Online Study: Best Practices to Keep the Student Focused

Online Study

In times of “saving” attention, online classes have a lot of competition. Knowing that your students check social networks during class and do not dedicate their time uninterruptedly to attend courses should be a premise known to every tutor when developing their material. A study based on eye-tracking techniques, published in the Brazilian Journal of Open Learning and Distance Learning, proved this.

As early as 2015, Microsoft demonstrated this trend of fragmentation with a study that found a reduction in concentration time. If in the year 2000 a human could focus on a subject for 12 seconds, 15 years later that time was reduced to 8 seconds. This is mainly due to the advancement of technology, the use of different screens simultaneously and the massive use of social networks, which use stimuli based on biological studies to attract users’ attention.

This data should not mean something negative, but rather a starting point for planning or restructuring the interface and the way your online course is being offered.

Read on to learn about good online study practices that you can recommend to your students so they can perform better in their chosen course.

Best practices for your student in online study

The Tutor’s Role in Online Study

One of the main motivations for the EaD student is to realize that their teacher/tutor likes what he does. Showing that you are passionate about knowledge and sharing what you know is a good starting point for keeping students focused on your lessons.

Active and collaborative learning

As mentioned in the previous point, it is clear that the tutor still has an important role in learning, however, online study privileges active and collaborative learning systems. Lectures, a legacy of the creation of universities in the 13th century, are based on the centrality of the professor and the unavailability of material accessible to all students.

If the lecture itself has been questioned for at least 200 years, in times of the internet and plenty of official sources of knowledge just a click away, it is easy to understand the advent of the concepts of active learning and collaborative learning.

Active learning

In this teaching method, the protagonism passes from the teacher/tutor to the student. To maintain student engagement, it is necessary to create involvement with the topic studied, especially from the point of view of facilitating the construction of knowledge.

It’s worth investing in gamification, encouraging the creation of projects and sharing the lesson plan so that they have contact with the content before the lesson. In addition, it is also worth pointing out other sites for research where they can, on their own, expose themselves to complimentary activities and knowledge.

Collaborative learning

For any subject, there can always be more than one point of view. Learning to listen and debate with other students is essential for an online study to be effective. Being physically away from other students is no longer a reason for isolation.

The tutor, in turn, in addition to encouraging the exchange of information and interpretations through forums in the online environment, must use the insights found in this environment as feedback. Thus, you will be able to improve your teaching technique and approach to the content.

Challenges as a form of stimulus

Developing stimuli to keep students engaged should be a goal of every tutor. The learning environment needs to be interesting not only because it provides contact with new worldviews and critical thinking, but also visual stimuli are valid here. Bet on different scenarios and virtual visits to museums to create new elements that will surprise students and instigate their curiosity.

Help create study routines

There are some student-dependent tactics for online study to fulfil its purpose. One of them is the creation of a study routine. Whether studying at the same time every day, or at least an hour a day, or three times a week. It will depend on the student’s availability, but having a routine is a way to educate your brain and stay motivated.

If the tutor can provide tools that help in this task, such as indicating applications or making calendar systems available on the platform, it is a way to create a bond and demonstrate that you care about them and their performance in studies.

Explore the media

Each student has a way of learning. Some can do better with audio formats, others prefer video, and some understand text content better. Graphics, mind maps and the other formats mentioned are good ways to make content more interesting and accessible to everyone.


The study mentioned in the introduction to the text, which followed the eye movement of distance education students, identified that auxiliary materials such as notes were used by almost 100% of the students. In fact, it has been proven that writing with your words activates more neural networks than typing.

To encourage students to write, if appropriate, leave a quiet time in the videos or give them commands to pause the lesson. Thus, they can dedicate themselves to recording in the notebook what they understand about the content.

Reviewing what was covered is vital for fixing any content. The written record is an important part of reviews because it is easier and faster than rewinding the video or reviewing it to find the moment when information was covered.

Another alternative to encourage review is to provide exercises that encourage practical application of what was taught.

Online Study Objectives

One of the ways to support students and demonstrate support can occur at the beginning of the interaction when choosing the course. Providing guidance material or research that helps students understand their goals before choosing a course can ensure greater engagement and enjoyment of classes, as well as a lower dropout rate.

In order for the student to be satisfied, he must know what he is looking for. With a clear objective and a good course at your disposal, you guarantee the loyalty and maybe even an ambassador for your course.

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