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5 Study Tips for Successful Online Learning

March 14, 2019 1:08pm

You’ve made the decision to go back to school and earn your degree online – in part because of the flexibility an online education gives you. Now it’s time to buckle down and hit the books, which might leave you wondering if you’ve got what it takes to make it in an online classroom forum. With no set class times in an online classroom, it will be up to you to create an environment conducive to learning. Here are a few study tips to help keep you on track during your online college experience.

Tip 1: Make a plan

It’s a good idea to look ahead and have an idea of what might be coming your way. If you are able to get your eyes on your course syllabus, do so! Look at the assignments, projects, and exam due dates and put them on your calendar so you can be sure to set aside enough time for studying during those weeks. Figure out how much time you have during the week, so you know when to decline social events or cut back on your leisure activities. You can fill out a time management chart to establish how much time you have available. This will help you identify what time you have blocked for work and activities and what time remains for studying. This short webinar walks you through a time management worksheet activity.

Tip 2: Establish a study space

Without a doubt one of the biggest perks of earning your degree online is attending class from the comfort of your own home. This can, however, create disruptions you might not encounter in a traditional college setting. That’s why it’s important for you to identify what distractions you might fall prey to and eliminate them where possible. Create a space in your home specifically for studying. Keep this area in a quiet place away from your TV and other electronic devices. If you must have your cell phone on you, turn it on silent and keep it at a distance so you aren’t distracted by social media notifications, email, or text messages.

Tip 3: Reward yourself

Once you’ve completed a task, find a way to reward yourself! Go for that run or walk, or get that coffee you’ve been thinking about. Having something to look forward to once you are finished with an assignment or done studying for a big test is a great motivator. Be sure to take breaks often. If you wear yourself out, studying isn’t going to do you any good. Know how long your attention span is good for and take a break when you know you aren’t concentrating anymore. Once you’ve cleared your head and rested a bit, get back to it!

Tip 4: Ask for help when you need it

Just because you are taking classes online doesn’t mean you are without the help of your instructor or classmates. Most online courses provide a social platform so learners can engage with each other. Take advantage of this. Reach out to others who might be struggling with the same material you are. Never hesitate to email your instructor for clarification on an assignment or project. And be sure to utilize the tools and resources provided to by your college when you get stuck.

Tip 5: Leave yourself some wiggle room

Even though you might have blocked out time for studying during your week, you should always keep in mind the unforeseen occurrences that might pop up during your class session or semester. Many online learners are working adults with spouses and children that have hectic lives without the added obligation of coursework deadlines and exams. That’s why it’s crucial to leave room in your schedule to study or complete projects should an unexpected family or work obligation arise. Also, have a back-up plan in the event you lose power or Internet service temporarily at your home. Make sure you have somewhere else to go to complete your coursework and work ahead when you can so you aren’t pressed for time in the days leading up to a class deadline.

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