How to thrive – not just survive – college life online
Online education can be difficult, but students who have a good grasp of the intricacies of distance learning have an advantage. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Freshmen face rigorous academic demands in addition to the challenges of online learning. Still, they can thrive in college life online as long as they have the right mindset, flexibility, tools, and initiative to seek help.
Here are some useful tips from the Faculty of the University of Mapúa to help students navigate the online learning space.
Familiarize yourself with the school’s apprenticeship system. Most universities have dedicated Learning Management Systems (LMS) that allow students to access recorded lectures, reading materials, lectures, collaborate with classmates, and consult instructors. . As a new user, it may take some time to get used to the interface, but getting to grips with the LMS allows you to maximize its capabilities and learn effectively.
Optimize online learning tools and resources. There are benefits to studying at an institution that has advanced learning resources and technologies. In Mapúa, 19,000 eBook titles by McGraw Hill, Wiley, and Cengage are available to all students. Mary Christine A. Tomas, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, encourages students to “always access, use and benefit from these” to help them overcome the challenges of online learning.
Various software is also offered for unusual and program specific needs. Engineering and programming courses use matrix lab software or MATLAB for calculations, data analysis, algorithm development, graphics, and other applications.
Design students use AutoCAD to draw designs. While writing and research oriented programs use grammar checking tools and plagiarism analysis.
Strive to become a self-regulated learner. Dr Jasmin Nadja J. Pinugu, Behavioral and Human Sciences Program Manager at Mapúa School of Social Sciences and Education, highlighted how effective time management affects learning. Students who regularly plan, direct, monitor, and adjust their learning environments to achieve their academic goals practice self-regulatory behaviors. Students with fixed schedules learn more effectively and avoid feelings of helplessness, overwhelm and burnout.
Look beyond the online classroom and focus on your classroom. The pandemic has forced teachers and students to be physically separated. In Mapúa, most learning sessions are carried out synchronously and have specific schedules so that all students can participate.
Ing. Ericson D. Dimaunahan, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning – Learner-Center, Outcomes-Based Education and faculty member of the Physics Department at Mapúa, explains that students who miss a synchronous course need not worry because the sessions are recorded and accessible online.
Students in fully online and asynchronous programs under Mapúa UO x (Ubiquitous Online Experience) also have access to recorded lectures as part of their learning resources.
To reach. Some students may feel isolated or overwhelmed while studying online. On these occasions, they should never hesitate to contact their classmates, instructors, relatives and friends. Pinugu pointed out that reaching out to people you trust or social supports can help dispel negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Keep the dream alive. It is inevitable that students will encounter a speed bump or two in their online academic journey. Pinugu advises students to focus on long-term goals and work on them from the first year. Online learning can be so fast that it’s easy to lose sight of goals and time.
Online education can be difficult, but students who have a good grasp of the intricacies of distance learning have an advantage. A strong academic support system that meets mental health and academic needs also helps learners stay motivated and succeed in achieving goals they set for themselves.