As high school and college students around the country get used to this new format of school, they also need to find new strategies and methods to keep up with their classes. At many schools, especially colleges, students are being given lectures in one of two ways. Some classes are live lectures that are streamed online. Other lectures are recorded and students can watch them on their own time. These are the lectures that I want to focus on. While communicating with students, I have learned that it is much more difficult for students to get themselves to consistently attend (watch) these lectures than it is to get themselves to a physical classroom.
Here are three tips for students to improve their learning with video lectures:
- Create a structured schedule- The most important thing for students to do is not put off the work. They should create a structured schedule that requires them to have a set time for each class. Ideally, this will take place in the morning when students are more alert and have more energy. It’s important to remember, the longer a class gets put off, the longer it will get put off.
- Create a set of rules- Create a set of rules for yourself to follow. This can be anything from showering, eating breakfast, what to wear, or what room to be in. If you want to be more specific, make rules about your work space. I worked with one student who set up strict, detailed parameters. She had rules about what was allowed on the desk, sitting over an arm’s length away from the computer, and taking notes on a clipboard. All these measures were put in place to be a more effective notetaker and learner. Setting these rules can help students get much more out of lectures.
- Set an objective- If we sit down to watch a lecture just to say “I saw it,” there isn’t much productivity happening. Students should set a goal for each lecture they sit down to watch. Examples include, take x amount of notes, write down all vocab words, or generate 5 further questions from the lecture. Simple goals like this will increase engagement and help students get more out of their lectures.
Watching lectures online can be tedious and grow old very quickly. By taking these simple measures and putting an emphasis on productivity, students can learn a lot more from lectures.