Now that we are through the initial shock and scramble of schools going online, and virtual learning has been in place for almost two months in most places, it is time to analyze the problems that students are having. At this point, it’s very likely that students are past their initial surge and are now getting a little lackadaisical and relaxed with their learning. Let’s take a look at 4 of the traps they can fall into.
- Missing Updates- Assignments, announcements, and grades are all being posted all the time. I’ll often talk to students at 9:00 or 10:00 am and not all their assignments for the day have been posted yet. We’re finding students who are checking their “virtual world” once per day. If they happen to look at it at the wrong time, or forget to look, they will miss important information. Students need to be diligent with monitoring their work. We call this virtual diligence.
- Not Asking Questions- The organic structure of the classroom has been removed and this means it’s much more difficult, and possibly daunting, to ask teachers questions. In order to get a hold of a teacher, students now have to attend office hours, email the teacher, or take the initiative to get a hold of them some other way.
- Not Creating Structure- Virtual learning has created an abstract and unstructured day. It is vital for students to create a schedule and plan for each day. This includes creating a list of tasks, creating start and stop times for activities, and making sure to leave planning time.
- Easing off Distractions- As time wears us down, we become more lenient with our phone, the websites we visit, and the amount of time we spend texting and chatting throughout our day. It’s important to stay focused on minimizing distractions and trying to keep these distractions away as much as possible. This can be challenging, but it can make a tremendous difference in productivity.
As virtual learning lasts longer and longer, it’s important for students to remain focused, consistent, and diligent. This is a great opportunity for students to improve their independent learning skills, but it definitely takes deliberate and targeted practice.