The Key To Staying Focused During Online Lectures


Online lecturing and remote learning have become a reality for students, and for some, this can be a convenient solution to pursuing higher education while maintaining social distancing. However, many students have expressed that taking online classes has caused a lot of difficulty in their education process. Without in-person interactions and transitional periods to help you move from activity to activity, it’s challenging to get into a mindset that’s ready and willing to learn.

So how is it possible for college students to take online classes and still get the most out of their education? If you’re finding yourself getting distracted during an online lecture or dozing off during a virtual discussion, try using these tips to help you keep yourself focused.

1. Use web blockers

One of the biggest temptations during a virtual lecture is to open up a new browser so you can “multi-task.” But the reality is that it often sends you into distracting internet rabbit holes that take away your attention from the class content being shared.

If you don’t trust your ability to stay off of the internet while a professor is lecturing, there are plenty of resources available to help you stay on task. Apps like Freedom and StayFocused help you to schedule times of focus so that you’re unable to access time-wasting websites that will take your attention away from the lesson.

2. Create a study space

Another key to staying focused during online lectures is making your location a comfortable place to study. You can begin this process by clearing your desk so that you’re not distracted by the mess, and putting away objects that would cause you to get sidetracked.

You can also tune out your surroundings by putting on headphones, minimizing noises that may tempt you to leave your laptop. The most important thing is to be aware of what environmental factors tend to catch your eye so that you can stay engaged with online content.

3. Keep your camera on

Although it can be a little nerve-wracking to feel like you’re being watched during class, keeping your camera on during lectures helps to provide visual accountability. Many professors require this during their virtual classes, and they appreciate the responsiveness and engagement that video interaction encourages.

During in-person lectures, it would be inappropriate to leave to grab food or have a conversation with someone nearby. When your camera is on, it helps to remind you that those rules still apply even if you’re working from a remote location.