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In Ontario, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we look at education, and even when the crisis passes, and we return to a relatively stable day-to-day, a great number of students are going to continue to pursue academic high school credits from home.
Research shows that students enjoy more flexibility by pursuing their OSSD credits virtually, and many schools continue to evolve in order to meet those rising needs.
Of course, as more students are enrolling in a virtual high school in Ontario, the more they’ll need to develop the skills and habits required for online study.
Here’s what every student — and parent — needs to know about Developing the Right eLearning Study Habits.
Create the Right Environment
Today’s students have to deal with a great number of distractions, such as smart phones, social media updates, and even their siblings studying in the room next door.
Removing the distractions of nonessential digital programs and websites are paramount to helping students maintain a focused work attitude and to keeping them on track. A great way to limit distractions without making students feel deprived is to implement a study space separate from entertainment spaces.
When students take a break, they can enter the entertainment space, accessing their phones and social media accounts. This compartmentalization will remind students that when they’re in their working space, it’s time for work.
Taking Regular Breaks Helps Students Learn
Most people don’t realize how important regular breaks are to proper learning. As the BBC points out, cramming rarely works, and students who have regular breaks to give their minds a rest between periods of intense study often do better.
Students should try to take a short break every hour or so to keep themselves mentally refreshed. Parents should also understand that this break time is vital to the flow of learning, and shouldn’t try to pack any further tasks or chores into this much-needed free time.
Much like with a job, keeping a work/life balance and stay motivated is key to successful remote study, so students should not feel guilty about taking breaks.
Don’t Forget About Support Channels
It can be a struggle adapting to studying alone. Without peer groups and regular teacher interaction, sometimes students can feel a bit isolated and they may even end up resenting the work itself.
If your children are having trouble while studying online, it’s important to remind them that there are many support nets in place.
You can let them know that you’re always around to help them, but if you can’t always be present, let them know that they can rely on the teacher and guidance counsellor support systems at their virtual school to transition back to school after the pandemic.
Institutions like the Ontario Virtual School employ student success teams made up of educators and counsellors whose job it is to monitor student progress, and to make sure they’re actively engaging regularly with the portal and their course work.
Students should also know their teachers’ office hours so that they can reach out whenever they have questions and need live personal support.
Being able to apply these tools early will allow students to work more efficiently when they reach college or university, where they will need to balance their course load and any additional activities.
While virtual learning comes with its challenges, Developing the Right eLearning Study Habits should help any student succeed.