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How to ease the transition to online classes

Jaclyn Daly, a communication major, listens to her communication law and ethics lecture through the Zoom app. Daly says she’s transitioning to online classes nicely because she gets to hang out with her dog and fix her nails while still participating in class. (Jaclyn Daly)

When students left for spring break they didn’t plan on not being able to return to school. Because of this unexpected change moving to an online format can be chaotic. 

Luckily, technology gives an opportunity to continue education online through video chat and other resources. Even though it wasn’t what students planned to do at the beginning of the semester, there are a few ways to stay calm and adjust to learning through online classes.

Create a designated workspace

The first thing to ease the stress and chaos is to set up a comfy classroom workspace for yourself.

“If at all possible, do not work in bed,” said Christie Fox, director of student success and retention at Westminster College. “It’s tempting, but separating your relaxing space and your working space will help you relax when you need to.”

You also want to make sure you have the necessary tools for online classes. Students should make sure they have access to a computer and the internet. According to Josh Moody, a reporter for U.S. News, students in need of computers should check with their college, as many schools are making them available as needed. 

“Students should ask about the availability of laptop computers that can be checked out as well as the length of time these can be borrowed,” said Moody in an article.

Participate in classes

Christie Fox said another tip is to participate. If you have a planner, make sure you check on the assignment dates to see if anything has changed. 

Paul Darvasi, a writer for KQED, said to make sure you still do your basic daily practices like showering, changing into clothes, setting up a firm schedule and establishing a designated work area.

“Online learning is often asynchronous and can involve variable timetables, so using a shared calendar such as iCal or Google Calendar will not only help organize a dynamic schedule but also afford easy sharing with parents and students,” said Darvasi in an article.

Four easy steps to ease the transition to online classes: Remember to create a designated workspace, check in with professors, participate in classes and stay flexible. (Cami Mondeaux)

Stay flexible

One good thing about online learning is that it’s easy to review course materials as many times as you need to, according to Fox.

“It’s also important to create a schedule and to see if your classes are meeting virtually at the regular time,” Fox said. “Make sure you know what each class is doing because every professor might be doing something different.”

Garrison Haning, an opinion writer, said it’s important to be flexible in an article for USA Today.

“When you get frustrated, remind yourself that this really is a big change and everyone is adjusting,” Haning said. “Shrug it off, and keep in mind that you’re living through a historic moment and friction is to be expected.” 

But despite the uncertainty, Haning said to enjoy the little things. 

“Here’s an example: I smoked a cigar and drank scotch during my MBA ‘Foundations of Teamwork’ class,” Haning said. “Based solely on my personal experience and nothing else, I am certain that in the school’s 140-year history, that was a first.” 


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Jaclyn is so excited to finish her final semester at Westminster College so she can continue to grow her makeup artistry business, J and L makeup, which is often featured on FOX13 and PCTV. Jaclyn is a former NBA Golden State Warrior dancer, so she's looking forward to writing articles on the Westminster sports teams. In her free time you can find her snowboarding, boxing or traveling.

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