There are seven things you can do, right now, to improve your online learning skills.
How Would You Apply These Techniques In The Online Learning Environment?
Great story about how a Reddit commenter named Lyze came up with the phrase “Give us a BJ and we’ll watch you die” to inspire quick students of the popular online app Shine to quickly submit ideas for a rap song (my friend’s favorite learning activity, probably, and also a play on Shine’s catchphrase: “sigh”). Another notable user (and profuse drunk) creatively proposed “Embed the choice comments in high-quality pictures of lasers! You will never get bored of these.”
So, how do you try these strategies in a classroom environment? Here are some of the best ways to try them if you do enroll in a live course (go, try it! It could really be good fun). Also, not only should you try these tactics in a classroom setting, but you should also try them in an online learning environment, because if you want to learn, you must do it all.
1. Don’t start up with hard work.
Actually, just start right up with the easy stuff (that takes up most of your time). One Reddit thread suggests staying for only one class (which is probably too short for any degree student, but not for grad students who don’t care). Other users (and the community of Reddit, in general) also suggest adding on other classes (and/or binging on studying materials). One Reddit user also suggests staying for three or four hours. Think for yourself (and don’t listen to comments like: “You should do five hours every night”). And make time for intro free days, so you can take a little time to figure out exactly what you want to learn.
2. You can learn more than what’s on the board.
The other Reddit user mentioned in the video above gave one of the best advice to anyone who wants to get more excited about a class: “Just write whatever you have to say — on the wall.” I’ve heard a lot of faculty say, “I can’t believe you’re here, but it’s all on my board,” and it feels like a bad relationship on the first date. I’ve also been on the internet for 30 years now, and I’ve never heard of anyone else learning from an old message board or message board meme (unless you’re an English major like me). So yes, go ahead and post a video of yourself singing “I’ll Be There for You” if you want, but if you’re not much of a songwriter, at least learn to love the idea of making things by yourself.
3. Overwrite it a little.
If you’re thinking like that Reddit user who said, “do not submit anything you have not re-checked for spelling, grammatical errors or issues with composition,” well, no one is your customer. Some people (including me) are terrible at remembering grammar and punctuation (I’m totally a caveman now), but most of us remember them. I especially recommend having an overwriter in your class, especially if you have a serious stickler for grammar and corrects everything thoroughly and easily. (Maybe you could get a class that’s focused on how to really correct grammar mistakes, or one that has a bunch of educators on the course syllabus who have proofread your work. I’m a University of Miami professor, for example, and my course (MD5 — not my writing!) is taught by three other great professors, all of whom have reviewed my work and found it perfect.) If you were to send in your online course using a much-less-than-stellar proofreader, you’re really setting yourself up for what can only be described as a Criptherap. So make sure you take it easy on yourself and spend more time on studying (note: don’t stop studying the day after your first quiz and don’t disregard your Friday exam to quickly brush up on your grammar — you’ll likely get asked back to do a deeper assessment). You may have a friend who runs a writing class who can help you out with editing your essays.
Here’s an old (but ever-relevant) song lyric I like to read to myself before my final exams: