Hi there! How are you doing? It’s 2nd May, almost halfway through 2020!
Ah, time flies.
Malaysia is still under movement control order (MCO), but we have successfully flattened the curve on COVID-19! Starting from 4th May, we will be allowed to do some outdoor activities, although we still have to maintain social distancing. I can’t wait to leave my house and have a walk in my neighbourhood.
Well, as I promised, I will share my online learning experience to you in this blog. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all teaching sessions and assessments are moved online. I have to admit that studying at home/remotely is a struggle for me during the first month, because there is so much difference between attending lectures and listening to Panoptos; revising in the library and studying at home.
First problem: Loss of productivity.
Home is used to be the most comfortable and relaxing place for me, thus I am slow at everything when I’m home- wake up at noon, eating slowly, watching Netflix without noticing the time…… It’s pretty hard to change the lifestyle and get motivated to start doing my work. Moreover, I am easily distracted by television, phones, Netflix, violin, mid-day naps, and snacks. Often, even I force myself to sit at my desk, I can’t resist the temptation of watching Youtube videos and checking messages. Sometimes, I simply pause the Panopto and jump into my bed when I can’t concentrate. My bed seems to have a magic power that makes me feel so sleepy and unmotivated, and eventually attracts me to lie down and take a nap, haha! Guess what, I ended up watching a few movies and drama series during the first two weeks of Easter break, without doing any work. Well, it’s great to take a break, but taking a break for too long might not be a good idea 😊
However, I have to ‘retrieve’ my productivity and motivation now, since the exam is only one month away from now, and I started getting nervous about my exam. I am so determined to change my lazy learning lifestyle until I turned my phone off and hid it somewhere I couldn’t see and touch, cancelled my Netflix subscription, and avoided watching Youtube on my laptop, in order to cut off from all the distractions. Apparently, this strategy works, I can focus on my studies for a longer time, and I don’t feel empty without those technology devices, because studying makes me feel productive and busy.
Furthermore, I realised that setting a timetable every day could help us to be more organized. Sometimes, you might feel anxious because there is so many stuff to revise and the exam is just around the corner. Making a timetable would help you to think about your tasks, the deadlines, and the time you need to complete them. For me, I list out all the lectures that I have to revise, allocate reasonable time for them, and organize them into my calendar based on their importance and urgency, hence I can get an idea about how many tasks/lectures you need to do every day. Often, you will only realise that you have very limited time to revise for the final exam, after you have set up a timetable (this somehow makes you nervous but urges you to concentrate and be more productive from now on). However, it’s reasonable to adjust your everyday plan depends on your situation. Also, try not to fit too much work in one day, as you would feel stressful to follow the timetable, which may cause you trouble (eg. you might get demotivated easily simply because you feel that you’re unable to finish the work).
Lastly, try to make full use of the Zoom tutorial held by our lecturers. Some students may opt to skip the tutorials and watch the recordings afterwards. However, tutorials are one of the most useful approaches to ask questions. Since we are studying remotely, it is pretty easy to lose communication with the lecturers and coursemates, more importantly, lose the opportunities to ask questions by person. I understand that by just learning the lecture slides and listening to Panoptos are not enough to master a specific topic/ knowledge, as you will come out with hundreds of questions, which may be difficult to get the answers from Google. Therefore, Zoom tutorial is a perfect platform for you to ask anything regarding the lectures. I always zoom in and discuss some questions with my lecturers, and the lecturers could address my questions to the class and explain them in detail. At the same time, the other students will raise their questions as well, and you can understand deeper to the lecture content as the lecturer answers their questions. Therefore, if you miss the Zoom tutorial, you might miss the chance to ask questions. Moreover, since we have to get our head around the lecture content before the tutorials, the tutorials somehow set a deadline for us to finish self-study on the lecture slides. This helps us in preparing for the exam, because you won’t need too much time to revise those lectures as you have already understood them.
Alright, that’s it for me today. I know that our university has recommended some websites for students regarding the tips of learning remotely/studying at home. I will put the links below, please feel free to have a look.
Guys, see you next week!
Ah, What a productive day!