How to Pay Attention in an Online Law School Class
With so many law schools are moving to an online method of instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic, our institution has always been online so we understand the challenges students encounter. Here are a few tips to set yourself up for success.
1. Set up your own personal classroom.
Instead of using a living room table or kitchen table as your desk, plan a quiet area to study where you will be less distracted. Having a personal classroom space is a critical first step to setting yourself up for success. You should also make sure you have whatever you need before class starts – your casebook, a notepad, pen, and any beverages. This way, you will not need to get up during class.
Since we use ZOOM for live lectures, we recommend using a headphone and mic combo as they can help reduce background, improve your audio, and eliminate background noise.
2. Eliminate distractions.
Avoid your phone. Turn off social media. Make sure you do not have a TV or radio on in the background. The biggest hurdle to paying attention in an online law school class is being distracted. One effective strategy is to list your top three distractions then take proactive steps to eliminate them prior to class.
3. Consider handwriting your notes.
It is helpful to handwrite your law school notes when trying to pay attention to online law school lectures. This way, you can focus on using your screen to wholly pay attention to lectures and don’t have to worry about flipping back and forth between notes and class. If you choose to type your class notes, consider using a second monitor (as discussed below) so you can keep the lecturer on one screen and class notes on another.
4. Participate in class.
Make it a goal to participate in your online law school class discussion – whether it is answering a question out loud or in a discussion forum. If you make it your goal to participate at least once per class, you will naturally be engaged.
5. Get the right tools to set yourself up for success.
There are a few things that will make your life easier when trying to pay attention in an online law school class. For example:
- Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection.
- Consider using headphones to listen to the lecturer (particularly if you are studying around others).
- Get a second monitor if you are typing your class notes so you can keep the lecturer on one screen and the professor on the other.
- Consider using a bookstand for your casebook so you can easily follow along in class.
This article originally appeared on: JD Advising