4. Prioritize 1:1 Meetings with Online Students
During my first semester of college — which was fully remote — many of my professors maintained virtual office hours every week, and they were very accommodating about meeting outside of those hours as well.
Our one-to-one Zoom calls helped me build relationships with my professors and forge greater connections in my classes.
One-to-one sessions can also help educators understand what aspects of their online classes are difficult for students. Remember that students with ADHD are not lazy or disinterested. These meetings can reveal which parts of the course interest us and which parts we struggle with.
5. Encourage Students to Seek Productive Learning Environments
For students with ADHD, focus can be dependent on the environment.
A dorm room is a space of relaxation — quite the opposite of a productive learning environment. Remote learners working back at home may feel compelled to lock themselves in their rooms, away from family members and distractions.
If possible, encourage students to go to the library or a quiet outside study space where those around them are also concentrating on work. This can help inspire students to focus and help get us into the right frame of mind.
Above all, our phones are the greatest distraction during classes and study sessions. It may be helpful to remind us to put our phones at the opposite end of the room, or to have a roommate or friend keep our phones until class is finished.
READ MORE: An AV design engineer offers advice on how to personalize hybrid learning classrooms.
6. Allow Music and Fidgets to Improve Concentration
For students with ADHD, multitasking can actually help maintain concentration.
While fidget spinners can be distracting to others, there are smaller fidgets that can greatly help students with ADHD improve concentration if we use them underneath a desk.
It may be helpful to remind students to play music or white noise when they work on assignments. I often find the silence in my dorm room deafening, especially when I’m trying to work. Turning on a relaxing playlist can help me stay on task.
In the classroom, my other focus strategies include doodling, tapping my foot or twirling my hair, all of which help reduce my restless energy and distracting thoughts.
Just remember, we are not fidgeting because we aren’t paying attention. We are fidgeting because we want to pay attention.
Explore our Remote Learning Diaries series to see what else college students had to say about their virtual classroom experiences.