How To Stay Focused When Learning At Home

How To Stay Focused When Learning At Home

Tips and tricks on how to improve focus during online learning – Yun Sik Sheen

There’s something that all of us need to admit to ourselves: remote learning is hard. Can anyone really blame a student for falling behind classes when they are prevented from seeing their friends in person, have to miss out on events they were looking forward to, and on top of all that deal with the struggles of the pandemic? Even excellent students must be having issues focusing while trying to learn remotely.


Still, time’s not going to pause until people get their problems sorted out. And while things are looking more hopeful with the spread of the vaccines, it will still be a while until everything is back to normal. That being said, there are still things students can do to make learning at home easier on themselves. And the absolute most important thing they should do is stay focused in class. 

Admit it, you’re paying far less attention in your online classes than you did when you were still learning in person. Even a physical classroom has its fair share of distractions: friends to talk to, a stealthily hidden phone, and a particularly interesting stain on the wall. But at least back then you had the presence of teachers to make sure you actually paid attention.

Turning off your phone, while in class is a great way to avoid the temptation of checking messages and/or social media posts.

Now all it takes to hide your lack of focus is to say that you’re suffering from some “internet connection issues” and turn your camera and microphone off, leaving you free to browse Facebook to your heart’s content. But even those who want to pay attention are having a difficult time doing it, so what can you do?  


First, turn your phone off. You might not see the point considering none of your notifications will bother anyone anymore, but it’s likely that constantly checking your messages and your social media is contributing to your lack of focus. If you can, turning your phone off is a great way to remove this temptation completely.  


But what about the screen you can’t turn off? You need something to connect to Zoom with, and if you use your computer to do so, that means that you’re constantly facing a potential distraction while you’re also trying to learn. With that in mind, the second piece of advice I would suggest is to not open any tabs you don’t need at the moment. It might be tempting to just briefly check Twitter or watch a clip on YouTube, but before you know it, you could be completely ignoring your teacher’s lecture. 


Speaking of your teacher, have you really been listening to everything they’ve been saying? Even if you do turn your phone off and only keep the tabs you need on your screen, do you still find it difficult to really listen? This might seem alarming, but keep in mind that you’re not actually seeing your teacher, you’re seeing a video call version of them. Of course it’s going to be easier to pay attention to someone standing right in front of you than someone in a Zoom call. To help you focus, try increasing the volume of your device and actually look at your teacher when they’re speaking. This might seem minor, but both methods can help you avoid treating the class as background noise. Online learning is tough, but staying focused will significantly help you pass your classes. 

Article is authored by Yun Sik Sheen, a student at Case Western Reserve University. Yun Sik Sheen is pursuing an English Major at CASE.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Somali Ghosh

    Great article!

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