Part 2: How to Learn Remotely at Home

Need to study at home but don't know where to start? In this article, we explain how to study remotely at home so your learning doesn't stop.

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Are you confused as to how you are meant to learn at home? Don’t worry, many are. Now we’ve looked at how to plan your study timetable and keep yourself motivated, let’s look at how to learn remotely from home.

How to learn remotely at home

In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to:

Learning online – a step-by-step guide

A classroom is a great learning environment because it gives students a teacher who can guide them through content and answer questions as well as peers who can discuss ideas together. Distance learning limits that experience. But it also gives you some other opportunities due to the nature of video delivery. Even though you have access to online lessons, resources, and discussion boards it can be challenging to know how to use them effectively. What we’re going to do now is explain the best way to use online lessons and videos to learn.

So, what is the best process for learning from video lessons? Let’s have a look:


Step 1: Do your readings

Before you watch your lesson, make sure you’ve read all of the relevant material. You want to use the lesson to fill in your gaps and clarify things you are unsure of.

Read all your required texts or your Matrix Theory lesson. Make some initial notes to ensure you retain the information. Make a list of:

  • Things you don’t understand
  • Things you need clarified
  • Any other questions that arise in the course of reading.


Step 2: Do your research

Try to do some research around the topic of the lesson and some of the more difficult content in the lesson. You will learn and retain more if you already have some understanding or idea about the content you will be learning about. You don’t want to go in blind.

Research things online or read through any of the online notes your Matrix teacher has provided or that are in the resource library. Make sure that you make notes as you go. This can be writing down relevant formulas or listing resources or summarising texts.


Step 3: Watch the video lessons and resources actively

Watching a video lesson means more than hitting play and watching. You need to watch actively. What does “watching actively” mean?

Watching actively means that you view the lesson while making notes and seeking answers to the questions that you have.

Before you start watching the lesson, ensure you have your notes in front of you and a list of things you need clarification on. You want to stop the video after each of these topics is covered so you can amend your notes or cross off your list.

Make sure that you pause the video regularly. In a classroom, the teacher will pause and ask questions or have you undertake tasks. You want to follow these cues carefully if they are in the video. If there are not, pause regular to make notes. It is important, that you rewatch any parts of the video that you find confusing or challenging. One of the benefits of video is that you can watch things several times if necessary.

If some of the content is particularly difficult, write down what you find challenging about it. Make sure you note down the timestamp of parts of the content you’re struggling with!


Step 4:  Take notes (and use that pause button)

When you are in a classroom, you don’t consistently take notes. You let the teacher speak and note down only key points. When learning online it is tempting to start writing as soon as the video begins. This is not an effective method, you will miss content.

Instead, watch the video to the first clear break in the content. For example, in Matrix video lessons, there are breaks for students to attempt focus questions or have discussions. This is the ideal opportunity for you to pause the video and make some notes. A good practice, is to summarise the key ideas in in your own words. Paraphrasing is a good way to entrench information.

Where possible organise information as you go and draw relevant diagrams. You can take your time with this – unlike in a classroom – because you can pause the video for as long as you need.

Once you finish the video, take the time to review your notes.


Step 5: Rewatch complicated parts

Once, you’ve finished the video. Return to those parts of the video that you’ve struggled with. Make sure you read through your notes on what you’re struggling with, first.

Rewatch the content and see if it makes more sense. If you are still struggling…


Step 6: Write out difficult information

Writing out challenging information, especially longhand, helps you process it. Writing is really a form of thinking.

A good process is to:

  1. Write the content out in full
  2. Summarise it in to smaller chunks
  3. Try and summarise it into bullet points

Another method is to…


Step 7: Read difficult information out loud

Reading challenging information aloud is a good method for unpacking what we don’t understand.  In addition, when we hear ourselves we tend to remember information more effectively.

An additional method you can try and employ is teaching the material aloud to an imaginary student or friend.

Teaching others forces us to break down what we know about a subject and present it in a way that makes it accessible to others. IF you can, you can always try and teach your parents the concept you are stuck on.


Step 8: Edit your notes

Reinforcing your learning begins with your notes. Just taking notes is not enough. You need to go back and flourish them.

To do this, you should:

  1. Organise your notes (Use headings and subheadings, make them neater etc.)
  2. Add additional information from your personal research or your textbooks (eg. Images, diagrams, explanations, mnemonics etc.)
  3. Draw links between different set of information
  4. Write a quick summary of each section
  5. Clear up any confusing information


Step 9: Make a list of your questions or weaknesses:

When you are going through your notes, you will find missing gaps in knowledge. It is important that you clear up these confusions as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more you forget.

So, as you edit your notes, write down a list of questions, confusing concepts and weaknesses. Ensure that you find these points are specific and direct. Asking broad questions will not help you target your weaknesses.

Use these questions to guide your research about your topics or ask your teacher to get them clarified!


Step 10: Test your knowledge:

Another method to find your weaknesses is to test your knowledge!

You can find past papers online or ask your teachers for practice questions or past papers. Complete these practice questions and past papers without looking back at your notes and see where you went wrong!

You can also write practice essays, paragraphs or creatives, short answer and extended responses for both English and your Science subjects. Proof-read them, get your friends to edit them or ask your teachers to give you feedback?

Another method is to call your friends! Discuss the topics, teach the concepts to each other and test each other’s knowledge.

For English, it is especially important that you are discussing the text. This is how you gain insight into the text, see a new perspective and shape your personal thoughts and opinions.


Step 11: Contact your teacher for questions:

Remember, your Matrix teachers and tutors are just a fingertip away!

Ask a question in the Q&A section in our live online workshops!

Take advantage of this time to clarify any confusing concepts, get feedback from your written work or simply get tips to improve specific skills and topics!

Don’t forget. You should also contact your school teachers to get feedback on your work!


Are you struggling to get practical feedback from your teachers?

Matrix+ students get regular, detailed feedback from their teachers! Learn more.

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Get feedback

We know that moving to an online platform is difficult. You are expected to learn the content and practice your skills on your own.

However, that doesn’t mean that your teachers aren’t there for you! It is vital that you take advantage of them during this time.

Ask them lots and lots of questions and send them plenty of practice essays and responses.


Step 1: Ask for help

If you don’t understand something, reach out immediately. Make a list of all your questions as you go through your online content and when you are revising your work.

Our Matrix teachers are always ready to respond to you through the LMS!

Here are some example questions you can ask:

English Maths Sciences
What are some examples of this concept?

How does this theme link to other themes?

How can I improve this particular skill/writing type?

How do I develop a character?

How do the themes relate to real life?

Where can I find practice questions/exams?

What are some reading suggestions?

What are some examples of this topic?

What are the steps to solving these types of questions?

How do I solve this question (that I got incorrectly)?

How does the method/formula work?

Are there any quick tricks to solve these question types?

What are the essential elements that I must have in my answer? (eg. units, +c etc.)

How do I solve these question types?

What are some challenging questions for these question types?

Where can I find practice questions/exams?

What are some examples?

How does this concept link to other concepts?

How does this concept link to real life?

What are the important formulas/theory?

Can you clarify this concept? (Proceed to ask more specific questions)

Where can I find practice questions/exams?

What are some easily forgotten steps/elements of a formula?

How are the marks allocated for this question type?


Step 2: Get your work marked and proofread

You should continue to complete your Matrix exercises, school work and do some additional exercises during this online age!

Send your essays, practice paragraphs, creatives, speeches, short answer responses, extended responses and any other work to your Matrix or school teachers.

It’s okay to send practice responses for general feedback. However, it is always a good idea to ask for specific feedback! This way, you can get more directed tips to improve.

Here are some examples:

  • Did I synthesise my arguments well?
  • Did I answer the question throughout my response?
  • Did I effectively use examples to support my arguments?
  • Is the storyline overdramatic?
  • Was my writing concise?
  • Did I demonstrate my knowledge in my writing?


Step 3: Refine your skills / Refine your work

Simply asking for feedback is not enough! You need to apply the feedback and continue to improve and refine your work and skills!

This means that you need to:

  1. Edit or re-write your responses by applying your teacher’s feedback
  2. Answer new questions and write new responses whilst applying your teacher’s feedback

This way, you are continually improving yourself by refining your skills and your work.


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