The transition from in the classroom to Zoom has been an interesting process that we’re all still trying to get used to. Taking classes from home has its perks, but it also has its disadvantages. One of them being that you’re in your own home. Being in the comfort of your own home can become a little too comfortable, almost to the point where you can’t even pay attention because it doesn’t feel like you’re in class. To help everyone struggling to pay attention during Zoom, we’ve come up with a few tips to help.
1. Choose the Right View
On Zoom there are a few different video layout options, the two main ones being active speaker view and gallery view. To help you stay focused, we recommend staying on the active speaker view. Although you might want to check out to see what everyone else is doing, look at their background, etc. it can easily distract you from your lecture. There is also another view to worry about, the one at home. Choose a spot to Zoom from that is the least distracting. So basically, try not to sit in front of the TV while it’s on or with people who could distract you.
2. Avoid Distractions
Definitely easier said than done. It’s tempting to do other things while in class due to the fact that we’re not actually in class. Listen, we get it, being able to multitask like that is convenient. Use this class time that is already set aside to take notes and try to understand the material, or use it to address the fact that you don’t understand. Do this now rather than having to deal with all of those things when an exam, quiz, project, etc. is nearby and time is more scarce.
3. Take Notes
Everyone’s first thought right? But it’s true, taking notes can help keep you focused because you have to pay attention to what is being said in order to write them down. However, not all note taking methods word for everyone. Take time to find out what method of note taking works for you. Try handwriting them, typing them, or even use a tablet to write things down. When taking notes, don’t try to write down everything that is shown or said. You don’t really have the time and not all of the information needs to be written, it’s just good to know. Once you finish your notes, look them over after you finish class or before the next one, just to engrave it into your mind.
4. Recorded Lectures
Find out if your professors record and upload their lectures. If they do, take the opportunity to watch them. If not, ask for permission if you or a TA could record it. If the lectures do end up being recorded, watch the live Zoom session first and then take the time to watch the recording whenever you think you need it. Watching the session for a second time is a good refresher and a way to make sure nothing is missing in your notes. For some, taking notes can be the distraction. They aren’t for everyone. So, as an alternative, just listen the first time around. The second time around you can go back and take some notes.
We know this time has been difficult, so we hope that these tips can help! If you have any other tips you’d like to share to help others, leave a comment or message us on social media @untunion!