The small joys of classroom learning are hard to replicate while learning virtually.
Arushi, a Delhi based LBS student shares, “missing out on the classroom learning experience during the lockdown has been a bummer.”
Is there a way to bring the campus buzz back in the students’ lives? Mohan, a father of an NYU student, says, “Not entirely. But then, small things can create a big impact.”
We agree. Both universities and parents can take some small steps to keep students motivated during the remote learning "era."
1. Recreate the Classroom Experience Online
Recreate the magic by imbibing familiar elements that offer a sense of community during online classes. Group activities that can be done virtually, initiating non-academic discussions with the students, sharing articles and information that extends the learning experience and online competitions are some ways to simulate the offline experience.
2. Set Clear Goals
It’s easy for students to lose interest when there are no clear goals in sight. Checking off milestones achieved from their to-do list would bring a sense of accomplishment.
The goals can range from completing a set number of assigned activities every week to creating a summary of chapters that have been taught online.
Students should be able to set their own goals so that they feel a sense of ownership. If the end game is too abstract or far-fetched, the students may not get engaged and lose motivation to complete the task.
3. Lend More than an Ear
Students often seek validation that their efforts are delivering results. Regular feedback and interaction with faculty during the virtual office hours, joining a study group, or even working alongside another classmate helps them stay on course and ascertain their progress.
It is vital to ensure that the communication loop is three-way. Faculty and parents, should both lend an ear to the students’ concerns and step in to alleviate any discomfort affecting the learning experience.
4. Encourage Physical Activities
The hours spent in front of the computer attending classes and then working on assignments which have to be submitted online can lead to strain and fatigue. Parents can play an essential role by ensuring that these young adults are giving their eyes much needed rest and the other body parts the much-needed motion. Encouraging time away from the screen, whether to kick a ball or go for a run, will go a long way in refreshing their minds. The best way to encourage is to lead by example – spend at least 30-45 minutes on physical activities every day and sweat it out with them.
5. Limit Screen Time
While the students are required to sit in front of the screen for classes, there are other temptations like social networking, shopping apps, online videos, and games, which keep millennials glued to the screen for hours at a stretch. This could lead to a host of problems, including a lack of quality sleep and fuzzy focus on studies.
Instead of making screen time a point of contention, we recommend that you find ways to make fam time fun again. Tempt them with some creative ideas which link to their interests. Start a family project related to gardening, home improvements, craft, cooking, or even some light-hearted competition will go a long way to steer them away from the screen
Co-Create the Right Environment
While there schools and universities are working hard to keep students motivated during remote learning, parents’ role is of utmost importance in the process.
It is only when educational institutes and parents work together that a virtual environment can be created where students can stay motivated, learn, and excel.
Remote learning maybe a lemon. But this is the time to make lemonade!