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Another online lesson! Luckily, I can be a passive listener and at the same time write a report for tomorrow. Or even watch the telly.

Sound familiar? Are you wondering how to make online lessons more inspiring to you? Check out these tips collected by Student Union Kaakko representatives, Xamk digimentors and teachers.

1) get ready

Explore the objectives of the course and the nature of the online lesson, if there is an opportunity to do so. Is it an online lecture?  Are you expected to actively participate? Do you need to prepare somehow in advance? Make sure you have the necessary tools and software and test their functionality. If you need to download an app, do so well before the start of the online lesson.

2) Reserve time and a peaceful place for online study

Think of online lessons as contact lessons on campus. To do this, reserve the necessary time and, if possible, a peaceful place suitable for online participation. Have yourself and your surroundings in such shape that you can open your webcam, if necessary, to participate in class work. You can protect your privacy by using wallpapers. Make sure your workstation is ergonomic and suitable for the purpose. Lying in bed or on the sofa during the online lesson may not be the smartest thing to do.

3) Be there on time, test the technology and calm down

This is important for teaching to start on time and for you to get the most out of it. The teacher has made plans for the lesson and it is in your best interest that the lesson is carried out according to the plans. If possible, join the online lesson a few minutes before the start. This will give you time to check that your equipment –  such as speakers, microphones and headphones – work as intended, and solve any problems. Minimize distractions by muting your phone and shutting off any programs (email and similar) that you won't need while attending the online lesson. When everything is ready, you'll have time to catch your breath and perhaps get a cup of coffee or tea before you start.

4) Listen and participate

In online meetings, you may not see the teacher and other students. This means that you need to actively focus on the situation. If the teaching situation permits, try to actively participate in the conversation, for example through the chat or in other ways instructed by the teacher. This way you get more out of the online lesson. Focus your attention on the online lesson you are participating in. Concentration is difficult if you are doing other things at the same time.

5) Be polite

If you participate in a conversation in an online teaching situation or want to say something, try to keep your comments brief and to the point. If there are students involved who don't know you, please introduce yourself before you speak or ask a question. Speak clearly and loud enough so that people can hear you.  Close the microphone when you're not speaking. Try not to talk on top of other students and give them a chance to speak and finish what they’re saying. Focus on listening. Make sure your study environment is quiet to avoid distracting background noise. Try to make the study atmosphere feel safe for everyone.

6) Respect copyright and privacy rights

The copyright of the teaching situation and teaching materials is held by the teacher. You can store materials for your own use if necessary, but you do not have the right to distribute them in any form. The same applies to all material distributed or presented by students. An image portraying a person may not be published in a manner that violates the person's honor or privacy.

7) Take responsibility for your own actions

Remember that you are personally responsible for what you learn in the online teaching situation. If you're not going to focus and actively participate, why would you participate at all?

Find out the appropriate ways for yourself to take the benefit out of online education. If you don't want to talk, you can use the chat. Also, making notes on a topic or changing your working position during the lecture can help you focus. Always ask the teacher if anything remains unclear. Remember that other students, as well as the teacher, are just human.

V1 Aronen, H., Myöhänen, T. ja Valkeinen, M. 2018.
V2 Parkkonen, T. ja Pilli-Sihvola, M. 2021.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Nimeä-EiKaupallinen-JaaSamoin 4.0 Kansainvälinen License. To view a copy of this license, visit