Since a lot of classes are being offered online rather than in-person in order to keep students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible; there are sure to be some questions about how online classes will work. Since the switch to online classes during the middle of last semester, a lot of returning students got the chance to experience remote learning and learn how to manage digital classes. For the incoming freshman who haven’t had experience with online college classes yet (or the returning students who are hesitant about online learning), here are some common myths you may have heard about online classes and the reasons that they’re just not true:
1. I won’t learn as much if classes are online: Professors top priority is to teach their students. Just because the way they are teaching has changed doesn’t mean they have stopped trying or caring about students’ education. While certain courses may look different and some of the course material may have been changed to improve online learning capabilities, you will still be able to learn just as much as you would in person. How much you learn also depends on you, not just on the course. If you’re engaging and working hard, you’ll learn a lot and do well whether the class is in person or online.
2. It’s impossible to motivate myself to get work done for an online class: While it may be difficult to motivate yourself to complete assignments sometimes, it’s definitely not impossible, even for online courses. Remind yourself that your grades are still important even though you’re not physically in the classroom. Try to plan times each week to focus on different classes for certain periods of time. For example, maybe take one hour each day to work on assignments or study for your hardest class, and take an hour every other day for another less demanding class. Setting up a schedule like this will help you stay on track and will encourage you to get work done in the time frame you set for yourself.
3. I won’t have access to help if I need it: Millersville’s faculty and staff members are always eager to help students! You can always contact your professors, advisors, and other staff members when you need help. You can set up Zoom or Skype meetings, phone calls, or just email staff back and forth and they’ll do whatever they can to help you. Millersville’s Writing Center is offering online tutoring for the Fall 2020 semester. You can also check which departments are offering tutoring services, apply to request a tutor, and contact the Tutoring Center with any questions. The Millersville Counseling Center is also a great resource if you’re struggling and need someone to talk to. You can schedule a teletherapy appointment either through Zoom (preferred) or over the phone. Call 717-871-7821 to schedule an appointment.
4. My grades will suffer: Your grades will only suffer if you let them. Just like in-person classes, it’s up to you to keep up with your assignments, put in the work, and reach out if you need help. Professors have been working hard to structure their classes in a way that helps students learn the material and succeed while taking the course remotely. Treat the course as if it were in-person to help yourself perform well. Make time for each of your classes, eliminate distractions like phones while you’re doing work, and remind yourself that doing well in your classes will only help you in the future, so it’s worth it to try your hardest and put in the work.
5. I won’t know when things are due: Due dates and things like exam days will be on your syllabus for each of your classes. Once you have access to a syllabus for all of your classes, I strongly recommend you put important dates somewhere that you’ll be able to see them regularly. You can use the calendar in Outlook to keep track of when things are due, when you have exams, and so on. It’s quick and easy to add events onto the calendar. If you have an event involving multiple people, like a Zoom study session, you can invite people to join the event and create a Zoom link to go with the invitation. You can also use Microsoft Teams for video calls, and any scheduled calls are saved in your Teams Calendar. Click here to learn more about how you can utilize Microsoft Teams. If you have something like a project that will be due at the end of the semester and you’re not sure when to start it, contact your professor for some advice! In fact, having a digital syllabus is almost easier than having just a physical one, because you don’t have to worry about losing it.
Your college experience is what you make it. Whether classes are in-person or online for the time being, you’ll still be able to learn and do well if that’s what you want. This semester will give you a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and how you can handle different types of courses, so make the most of it! Try your best and if you’re having trouble, reach out to people. You’re not alone – every Marauder is trying to figure things out just like you!
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