The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have wreaked havoc on our daily lives. We are now living in the “new normal,” as they call it, and as we shift to it, changes and adjustments occurred rapidly and abruptly. Life changes are frequently accompanied by a wide range of experiences and emotions. The transition to the new normal can be smooth at times, but it can also be choppy or downright bumpy at other times! Some people may find themselves in survival mode, gathering information and resources needed to function at school, at work, as individuals, and in interpersonal relationships. Others might be trying to get used to their new routines. COVID-19 has resulted in schools shutting down all across the world. Of course, learning should not stop; that is why learning adjustments are made. With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, including the Philippines, schools and other institutions now opt for their teachers and students to continue learning in virtual classrooms using digital platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Many schools are now offering online courses in response to high demand.
Teachers adapting to the new normal is very challenging, but here in Riverside College, teachers turned these challenges into opportunities. Mr. Mark Ortibano, RPm, MSPsy, RPsy, CDR, a Negrense Psychologist, conducted a webinar to the students of Riverside College, Inc. about his learning adjustments hacks and tips.
These are as follows:
- Study by Chunks
His first hack is to Study by Chunks; this entails breaking down a difficult chapter or topic into more manageable pieces and having students rewrite these “chunks” in their own words. This way, their attention will be drawn to a specific topic, allowing them to gain a better understanding. Students are more likely to remember and process information when they understand what they are trying to learn.
- Remember it is school, not Facebook (turn off notifications and minimize destructions)
Am I the only one who gets distracted when studying if I hear a single tone notification on my phone? This is probably the most challenging part of learning when your mind is occupied and distracted by other things, such as engaging and scrolling through your social media accounts. In his second hack, Mr. Mark shared that to minimize destruction, one must turn off notifications and remember that it is school and not Facebook. This is an excellent method for anyone who is having trouble studying.
Some of the students who take online classes are easily bored, and they end up missing their class discussions. In his third hack, he suggested that students should participate and engage in their online discussions by being more active, awake, and focused to fully understand their discussions.
- Create space
In this new normal setting, having a space in your home, study areas, or work areas is a significant factor for learning. It is suggested that one should make a space for oneself. It will allow them to concentrate better on their tasks and discussions, and it will also enable them to think more clearly. A clear mind equals better comprehension, and better comprehension leads to accurate and excellent results.
- Know your learning style
Everyone has their own learning style. Some people may benefit from studying while listening to music, while others may not. As a result, it is critical to recognize one’s own learning style. After all, this will have a significant impact on their learning.
- Set realistic expectations
With all of the extra time that we most likely have during this pandemic, most of us feel compelled to do and accomplish many things. Sometimes these tasks that we ought to achieve at our specific time and date are not always realistic. Manage your expectations carefully and learn to categorize them in a realistic manner.
- Planning is the key (Feel free to communicate with your professors)
In so many ways, planning is essential, and it will always be the first step in any situation or circumstance. To achieve one’s goals, one must plan ahead. Mr. Orbano stated that you should feel free to communicate with your professors because you will be guided in this way.
- “Balikan ang hugot” (Go back to your primary purpose or your source of motivation to study and pursue your career)
This famous question always pops up anywhere, at any time. “Anong plano mo?” What’s your plan? The majority of students will definitely say that it is for their own good, for their family, and for everyone who supports and prays for them. So as for you who are lost, “Balikan an hugot,” go back to your primary purpose. Ground yourself in what truly motivates you to study and pursue your career, and maybe then you will discover and realize something that will keep you going.
- Take a Break
Everything can be done in a certain amount of time; even God created the entire universe in six days and rested on the seventh day to look at His creation and see that it was very good. You, too, are entitled to take a break, take it easy, relax and rest. By doing this, you will most likely have the energy and motivation to function and focus again on finishing your next tasks.
- The power of “YET” (Acknowledge your limitations but let it be for the moment.)
We all have our own limitations, and it is right and just to acknowledge them. However, don’t let it dominate your thoughts and capabilities; because you are more than capable of accomplishing the majority of your goals.
For many years and months, these Learning Adjustments in Online Classes have increased respect for teachers and diligent students. No one can truly stop someone from learning if they are determined and dedicated enough.