Six Tips for your Online Classes

Six Tips for your Online Classes



Six tips on how to deal with boring lectures, un-muted classmates and other online-lecture struggles.

Typical Online-Lecture Struggles

Your online lecture didn’t even last 10 minutes, and you’ve already fallen asleep three times, one classmate is constantly eating, someone doesn’t manage to turn off his microphone and everybody is wondering where these mysterious noises come from. Sounds familiar? Here you will find six tips on how to deal with the above-mentioned struggles.

1) Taking breaks and structuring the day

It can be quite exhausting to stare at the screen the whole day. Therefore: During your breaks, leave that screen behind! A bit of exercise, a little snack or just taking a rest and quickly letting in some fresh air for fresh thoughts, can go a long way in being more receptive again. Also: Structure your day, so that you can actively take part in your online classes. It may be tempting to work on other things at the same time, but actively participating not only helps you remember things better but also is much more fun.

Close-up view on a hand-written journal. On the bottom of the page, neat letters say "Today is the perfect day to be happy".

2) Sharing with your fellow students

Due to the current Corona-crisis it may be hard to meet with your peers face to face. So try to keep up continual exchange trough video calls. If possible, make sure that everyone has their camera switched on, so that you can also see each other. Turn your mic off, if you have loud disturbances in your apartment and currently do not have anything to add to the conversation. Preferably, use your laptop for these calls, since that is better for your eyes and posture than using your smartphone. If you do not have access to anything but your smartphone try to get your hands on a tripod.

3) Setting up your workspace

Set up your dedicated workspace. If you do not have a separate room for that just make sure you find a quiet and comfortable space, optimally with natural lighting, equipped with office supplies, laptop, charger and a desk lamp. You can always look for inspiration on how to set up a workspace with minimal space online (e.g. Pinterest). Separating your workspace from your recreational areas is important for making sure that you can fully relax after a long course or study session. Depending on how much time you have to spend there, investing in an additional screen, a mouse or headset might be beneficial. Noise-cancelling headphones could become your best friends if you find yourself surrounded by noisy neighbours.

View of a neatly organised desk, ready for successful studies along with a lamp, a pile of books, pens in a container, coffee cup, wifi router, flowers in a vase and fresh fruits in a bowl.

4) Starting off right by getting out of your sweat suit

It may be tempting to just throw a sweatshirt over your pyjamas shortly before your online class but getting dressed as you would on a “normal” day helps you actively take part in your classes and feel more put together. Try it out yourself! It doesn’t matter, whether you usually start with breakfast and an early morning workout, are the more relaxed type and need your coffee first or start off by grooming/doing your hair and make-up. Keeping those rituals will put you in the right mood and get you ready to tackle the day.

5) Get moving during your breaks

Staying home may lead to you burning about 400 calories less every day. A yoga session as a break or a walk in the fresh air during your lunch break might be exactly what you need to compensate the movement deficit that comes from staying home. After all, no one wants to turn into a literal couch potato.

A pink yoga mat beside an open balcony door. Outside a courtyard and some tree tops.

6) Calling it a day!

There has to be an end to even the most productive days. Enjoy your free time! Sports, music or (virtually) meeting your friends, no matter what you do to have fun and get your head free again – just do it!

This blogpost was kindly provided to us by Ronja Rabe from the Hamburg Media School:

Photo rights by International Campus GmbH