The pandemic has made online classes more popular than ever before. Small groups, digital tools, peer interaction, attending from the comfort of your home and personal attention from the instructor like never before, what’s not to like? Short of the joy of human contact after months of isolation, online classes are the complete package.
Over the last few months, we’ve even mastered the technological aspect of attending an online class. However, their extensive features and resources can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of some tools through which you can make the most of every aspect of an online class and can even build new friendships!
“Do Your Research”
Familiarize yourself with the class structure and the instructor’s background. This will make you feel more confident and prepared to navigate through the course. Learning about the course and instructor’s background will also help you identify specific areas that you would like to explore. You can also strike meaningful conversations with both your instructor and peers, with the help of cues from your research.
“Prepare A Set Of Questions”
When you sign up for a class and invest your time and money into it, you have certain learning objectives in mind. The best way to fulfil these objectives is to identify the topics that you would like to explore in-depth and note the questions that come to mind. Prepare a list of these questions and keep them handy when you join the class This way, you won’t miss out on anything!
Step outside your comfort zone, ask questions and answer the questions that the instructor asks.
Learning is a two-way process. No instructor can make your learning experience fruitful if you’re merely a passive recipient of the information that they offer. Hence, remember to step outside your comfort zone, ask questions and answer the questions that the instructor asks. You can also initiate discussions relevant to the course or something that might remain unclear to you. Ultimately, you’ll only get out of online learning what you put into it.
“Take Advantage Of Small Groups”
Online classes have a clear advantage over traditional classrooms: their class size. While some online classes conduct sessions with larger groups of attendees, most of them prefer to keep their batches small. Use this to your advantage and make the most of peer interactions and group discussions. This will give you an opportunity to understand different perspectives. Every individual brings their two cents to the class and smaller groups allow you to get more one-on-one time for learning and growth.
Notes are a great way to review and retain information during the class and often come in handy once the class is over. While you’re attending a session, jot down important points that are being discussed. You can always flip back to them later and get a mini refresher course of the topics that were covered. You might even be able to use them for a project that you might undertake in the future or to simply review the session with the instructor at the end of the class. Either way, it’s a win-win situation!
“Reach Out To The Instructor”
Interact with your instructor. This will be beneficial when you need to clarify your concepts and build a rapport with them. You don’t have to wait until there’s confusion before you contact the instructor. On the contrary, if you want them to review a certain topic or you need further assistance in understanding a concept, all you have to do is ask! Attending online classes can make you feel like you’re learning alone, but your instructors are always there to help you out.
Building contacts with a community of like-minded people will help you find new resources and opportunities to learn from them which will enrich your learning experience.
“Network And Build Contacts”
Network during workshops, get to know more about other attendees and develop a bond with them. Online classes are the easiest and most common place to meet like-minded individuals and to build your contacts. Reach out to the other attendees and strike up a conversation. Even if you don’t have any specific questions for them, chat about an idea they shared or an input that you found insightful. Building contacts with a community of like-minded people will help you find new resources and opportunities to learn from them which will enrich your learning experience.
Associating information to practical examples from personal experience will help you solidify the foundations of your learning.
“Share Practical Examples”
Share information, ideas and opinions with other attendees and your instructor. This will make the class more lively and you’ll observe that you’re learning more. You can talk about things that are relevant to the topics which are being taught in the class or to the instructor’s area of expertise. Associating information to practical examples from personal experience will help you solidify the foundations of your learning. This is also a great way to break the monotony of receiving information from a single person over an extended period of time.
“Use Available Resources”
Online classes might often be restricted to shorter durations but they come packed with learning resources to facilitate your learning process. These tools and resources are a great way to strengthen your grasp over different concepts. Try to attempt the assignments, watch any videos that are available on the class portal, engage in team-building activities and group discussions. These resources will allow you to further expand your learning horizon. The only way to make the most of an online class is by utilizing all the resources that it has to offer!
Bound offers a wide variety of live online classes and we hope these tips help you gain the most out of our classes. Explore all our classes here.
Written by Rheea Mukherjee
Rheea Rodrigues Mukherjee is the author of The Body Myth (Unnamed Press /Penguin India 2019) which was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live First Book Award. Her work has been published and featured in Scroll.in, Southern Humanities Review, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Vogue India, Out of Print, TBLM, and Bengal Lights, among others. She co-founded Bangalore Writers Workshop in 2012 and currently co-runs Write Leela Write, a Design and Content Laboratory in Bangalore, India. Rheea has an MFA in creative writing from California College of the Arts.