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With the shift to online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all been rapidly
pushed into joining virtual meetings and online classes without any training. To help you
succeed, the SIKAT Learning team has come up with tips for you to quickly adapt to those
online classes and ace them.

TIP #1: Have realistic expectations.

Know your online class. Ask how the courses are conducted, the learning platform used, the topics covered, what is required from students, and how to ask for help if needed. Keep an open mind as everyone is adjusting to this new mode of learning. Join a demo class if it’s being offered.

TIP #2: Optimize your internet speed.

The quality of the video and audio of your class depends on your internet connection. Select the best internet provider and remember a wired connection is still faster than a wireless one.

If you’re using wireless, run an online speed test and position your router optimally to get the best signal. Avoid placing it close to metal objects and electric appliances that can cause interference. Disconnect unused internet – connected devices such as tablets, smart TVs, and cellular phones. Remove unnecessary tabs on your browser.

TIP #3: Plan ahead.

Try using your learning platform and do a test run a few days before class starts. Log-in to your class account and familiarize yourself with how to access materials on the platform, view activities and announcements, send messages and ask for help.

Find a study space and inform your family or companions of when you will be in class to avoid interruptions.

Communicate in advance with your instructor and agree on a back-up plan for instances when you get a power failure or get disconnected from your internet signal.

TIP #4: Be aware of how you look and sound online.

Test your camera, microphone, and speakers to see if they’re all properly working. Check how you look on camera. Dress appropriately and examine your background for things you don’t want others to see, such as a pile of dirty clothes or personal clutter behind you.

Listen to yourself through your microphone and use it to join the class discussions. Learn to unmute your microphone when speaking and mute your microphone when not speaking to avoid unnecessary background noise that can be distracting to the class.

TIP #5: Learn how to use the chat feature of your learning platform.

Depending on the learning platform set-up, you may send messages to everyone or send private messages. Determine which question is relevant to the entire class and which should be sent privately. Be respectful and use the chat feature properly. Remember that messages may also be recorded by the host.

TIP #6: Minimize distractions.

Reserve a quiet study area and prepare yourself for class. Eat and do your necessities before logging in. Keep items you may need like, printed class modules and writing supplies within reach. Put your phone on silent mode, turn off the TV and music, and close your other Internet tabs and online notifications. Inform your family and companions that you will be in class and keep your pets away so you can focus on learning.

Log-in 10-15 minutes ahead to buffer for connection and technical issues.

TIP #7: Remain confident.

You may be nervous about learning online. But remember, with the rapid shift to remote learning, it may also be your teacher’s first time teaching online. Be patient when classes are done through slide shows, videos, and unfamiliar online activities. Share your thoughts with your teachers on what you think worked best in helping you learn in class.

TIP #8: Most importantly, Participate!

Learning is an active process that you need to join in. Your teachers are your guides and
resource persons. Ask questions, join in the discussions, and use your available resources – including books and the internet to master what you’re expected to learn. Reach out and get help if you find a particular topic challenging. SIKAT Learning has online tutoring sessions and small group classes to help you with this.

Persevere in your learning journey and feel good, knowing you’re doing your part in flattening the COVID-19 curve by staying home and joining your online class!