Online Classes: A Survival Guide

Online Course Passive Income

this video is sponsored by skillshare be one of the first 1 000 people to sign up at the link below to get a two-month free trial it used to be so simple wake up at the crack of dawn grumble at your alarm a little bit then get ready and go to class but then we had to go and add computers into the mix online classes these things have been growing in popularity for years there are free ones there are cheap ones they’re very expensive ones taught to you by guys in their garages and they’re even full-blown university courses that you can take online even if you don’t go to that university but this year in 2020 they became the only option for most people going back to school so i thought it was high time that we make a video on them because well online classes can be very convenient in some ways they can also trip you up and make your life more difficult in others hence there are some things that i think you should know how to do so you can prepare to be as successful as possible in whatever online class you’re going to take so welcome to class welcome to my set i bet none of your teachers on zoom have a set like this which honestly is okay because good education doesn’t need overblown production values like this unless like me you are a dancing monkey trying to also appease an algorithm that will inevitably one day morph into a universe dominating super intelligence and vaporize us all anyway today we’re gonna share five tips for helping you prepare for and get the most out of online classes i think this is gonna be helpful for anybody going back to school in a formal setting online but this should also be helpful for anybody taking an online class independently so whichever camp you’re in let’s get started tip number one is to treat these classes just like they are real in-person classes see the problem with online classes is that they are usually taught asynchronously the instructor the teacher prepares material ahead of time and then you do it at a different time now this might be changing a bit this year since a lot of schools are going to online only education you might see a lot of classes talk through video conferencing apps like zoom and hangouts but i still think it’s likely you’re gonna have a lot of asynchronous learning time you’re gonna be given a lot of independent reading assignments homework assignments and you’re gonna have to do them on your own at home and if you’re taking an independent online class like i currently am with samurai guitarist’s class on music theory then everything is independent and the problem with this asynchronous independent and distanced nature of online classes is that it becomes really easy to fall behind if you’re not self-disciplined in-person classes are in person and they happen on a schedule and that schedule makes it a lot easier to stay on top of your reading and all of your homework assignments and in addition to that it also gives your day a bit more structure as well with online classes a lot of that structure is lacking and i know this from experience back when i was in college i took one online class amongst all of my in-person classes it was a food science and nutrition class and i bet you can guess which class out of everything i took i fell behind in the most it was that one so do whatever you can to treat your online classes just like they’re real classes in terms of schedule in terms of where you do them in terms of everything now maybe your teachers already have you covered they’re gonna make you set up a desk they’re gonna do all the classes on zoom but in case they aren’t do it for yourself number one set up a dedicated workspace for yourself wherever you live i made a whole video about that i’ll have that link in the description below if you want to check it out secondly create recurring events on your calendar for all of your classes and then at the beginning of each week look ahead at what you’ve got on your calendar and then build a schedule for yourself making plans for homework for any other events in the gaps between those recurring classes lastly it’s a really smart idea to keep up your routines so have a morning routine that helps you get ready for the day but also build some momentum so you start your online learning feeling fresh tip number two is to get serious about your calendar and your to-do list that mainly means adding new events to your calendar and new tasks to your to-do list the moment you get them see it is already hard enough to keep the jumble of events and tasks straight in your head during normal times but when everything moves online you lose one key component to what scientists call episodic memory formation which is the process that your brain goes through to consolidate and encode new memories and that is location location is a huge part of this process as your memories get inextricably tied to where you were when you experienced them that’s why people often ask questions like where were you when the fire nation attacked personally i was sitting in front of the tv in my parents living room probably eating a fruit roll up anyway we also know that two pieces of information in the brain get linked in a two-way relationship for instance i can ask you what is goku’s power level and you’re probably gonna tell me it’s over 9000 but i can also ask you name me something that is over 9 000 and you’re likely to say goku’s power level and that’s why jeopardy works and i would submit this also applies to your recollection of what happens as you go through a day of classes if you’re used to going from classroom to classroom then moving everything online means that you’re now losing out on a whole bunch of unique location information that would have likely helped you recall events and due dates assigned to you which means that it’s now more important than ever that you’re getting this data into a system an external system that you trust and then at the end of the day you can review that system to make sure nothing slips through the cracks and side note about calendars keep time zones in mind as well now if you’re in middle school high school and your physical school building is just a few miles down the road well then maybe this doesn’t matter to you at all but if you’re a university student who’s maybe out of state and for the first time ever doing school in a different time zone from where your university and your teacher is then you want to make sure that you have the right time zones on your calendar and with google calendar and pretty much every other calendar software out there you can actually choose the time zone of any event you’re creating and then it’ll automatically translate the time zone when you’re looking at your full calendar and if you’re trying to schedule events with a study group or like a virtual project group and you’re trying to figure out when everyone can meet you can also use tools like doodle which lets everyone input the times they’re available and it’ll automatically do the time zone translation for you tip number three american three this time gratzy is to get digitally organized now maybe you think you’re already perfectly organized maybe you watched my previous video and you actually went out and got your con mario certification and now you’re a minimalism master but we got to talk about this because with in-person classes there are often a lot of paper handouts creating an emphasis on physical organization on the beautiful analog world with all of its vinyl discs but when classes move online we burn those vinyl discs and everything becomes organized digitally so you have to learn how to falsely organize all of your handouts on your computer so don’t be that guy who saves everything to the desktop creating a giant jumbled mess of files and exes and game saves and whatever else create a folder in your file management system for every class that you’re taking and then create a subfolder for any kind of project you have within those classes that has more than one file associated with it additionally within your note-taking system you want to have a notebook for each class whether you’re writing out notes with a pen on paper or you’re using a tablet and a stylus or you’re typing them into a computer you want to have a specific place where everything for each class gets organized and grouped together and if you’re a notion user like i am then you may want to check out the note-taking template that i created and made a video on which has two different levels of hierarchy so you can easily organize your notes if you’re curious about that i will have a template link in the description down below which you can duplicate and try out if you want tip number four is actually my favorite tip in this video find a way to break up your day one of the things that i missed most from college were little gaps of time in between my classes because i went to college on this huge campus it was like 100 acres or something and that meant that i would sometimes have to literally power walk or get on my skateboard in order to make it across campus to make it in time for the next class but those mad dashes across campus were actually a nice way to break up the day they made every class feel like its own little independent segment they also gave me a way to just kind of get outside and get a little bit of exercise and i remember being kind of bummed when i got my first internship and realized that all of my work was done from one tiny little cubicle so sometimes i would find ways to just get away from that cubicle and break up my day a little bit by going for a 20 minute walk downtown or sometimes literally just walking up and down flights of stairs in the office building and if you’re about to start a full suite of online classes then the place where you’re going to be doing it is probably not a whole lot different than that cubicle i had so you should find a way to break up your day as well this could be as simple as every once in a while getting up from your desk stretching a bit and going for a walk moving around a bit just getting a little bit of a change of scenery if you have a decent amount of room in your home you could also take this a bit further by maybe switching locations during the day going from your desk to the kitchen table back to the desk but even if you’re not working with a whole lot of space just getting up and giving yourself some of these breaks will help to make your learning time not feel like this big giant amorphous blob of time that never ends finally tip 5 get yourself a virtual study group potentially one of the worst things about learning online is the isolation at least the physical isolation instead of sitting in a classroom with 20 other students and a teacher you’re at home alone oh thomas you’re never really alone one way that you can mitigate this at least somewhat is to form a virtual study group you can do this by asking a few of your classmates to meet up with you on google hangouts or zoom just a few times a week so you can study together or review assignments or make fart jokes and you can also do what i like to call work calls i used to do these all the time back with some blogger friends who lived in different states and essentially we would just hop on skype because these are the dark ages and that’s kind of what we had and we just get on a call where really nobody would talk but we would each be on the line with the other person knowing that they were getting their work done and there was just something about being in this call with other productive people that felt a little bit like working at the same table together so it was actually kind of a nice productivity hack and if this is something that you want to do there’s actually a site called focusmate that is kind of tailor-made for this purpose when you start a session it pairs you up with somebody else who wants a little bit of companionship and then you just kind of work in silence together my friend ransom who is the head writer at my site collegeenpo geek who’s written a couple of scripts for this channel swears by this tool and has been using it ever since the lockdown started so you might find it helpful as well now if you’d like to test out everything you’ve learned in this video and also improve your habits which can help you study more effectively and be more successful in your classes then you might want to go take my habit building class over on skillshare this is a short one-hour class that’ll help you stick to your habits even after the initial novelty period has worn off and we do that in three different ways european three this time number one strengthening your internal self-discipline number two assisting that self-discipline with smart external systems that help keep you on track and number three improving those habits over time with regular reflection over 40 000 people have already taken this class and i think you’re going to get a ton out of it if you choose to take it as well and if you want to take it for free you can actually do that by being one of the first 1 000 people to sign up for skillshare using the link in the description down below doing that will get you a two-month free trial with unlimited access to the platform so you can go take my class and you can also check out some of the thousands of other classes they have spanning productivity business analytics marketing video production and lots lots more plus after the trial ends skillshare is still way more affordable than most online learning platforms out there with plans starting at less than ten dollars a month so once again if you want to take my class be one of the first 1 000 people to sign up with that link in the description down below to get your two month free trial and to also support my channel by supporting one of the awesome companies that sponsors me thanks so much for watching as always if you enjoyed this video hitting that like button with your middle knuckle very gently tells the youtube algorithm that you like the video and that is one of those pieces of data the algorithm uses to potentially share the video out to more people which is hugely helpful for my channel so thank you so much if you do that but of course the biggest factor the algorithm looks at is just how long you watch the video so seriously thank you for sticking around to the end and i’m really glad that you enjoyed what you’re watching if you haven’t subscribed already you can subscribe right there so you don’t miss out on future content and if you want to keep watching videos on this channel i’m going to throw up a couple of other videos right here and here that you can smash your face on your phone screen to watch but of course if you don’t want to do any of that then don’t do that don’t clean your room and go eat an entire pint of ice cream if you want to i’m probably going to go do that because as always i’m not your dad – [Narrator] This video is sponsored by Skillshare, be one of the first 1,000 people to sign up at the link below to get a two month free trial.

– It used to be so simple, wake up at the crack of dawn, grumble at your alarm a little bit then get ready and go to class. But then we had to go and add computers into the mix. Online classes. These things have been growing in popularity for years, there are free ones, there are cheap ones, there are very expensive ones, talked to you by guys in their garages, and they’re even full-blown university courses that you can take online, even if you don’t go to that university.

But this year, in 2020, they became the only option for most people going back to school. So, I thought it was high time that we make a video on them because while online classes can be very convenient in some ways, they can also trip you up and make your life more difficult in others.

Hence, there are some things that I think you should know how to do so you can prepare to be as successful as possible in whatever online class you’re going to. So, welcome to class, welcome to my set.

I bet I bet none of your teachers on Zoom have a set like this, which honestly is okay because good education doesn’t need overblown production values like this, unless, like me, you are a dancing monkey trying to also appease an algorithm that will inevitably one day morph into a universe-dominating superintelligence and vaporize us all.

Anyway, today we’re gonna share five tips for helping you prepare for and get the most out of online classes. I think this is gonna be helpful for anybody going back to school in a formal setting online, but this should also be helpful for anybody taking an online class independently.

So, whichever camp you’re in, let’s get started. Tip number one is to treat these classes just like they are real, in-person classes. See, the problem with online classes is that they are usually taught asynchronously, the instructor, the teacher prepares material ahead of time and then you do it at a different time.

Now this might be changing a bit this year, since a lot of schools are going to online only education, you might see a lot of classes taught through video conferencing apps like Zoom and Hangouts, but I still think it’s likely you’re gonna have a lot of asynchronous learning time.

You’re going to be given a lot of independent reading assignments, homework assignments, and you’re going to have to do them on your own at home. And if you’re taking an independent online class, like I currently am with Samurai Guitarists class on music theory, then everything is independent.

And the problem with this asynchronous, independent and distance nature of online classes is that it becomes really easy to fall behind if you’re not self-disciplined. In-person classes are in-person, and they happen on a schedule and that schedule makes it a lot easier to stay on top of your reading and all of your homework assignments.

And in addition to that, it also gives your day a bit more structure as well. With online classes, a lot of that structure is lacking, and I know this from experience. Back when I was in college, I took one online class amongst all of my in-person classes, it was a food science and nutrition class.

And I bet you can guess which class, out of everything I took, I fell behind in the most, and it was that one. So, do whatever you can to treat your online classes just like they’re real classes, in terms of schedule, in terms of where you do them, in terms of everything.

Now, maybe your teachers already have you covered, they’re gonna make you set up a desk, they’re gonna do all the classes on Zoom, but in case they aren’t, do it for yourself. Number one, set up a dedicated workspace for yourself, wherever you live.

I made a whole video about that, I’ll have that link in the description below if you wanna check it out, Secondly, create recurring events on your calendar for all of your classes, and then at the beginning of each week, look ahead at what you’ve got on your calendar and then build a schedule for yourself, making plans for homework, for any other events in the gaps between those recurring classes.

Lastly, it’s a really smart idea to keep up your routines. So have a morning routine that helps you get ready for the day, but also build some momentum so you start your online learning feeling fresh.

Tip number two is to get serious about your calendar and your to do list. That mainly means adding new events to your calendar and new tasks to your to do list the moment you get them. See, it is already hard enough to keep the jumble of events and tasks straight in your head during normal times, but when everything moves online, you lose one key component to what scientists call episodic memory formation, which is the process that your brain goes through to consolidate and encode new memories, and that is location.

Location is a huge part of this process as your memories get inextricably tied to where you were when you experienced them. And that’s why people often ask questions like, where were you when the Fire Nation attacked? Personally, I was sitting in front of the TV in my parents’ living room, probably eating a Fruit Roll-Up.

Anyway, we also know that two pieces of information in the brain get linked in a two-way relationship. For instance, I can ask you, what is Goku’s power level? And you’re probably going to tell me it’s over 9,000, but I can also ask you, name me something that is over 9,000? And you’re likely to say, “Goku’s power level”, and that’s why “Jeopardy” works.

And I would submit that this also applies to your recollection of what happens as you go through a day of classes. If you’re used to going from classroom to classroom, then moving everything online means that you’re now losing out on a whole bunch of unique location information that would have likely helped you recall events and due dates assigned to you, which means that it’s now more important than ever that you’re getting this data into a system, an external system, that you trust, and then at the end of the day, you can review that system to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

And side note about calendars, keep time zones in mind as well. Now, if you’re in middle school or high school and your physical school building is just a few miles down the road, well then maybe this doesn’t matter to you at all.

But if you’re a university student who’s maybe out of state and for the first time ever, doing school at a different time zone from where your university and your teacher is, then you wanna make sure that you have the right time zones on your calendar, and with Google Calendar, and pretty much every other calendar software out there, you can actually choose the time zone of any event you’re creating and then it’ll automatically translate the time zone when you’re looking at your full calendar.

And if you’re trying to schedule events with a study group or like a virtual project group, and you’re trying to figure out when everyone can meet, you can also use tools like Doodle, which lets everyone input the times they’re available and it’ll automatically do the time zone translation for you.

Tip number three, American three this time, grazie, is to get digitally organized. Now, maybe you think you’re already perfectly organized, maybe you watched my previous video and you actually went out and got your KonMari certification and now you’re a minimalism master, but we gotta talk about this because with in-person classes, there are often a lot of paper handouts creating an emphasis on physical organization, on the beautiful analog world with all of its vinyl disks.

But when classes move online, we burn those vinyl disks and everything becomes organized digitally. So you have to learn how to flawlessly organize all of your handouts on your computer. So don’t be that guy who saves everything to the desktop, creating a giant jumbled mess of files and EXEs, and game saves and whatever else, create a folder in your file management system for every class that you’re taking, and then create a sub folder for any kind of project you have within those classes that has more than one file associated with it.

Additionally, within your note taking system, you wanna have a notebook for each class. Whether you’re writing out notes with a pen on paper or using a tablet and a stylist, or you’re typing them into a computer, you wanna have a specific place where everything for each class gets organized and grouped together.

And if you’re a Notion user, like I am, then you may wanna check out the note taking template that I created and made a video on, which has two different levels of hierarchy so you can easily organize your notes.

If you’re curious about that, I will have a template link in the description down below, which you can duplicate and try out if you want. Tip number number four is actually my favorite tip in this video.

Find a way to break up your day. One of the things I miss most from college were little gaps of time in between my classes. Because I went to college on this huge campus, it was like a 100 acres or something, and that meant that I would sometimes have to literally power walk or get on my skateboard in order to make it across campus, to make it in time for the next class.

But those mad dashes across campus were actually a nice way to break up the day, and they made every class feel like its own little independent segment, and they also gave me a way to just kind of get outside and get a little bit of exercise.

And I remember being kind of bummed when I got my first internship and realized that all of my work was done from one tiny little cubicle. So, sometimes I would find ways to just get away from that cubicle and break up my day a little bit by going for a 20 minute walk downtown, or sometimes literally just walking up and down flights of stairs in the office building.

And if you’re about to start a full suite of online classes, then the place where you’re going to be doing it is probably not a whole lot different than that cubicle I had. So you should find a way to break up your day as well.

This could be as simple as every once in a while, getting up from your desk, stretching a bit and going for a walk, moving around a bit, just getting a little bit of a change of scenery. If you have a decent amount of room in your home, you could also take this a bit further by maybe switching locations during the day, going from your desk to the kitchen table, back to the desk.

But even if you’re not working with a whole lot of space, just getting up and giving yourself some of these breaks will help to make your learning time not feel like this big, giant amorphous blob of time that never ends.

Finally, tip five, get yourself a virtual study group. Potentially, one of the worst things about learning online is the isolation, at least the physical isolation. Instead of sitting in a classroom with 20 other students and a teacher, you’re at home, alone.

– [Furby] Oh Thomas, you’re never really alone. – One way that you can mitigate this, at least somewhat, is to form a virtual study group. You can do this by asking a few of your classmates to meet up with you on Google Hangouts or Zoom, just a few times a week so you can study together or review assignments, or make fart jokes.

And you can also do, what I like to call, work calls. I used to do these all the time back with some blogger friends who lived in different states. And essentially we would just hop on Skype, because these were the Dark Ages and that’s kind of what we had, and we’d just get on a call where really nobody would talk, but we would each be on the line with the other person, knowing that they were getting their work done.

And there was just something about being in this call with other productive people that felt a little bit like working at the same table together. So it was actually kind of a nice productivity hack. And if this is something that you wanna do, there’s actually a site called Focusmate that is kind of tailor-made for this purpose.

When you start a session, it pairs you up with somebody else who wants a little bit of companionship, and then you just kind of work in silence together. My friend, Ransom, who is the head writer at my site, College Info Geek, and who’s written a couple of the scripts for this channel, swears by this tool and has been using it ever since the lockdown started.

So you might find it helpful as well. Now, if you’d like to test out everything you’ve learned in this video and also improve your habits, which can help you study more effectively and be more successful in your classes, then you might wanna go take my habit building class over on Skillshare.

This is a short one hour class that’ll help you stick to your habits, even after the initial novelty period has worn off. And we do that in three different ways, European three this time. Number one, strengthening your internal self-discipline, number two, assisting that self-discipline with smart, external systems that help keep you on track, and number three, improving those habits over time with regular reflection.

Over 40,000 people have already taken this class, and I think you’re gonna get a ton out of it if you choose to take it as well. And if you wanna take it for free, you can actually do that by being one of the first 1,000 people to sign up for Skillshare, using the link in the description down below.

Doing that will get you a two month free trial with unlimited access to the platform. So you can go take my class and you can also check out some of the thousands of other classes they have spanning productivity, business, analytics, marketing, video production, and lots, lots more.

Plus after the trial ends, Skillshare is still way more affordable than most online learning platforms out there with plans starting at less than $10 a month. So once again, if you wanna take my class, be one of the first 1,000 people to sign up with that link in the description down below to get your two month free trial, and to also support my channel by supporting one of the awesome companies that sponsors me.

Thanks so much for watching, as always, if you enjoyed this video, hitting that like button with your middle knuckle, very gently, tells the YouTube algorithm that you liked the video, and that is one of those pieces of data the algorithm uses to potentially share the video out to more people, which is hugely helpful for my channel, so thank you so much if you do that.

But of course the biggest factor the algorithm looks at is just how long you watched the video, so seriously, thank you for sticking around to the end, and I’m really glad that you enjoyed what you’re watching.

If you haven’t subscribed already, you can subscribe right there so you don’t miss out on future content. And if you wanna keep watching videos on this channel, I’m gonna throw up a couple of other videos right here and here that you can smash your face on your phone screen to watch.

But of course, if you don’t wanna do any of that, then don’t do that, don’t clean your room and go eat an entire pint of ice cream if you want to, I’m probably gonna go do that because, as always, I’m not your dad.

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