy to start feeling as if you are taking a vacation, and all too tempting for your family members to put you to work doing chores or running errands. Thus, make it exceedingly obvious both for yourself and your family: although you stay at home, it does not mean that you have nothing to do. You have your responsibilities, and they are just as important as what you would be doing if you were in school or college.

Have a Clear-Cut Plan


For a day, a week, a month. Experts suggest that you are going to achieve much better results if you always know what, when, and how you are supposed to be doing. Therefore, create a plan for the following day each evening: specify what kind of work you will be busy with at each point of the day. It is especially important if you have to share devices with other members of your family. If you have a physics assignment to do and need the family’s PC to do it, specify the time you are going to work on it so that everybody knows the PC will be occupied during this period and nobody has any unpleasant surprises. If you are going to need some physics homework help, contact a relevant service beforehand – this way you will never have to wait for other people.

Prepare Your Work Environment


One of the reasons why many students find distance-learning so difficult is because they have to study in an environment that is obviously unsuited to learning. They are surrounded by distractions (smartphones, web browsers, TV, family members, pets, etc.), they do not feel any social pressure to stick to their current tasks, they are free to move around and take breaks at will, they do not have an authority figure like a teacher to look over them and make sure they stick to their studies. Therefore, one of your primary goals, if you want your distance learning to be effective, is to create an environment that helps you study, not prevents you from doing it. If possible, study in a quiet separate room where you will not be bothered by family members or pets. Remove all the distractions from around yourself: your laptop (unless you need it to study), your smartphone, TV, and so on. Put on noise-canceling headphones if outside sounds distract you.

Take Regular Breaks


“Regular” is a keyword here. Do not either stick to your studies for hours on end or take breaks whenever you feel like it. The former is inefficient because the human brain is just plain incapable of maintaining the same level of focus for prolonged periods. You should define by yourself the right time for you, but usually, people tend to work better if they take a short break every 45 to 90 minutes. These breaks should be regular, too. If you take breaks whenever you like, you will soon find yourself setting aside your homework at a drop of a hat. Instead, establish a clear-cut schedule and take breaks of the same lengths at regular intervals. For example, put your work aside for 15 minutes every hour.

Alternate Subjects


When students are in school or college, the subjects they study throughout a day change all the time: from history to literature, from literature to mathematics, and so on. It is done for a good reason – when you perform the same task or study the same thing for a while, in the course of time it inevitably starts to cause boredom and tiredness. You should follow the same principle when you study at home. Do not submit to the temptation of getting one subject out of the way completely and then moving on to the next one. Instead, go through a variety of disciplines in the course of a day – this way you will be able to stay fresh for a long time and maintain the same tempo no matter what your current job is.
Adapting to distance learning can be hard, especially for the students who are not used to self-discipline and self-direction – which is exactly the reason why it is an excellent way to learn these qualities! Let us know if you have any other useful tip on adapting to online learning in the comments below. Make sure to share this article with your friends so they can also know about these tips.