By Desiree Pacariem | Staff Writer
Last spring semester was a hectic and harrowing time for many students at KCC. The abrupt transition from a traditional classroom setting to a virtual one was a change that many, myself included, had difficulty adjusting to. For me, this experience was filled with much trial-and-error, as online classes required more independence and more self-drive than face-to-face classes. As the summer break draws to a close and another semester of mandated online learning begins, I would like to share some lessons I learned previously that could help you succeed this semester.
Create a schedule for yourself
One of the perks that come with online learning is the ability to complete assignments at your leisure, so long that they make the deadline on time. If you are taking an asynchronous class, you are not confined to a specific time block at which to attend class and complete certain assignments, which makes it easy to put off deadlines to the very last minute. Setting aside time specifically for online classwork can help ease the stress of cramming a week’s worth of content in one night. A planner is a useful tool that can help you integrate studying into your daily routine. Maybe Monday mornings can be reserved for memorizing the names of all the bones in the skeletal system and the afternoons can be spent tackling algebra equations. Maybe on Tuesdays you dedicate two hours to studying economics and another two for researching for that paper due next week. The schedule is completely up to you and should be based your own needs.
Don’t take your Zoom meetings in bed
If you have synchronous online classes, you may be required to meet at a specified time via Zoom. For morning classes, it may be especially tempting to wake up 10 minutes before class and jump into the meeting from the comfort of your own bed. However, I’ve found that attending lectures in this manner caused me to be less alert and engaged in the content that was being taught. If you want to get the most out of these meetings, it’s much better to get out of bed, fix yourself a cup of coffee, and sit down in front of your computer, ready to ask questions and take some notes.
Frequently check emails and Laulima
Even in face-to-face learning, this is a must. Important announcements and due dates will always be communicated to you through these means so be sure to check in daily.
Communicate with your professors and peers
Just because you can’t physically see them, your professors and fellow classmates are still there to help you in your academic endeavors. If you are having trouble grasping a particular concept or studying for the class, you can always send an email or schedule a Zoom meeting with your professor, and they will be more than happy to help you.
If you aren’t comfortable reaching out to your professor for help, you can always ask your peers. Utilize the discussion forums and chat rooms on Laulima to get connected with your other classmates. You can also use these to organize study groups via Zoom.
Utilize your resources
Even though you may not be on campus for the majority of the semester, remember that there are still campus resources available for your academic success. If you are in need of a quiet place to study or a stable internet connection, the Lama Library is open from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays and 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Fridays, though spacing is limited to 25 people. Please remember to wear appropriate face coverings and exercise social distancing if you plan to visit the library.
Additionally, the Library is offering free laptop loans on a first-come first-serve basis. They are limited in supply and will be confined to one device per student. To borrow, bring your UH or state ID to the Circulation desk.
KCC’s tutoring programs will be available to students online. KCC students also have access to free, around the clock online tutoring through Tutor.com. Simply log-in at www.hawaii.edu/tutor.
For the latest information on library and tutoring services, visit the Lama Library’s website.