Online learning was already being integrated into the education sector before the global pandemic hit, but the spread of the coronavirus put online education on the fast track. Schools and education systems were forced to quickly adapt and rely on remote digital learning to continue students’ education. Unfortunately, the abrupt transition from school to screen resulted in some students falling behind and grades suffering. Paulette Chaffee, an educator with a California Lifetime Teaching Credential, noted that switching from in-person to online learning revealed the need to refocus on practical and foundational study habits. Chaffee shares three study habits that support academic success in any learning environment, on or off-screen:
Study Habit #1: Stay Organized
No matter the platform used while studying or taking notes, staying organized remains a necessary study habit in our modern world. Maintaining organization is the first step in developing proactive study habits. Before Chromebooks replaced textbooks, writing notes on paper, and keeping schoolwork arranged between dividers in binders was a way to make studying smoother and stress-free. Organizing can also be applied to online education, replacing physical folders with digital ones and loose-leaf paper with Word documents.
Stress can fuel bad study habits such as procrastination or “cramming” last-minute, which have been proven ineffective for test performance and long-term memory. Keeping schoolwork organized to avoid frantically looking for something helps alleviate tension around study time.
Study Habit #2: Time Management
Time management is a critical study habit for online education, just as it is for in-person learning. Time management is also a critical habit when setting goals and allocating time to work towards reaching those goals. When practicing time management, students can take advantage of prepping a weekly schedule on a digital app such as iCalendar to help schedule tasks or an agenda-style notebook. For example, if it is the beginning of the school semester, students can start preparing a term calendar, taking note of when large projects or assignments will be due. Students can also note when tests will take place before getting lost in the whirlwind of the busy school year or semester.
Study Habit #3: Tiny Habits
Individual study habits are best formed once a student can identify what study techniques and strategies best help when reviewing and retaining information. After exploring and discovering the most effective study methods, it is time to start developing tiny habits.
Often, students lose their motivation to study because all they can see is a mountain of work. Rather than focusing on everything that must be done, consider starting small. Committing to a baby step like one minute of studying can often lead to completing a quality study session and successfully completing the goal. The mindset forces a learner to focus on one small task at a time, preventing feelings of overwhelm. Introducing small habits into a daily study practice, such as reviewing notes within an hour after class ends, will make studying for a test far less stressful than an all-night knowledge crunch. Baby steps lead to enormous growth!
About Paulette Chaffee
Paulette Chaffee is a teacher, speech therapist, and attorney deeply involved in the Fullerton community. As an educator and member of various non-profit boards, her focus has always been on providing children with the highest quality education. Ms. Chaffee holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Redlands, a California Lifetime Teaching Credential, and is admitted to the California Bar.
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