Due to COVID-19 placing Metro Manila on lock-down, and on-site classes being suspended for a month, online learning has become a great way to keep up with lessons. In fact, universities like Ateneo are using this pedagogical method to ensure their students will not be left behind academically, especially since the semester will not end until May. However, it is still up to you, dear students, to make the most out of your online learning experience. Here are a few simple tips on how you can make the most out of your online learning experience. Remember, learning does not stop for anything, not even a global pandemic.

Find a Happy Place

Online Learning needs a conducive environment

The first thing you need to remember when learning online is to find your happy place. This means that you should be learning in an environment that can help you focus. So, avoid computer shops, busy restaurants, and in the case of the Metro Manila lock-down, anywhere outside your house. Due to this, I can say that a quiet room in your house is the best place to have an online learning session.

Also, ensuring your equipment is ready part of preparing your happy place, for online learning needs the proper tools to be successful. Here’s what you will need as an online learner:

  • Laptop/Desktop with reliable (2 mbps or higher) internet
  • A webcam (for desktop users) since most laptops have one built-in
  • Noise-cancelling headphones (preferably w/ microphone)

Having the proper equipment will indeed turn your learning space into a happy place! Just make sure that you don’t let anyone else in, especially when you are taking an online assessment.

Develop the Proper Self-Discipline

Develop the self-discipline of the Samurai

However, even if online learning is more convenient than conventional learning, it is more challenging. This is because in a conventional classroom, the teacher is there to shut the doors and help the students develop the will to learn, according to the French philosopher Jacques Ranciere. Online learning, on the other hand, creates a physical distance between the learner and the master, which makes it harder for the learner to develop the will to learn.

Despite this downside, it is possible for the learner to develop and practice self-discipline, by making sure he/she logs on on time, and participate in the lessons, just like in a regular class. After all, online learning is just another opportunity to learn new things, even self-discipline.

Develop the Passion

Passion is the key to learning

Finally, the best way to develop self-discipline is to have the passion to learn. It is the passion and desire to improve ourselves that fuels learning. Passion develops into self-discipline once it is sustained, so continue sustaining the desire to learn, so you can develop the discipline to learn, even without the teacher right in front of you. However, passion should be only the first step towards commitment, for when the passion fades, it’s the commitment that will keep you learning.

Necessity is the Mother of Innovation

In the end, it can be said that online learning is on the rise because the need for it is developing. After all, necessity is the mother of innovation. In the case of online learning, the need to cater to non-traditional students, and the need to keep up with learning even in the case of natural disasters and pandemics, made it become popular. After all, online learning shows us that nothing can stop learning, not even a pandemic like COVID-19, provided we have the determination, the discipline and the equipment!

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