Guidance for Online Learning During COVID-19

Online Learning During COVID-19

If your school has transitioned to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be feeling a bit nervous about how to learn online. Learning online is certainly different from learning in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom, but there are many similarities that you can use to your advantage to make this transition smooth and successful.

When beginning an online learning journey, there are a few things to remember:

  1. Treat your online class like a real class.
  2. Create a positive learning environment.
  3. Keep moving.

Real Class

It is easy to forget that an online class is a real classroom if you are used to traditional classrooms. While you are on your online learning journey, you should remember to think of your online course as a real class. This means you need to show up for class, engage with your teacher and fellow students, and complete your assignments on time.

How to Show Up

In a traditional class you show up by entering the room, remaining engaged with the coursework and class discussion, and completing the work required. To ''show up'' for an online course, you will need to log into your course multiple times a week, not just once. Try to keep the same course frequency schedule that you had in your traditional class: a course that met 5 times a week should be logged into at least 5 times a week.

Watch any videos or presentations the teacher uploads to the course. Think of these as the teacher standing at the front of the room giving a lecture. You wouldn't chat on your phone while the teacher is lecturing in front of you, so don't do it while you watch a video lecture online.

How to Engage

Your online class will likely have an area for discussion in which you can directly ask questions of the teacher and your fellow students. Use these discussion boards to your benefit. Keep up the contact and discussion with your classmates and teacher. The more you communicate, the better your understanding will be.

Your teacher may also conduct live office hours through an online chat room or other platform. Attend these office hours. Keep in contact.

How to Complete Your Assignments

Complete your assignments just as you normally would. Ideally, your teacher will post the instructions (as normal) and will also explain exactly how and where to submit the work. This may be through an online drop box or through direct email of digital documents. Follow all instructions and ask questions if you are unsure of how to do something.

Help from

Showing up for class also means seeking help for course content struggles when they arise. If you are having trouble with your course content, first make sure you seek guidance from your teacher. While you wait for a response or if the guidance did not resolve your issue, use online educational resources like to help you get more information about the content material. has thousands of short animated lessons that will help you better understand just about any content material you can think of. A great benefit of online learning is the freedom to seek information from another source. Take advantage of this opportunity to thrive in your online learning experience.

Create Your Space

To create your learning space, make sure that you have your computer or online learning device in a well-lit area that has few distractions. Consider having music playing at a low volume if you need the slight noise to help you focus.

While you do need plenty of light with enough room for your device and your text books, you want to beware of a glare on your screen. Trying to concentrate on online instruction with a glare on your screen can cause a headache, which will definitely deter your learning session.

Make sure you are sitting comfortably with good posture. Poor posture while working online will lead to back pain and hamper your learning session.

Keep Moving

The advice to keep moving may sound counter-productive for online learning, but it is imperative. The human body does not work well if it is immobile for too long. Make sure you are getting up for a movement and water break (and a rest for your eyes) every 45 minutes (more frequently for younger students). Think about your normal school day; you move from class to class and probably get up a few times during each class. Do not think you can sit at a desk or table for 6 hours straight and learn efficiently or effectively.

Your body needs to move!


Learning online is similar to learning in the classroom if you look at it from the right perspective. Online learning should be seen as real learning, and you should think of your online class as a real class. This entails showing up, engaging with your teacher and fellow students, and getting your work done. Alternative online resources like can help you understand any difficult concept with which you might be struggling

Your study space should be well-lit without allowing a glare on your online learning device. You should be comfortable and have plenty of room for your device and textbooks.

Finally, keep moving. Your body and your eyes need breaks from sitting and studying. Make sure you are moving (and getting water) at least every 45 minutes.

Homeschooling is hard enough as it is, but balancing the needs of children of different ages makes the challenge all the more difficult. This blog post offers suggestions for how you can succeed when homeschooling your entire family.

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