The following is a guest blog by Daniela McVicker, who is a freelance writer and blogger.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the World
We are forced to stay at home, cannot go to work, should be careful about going to a shop too often, and limit ourselves to everything.
But not only adults are struggling with the rapid changes that our world has been forced into. Our children have to adjust to the new reality as well.
And one of the most difficult changes is that they now have to get their education remotely.
The General Impact of COVID-19 on Education
The effect of the current pandemic on global education is staggering.
According to the World Economic Forum, 1.38 billion learners have been impacted by national school closures worldwide. Take a look at how fast the school around the globe had to close as the global pandemic progressed:
Image credit: WE Forum/Statista
This is 80% of learners worldwide.
In the U.S., most states had to implement school closures not just until the end of May, but for the entire academic year.
Education systems around the world weren’t prepared for this rapid change.
Most of the schools, even in the developed countries, didn’t have programs for remote education, which consequently had an impact on the teachers’ and students’ morale.
You can see the levels of discouragement in the report by Edweek that shows, how hard this change impacts both teachers and students.
Image credit: Edweek
This report also shows the concern among teachers that most of their students won’t be able to keep their academic performance at least satisfactory.
There are many reasons for that, from the lack of access to resources to the lack of proper contact with teachers and professors.
But one of the most common reasons, why teachers are concerned with the academic performance of their students is the lack of motivation to study at home.
As different media outlets interview students and their parents worldwide, they report plummeting levels of motivation to study at home and receive education remotely.
And, it will most likely take a long time before students will be able to fully adjust to the new reality of getting an education online.
What Can Learners Do Now to Boost Motivation to Study at Home?
In this blog we talk a lot about workplace advice.
At-home studying place is also a kind of workplace since students spend so much time there during online classes and while doing homework.
A student’s workplace, or studying place, organization impacts the levels of motivation to study and the overall academic success, not just in the current situation, but in general.
Researching the influence of the studying environment on academic performance, the scientists from the State University of Jakarta have noticed motivation regression in students after they were placed in a positive learning environment.
The researchers also indicated that this approach can also become habitual after teachers or parents put a student through a set of daily tasks to create the space the studying space that facilitates productivity.
So, what can you do and have your at-home student do to create a productive space for studying?
- Set Positive Physical Environment
There’s a reason why parents are always fighting their children, asking them to clean up their desks and their rooms.
They are not just helping their kids form a useful habit. A clean physical environment also facilitates learning.
What is needed to create a positive physical environment?
- No background noise. Because your at-home student was forced into this new environment, there will be a lot of things that could distract them. So, introduce them to a new studying space by eliminating background noises. They should feel calm and centered enough to focus.
- Optimal room temperature. Too hot or too cold room temperature can also be a major distraction. Research shows that 70 -77 degrees Fahrenheit (21 – 25 Celsius) is a good temperature to boost studying productivity.
- Enough light in the room. Here, your main concern is not to damage their vision while your at-home student is studying at home. Make sure that their room has access to natural daylight, as dim lighting can strain their eyes very quickly.
Besides, pay attention to the air quality in the room, where you set your at-home student’s studying environment.
If there’s insufficient ventilation in the room, the dust and dry air can cause a headache and your at-home student simply won’t be able to focus.
- Equip the Learner with All Necessary Tools
After you’ve set a productive physical environment for studying, it’s time to think about the tools and resources to make the studying process more effective.
With today’s educational technology, students can automate a lot of tasks without having to go through an unnecessary studying workplace stress and having to do repetitive tasks.
Besides, having these tools at hand can help organize the studying process and boost productivity.
Here are a few of the most useful studying tools for an at-home student:
- GoConqr. At home, a student doesn’t usually have access to a blackboard or something they usually get at school to visualize the learning material. This tool can help them create mind maps, flashcards, quizzes, and notes to visualize the learning process.
- Quizlet. This resource is similar to the previous one and also offers a set of tools to visualize the learning process. However, here, you can also generate visual content according to different subjects.
- Schooltraq. Organizing the learning process also plays a big part in studying success. This tool helps organize and keep track of assignments and tests, creating a daily studying agenda.
Apart from visualization and organization tools, your at-home student might also need a few additional tools to help them speed up tasks that would usually take a long time.
For instance, if they have a lot of essay assignments, they might be interested in automated proofreading and editing tools. There a few useful online resources that academic writing companies recommend students to use when writing an essay to speed up the process.
All the above-mentioned tools are free, so if your at-home student is on a budget, they still can study productively at home.
- Eliminate Distractions
There are so many things that can distract a learner at home!
Especially when the studying environment is relatively new to them, there is a great temptation to check out their phone more often or run down to the kitchen to grab a snack. The list of distractions can go on.
Here’s how you can help them deal with that.
If you notice your learner spending too much time on their phone, you need something that would motivate them not to touch it, at least for a while.
To do this, you can use an app called Forest.
In this app, you can set the timer by planting a tree.
If they touch their phone before the timer goes out, the tree will die.
If that’s not motivating enough, the developers of this app also frequently donate money to plant actual trees thanks to the engagement of the app users.
How else can you help your at-home student remain productive?
Another way to motivate them to study is by holding them accountable.
To do this, you should create a daily studying to-do list for them to complete.
At the end of the day, they will have to complete a reviews page, in which they will have to document all their accomplishments for the day.
This can be a powerful motivator, especially if there is a reward, in case they complete all the tasks.
Lastly, it is important to touch upon something that you, as a parent, should do to help your at-home student learn.
As much as it might be tempting to check up on them as often as possible, try to avoid intervening in the process.
Trust is the greatest motivator in learning, so help them create a positive studying environment and then let them figure the process out on their own.
Adjusting to the new reality takes time, but with trust and understanding, your at-home student will eventually become more and more motivated to achieve academic success.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer and blogger. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is traveling and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experiences. You can check her last review of Grabmyessay.
Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on June 4, 2020. You can sign up for our newsletter and learn more about Dr. Mintz’s activities at: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics.