There is an old saying in English: “not preparing, is preparing to fail”. It works for a lot of situations but if you’re a student let’s just talk about how it applies to online classes. We’ve seen some of our lovely students have issues with online classes. We’ve prepared a really short and really easy checklist of what to do before an online class.
- Check your connection
It is good to know what do before an online class. Before an online class begins, checking the connection is a really good idea. If you use zoom or any other apps, your computer will tell you if your connection is unstable. If it is, you can reset your router, restart your computer or pray, whatever you need to do to make sure your internet is working properly. This also means checking that zoom or Skype work and that you can connect to the class at the right time. Logging on 15 minutes before the class is always a good idea.
Before your online class starts make sure you check the speaker and the microphone are working well. Also check that your headphones haven’t suddenly stopped working. Many students have lost class time because they are dealing with connection problems. One time I dropped my macbook and damaged the speaker but because I checked before the online class, I managed to fix the problem by using headphones instead. So this is advice I’m giving you based on my own personal tech trauma; check before your class and then you can avoid wasting valuable time.
The best thing to do before your online class is to do your homework. Hopefully, you do this more than 10 minutes before your online class. In general having your homework ready for the lesson lets the teacher know that you’re prepared to begin your online class. It also makes the lesson easier because the homework usually is related to what you are going to study. In fact, teachers sometimes use the homework as a bridge between the previous class and the next class, so it is a good way to prepare yourself and to revise to consolidate what you’ve already learnt. Going over something more than once, allows your brain to absorb it more easily.
With that said just doing the homework alone isn’t always enough to prepare you for the next lesson. As a teacher, I always recommend that you revise your notes from the previous class before you start your new lesson. Revision is a great way to make sure you understood what you’ve learnt. It is a good idea because around 80% of what you learn in class you forget fairly quickly, and that’s just 80% of what you understood. The second reason is you should spend some minutes revising before your class, is because your teacher is almost guaranteed to ask you if you remember what you did in the previous class, this way you’ll be able to give the right answer.
Nothing is more distracting than hearing a student munching on peanuts or an apple during the lesson, and the wierd slurping sounds of students might be enough to make your teacher’s eye start to twitch. Our advice is to have a snack and a drink before the class. Some scientist somewhere proved that having a banana before you start a lesson is great because it improves concentration and the hydration you get from drinking a glass of water also helps with brain activity. Just don’t drink so much that you need to go to the toilet every half an hour during the lesson.
Now having done all of that, you’re now ready for your online class and to start learning. Remember they are all small things but they make a big difference.