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Helping Your Child Succeed | How to become a proficient and successful e-learner

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HAGÅTÑA  — With the declaration of the island’s return to Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1, all private and public schools immediately moved their instruction online, and thrust students into the world of remote learning in one fell swoop.

While some students will adjust quickly, others may have a more difficult time transitioning to this new format. Below are 10 suggestions students can use to help themselves learn successfully online.

  1. Check your email and your school’s website at least once every day. Your school may update information or make announcements while your teachers may send you additional material, resources, or ask or respond to questions.
  2. Check your school’s Learning Management System or LMS such as Google Classroom, Moodle, or Edmodo several times a week. Although most teachers will upload all of the assignments for the week on one specific day, they may add resources or provide additional explanations, clarifications, or examples throughout the week.
  3. Carefully review each one of the weekly assignments posted in the LMS. The assignments posted will be of varying length and difficulty. Some assignments, you will be able to finish in a couple of hours while others will require you to work on them for several days. By reviewing the assignments and understanding what needs to be done to complete them, you will be able to better plan your work schedule.
  4. Get in the habit of making an agenda for every day. Most teachers will upload a week’s worth of assignments and their due dates at once, and let the students determine which ones they will work on first. In order to get everything done, you must make a plan for how you will tackle your work. Without a plan, you may become overwhelmed and quickly fall behind.
  5. Do not procrastinate. Adhering to your schedule and agenda is imperative for successful online learning. Online assignments take much longer to complete than those done in school so plan accordingly. You do not want to put yourself in a situation where you have to do a research paper, an essay, and study for a test all in one night. High school students should plan on allocating at least 5 hours for each class a week.
  6. Look for and use additional resources to help you learn. The internet can help you enhance your learning. There are videos, articles, journals, newspapers, and websites that can be used to learn more about a topic or to receive an explanation about something you do not understand. These online resources are almost endless.
  7. Ask questions when you do not understand your assignments or the material your teachers sent you. Your teachers know that you may not understand some things or have questions. Afterall, this is not the way you are used to learning. So, do not hesitate to ask questions or you will fall behind.
  8. Communication is a key factor in online learning. Since you are not in a face to face classroom, you teacher cannot read your facial expressions or body language that you are confused about something or that you are not feeling well. You cannot turn to the person next to you and ask a question. Therefore, if you do not understand something or require information, you need to ask. Follow up on anything that is not clear. Let your teachers know if you are sick, have a doctor’s appointment, a family emergency or situation, or that your computer broke or the internet is not working, and you cannot submit your assignment on time.
  9. Online learning requires you to be a self-directed learner. Although your teachers will post your assignments, materials, and resources, and provide examples, explanations, and answer your questions, it will be up to you to access the LMS, check your email regularly, write to your teachers and ask questions, plan and adhere to your schedule and agenda, and search for additional information or further explanations, if needed.
  10. Establish a regular schedule and stick to it. Treat at home learning just like regular school. That means having regularly scheduled times for getting up and going to bed, completing school assignments, studying, eating, and leisure activities.

Online learning is a new format for receiving instruction for many students. So be patient with yourself as you are learning to navigate this new system. Know that there will be unexpected glitches, and things will not always go as smoothly as you had anticipated. However, good time management, a solid plan for completing your work, actively seeking assistance, self-motivation, clear and consistent communication, time, and practice, you will become a proficient and successful e-learner.

Elizabeth Hamilton, M.Ed, MA, is a teacher with 31 years of professional experience. You can write to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your questions or comments.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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