Fr. Joel, 22 April 2020
Perish the thought that you can succeed in one hour or less of online study a day!
The Internet is a friend for learning. But you can betray this friend as it can betray you. Neither abuse nor misuse your friend.
Netflix and the like is for relaxation online. But relaxation cannot be the whole day. And episodes of endless series ought not to eat up the night.
Sufficient sleep – outside of study time – is absolutely essential for online learning.
You need time daily for mediation and prayer. You need to quiet down to be in touch with yourself in your relationship with God. You need to understand what your defining desires are. Otherwise, you will be dissipated by distractions in your online learning.
Own your desire to learn, locate your love for learning, and sacrifice what you must to pursue this love.
You need a schedule for your love for learning. If your love is weak, it will be stingy. If your love is deceitful, it will deceive you. If your love is sincere, it will not be less than six hours every day. If your love is heroic, it will surpass eight. If your love is true, it will be kept.
You must take responsibility for learning on your own. No one can learn for you, not your girlfriend, not your boyfriend, not your mother, not your father, certainly not your teacher. Success is yours; failure is yours.
You need quiet time for study and focus. This must be part of your schedule. Best to keep your cellphone on silent mode and your email inboxes closed during these times.
You need a space for study, quiet, well lit, and well-ventilated.
Plan your learning. A planner helps. Write down, “To do’s.” In time, do them. It’s fun to tick off what you’ve done.
Know what your expected learning outcomes are in the course you are taking. Understand why achieving them is important. Plan how you are to achieve them. Set intermediate targets. Check intermediate achievements.
Understand when and how you are to be tested and graded. Know how tests are conducted. Prepare for them over time. Don’t cram. In our ADDU system, the decision to be tested for credit is yours.
Read a text to comprehend it. Scan a text to understand its structure. Note what a text intends to say. Normally, it states this explicitly. Read the conclusion to understand where the text is going. Formulate questions about the text even before you read it. Read alertly. Summarize what you have read. Summarize it on paper. Summarize it in your words. What are its major assertions? What are its major arguments? Have your questions been answered? What are its conclusions?
Check your comprehension with another person. That person may be a classmate or friend. It may be a teacher or professor. Talking about what you have learned and discussing this with another person is a great way to learn better.
But respect another person’s quiet time for study and focus. Agreeing on the timeframe when you can text and consult each other without bothering each other may be helpful.
Listen generously to another’s learning. Learn from how others learn. Respond to encourage learning. Be encouraged in responding.
Evaluate what you have learned in terms of your personal life horizons, your personal convictions, and faith. Was what you learned valuable? helpful? useful? Why or why not? How would other authors, experts, and authorities, evaluate what you have learned? Would they agree or disagree? How does what you have learned broaden your horizons and lead you to wider or deeper learning?
The questions that you have along the way – on topic or off topic – are important. Don’t disregard them. Record them. Work to answer them. Those questions can be the beginnings of great essays or blogs, research projects or activities to help others. They can lead to higher education and stunning careers.
Keep a journal of your online learning, insights, and questions.
Consider publishing a blog or vlog to share your insights and reflections. What you learn and what you are thinking can be very helpful for others.
“Feel the burn!” the physical therapy coaches urge. In online learning, be consumed by the fire to learn.