5 Study Tips For Online Learners
In the wake of Covid-19 many students are finding taking online courses very convenient. However, online learning requires time management skills, self-discipline, willpower, and strong motivation, as it may be challenging for online learners to successfully complete their eLearning courses. In this article, I’ll share 5 key study tips for online learners, in order to help you stay focused and motivated when studying online.
1: Treat an online course like a “real” course.
When it comes to online classes, you need to have the discipline to sit down and say, “I am going to work on this,” as well as the dedication to actually follow through. Though you can be flexible as to when you choose to complete your work during the week, you can’t put it off indefinitely.
One of the easiest ways to ensure follow through is to remember that you are paying to take this online course, just as you would for a traditional, in-person class. You must “show up” if you’re going to get real value out of your class. Treat your online classes the same way you would a face-to-face class—or, better yet, a job—and you’ll be off to the right start.
2: Ensure you have a dedicated study space
Whether you decide to study in your office or in your living room, ensure that this place is quiet, organized, distraction-free, and available for use during your study time. Your study environment should be one of your main priorities when you are an online learner. Therefore, consider turning removing any distractions from the space. For instance log off of all social networks when studying; you will want to be neither interrupted nor distracted.
It’s easier to recall information if you’re in the same place where you first learned it, so having a dedicated space at home to take online courses can make your learning more effective. A clear distinction between where you study and where you take breaks can help you focus as well.
Ensure you have reliable internet access.
Technology glitches happen all the time. Imagine you are working in the middle of the night and your computer crashes. To avoid mishaps, ensure that you save your work repeatedly and backup regularly using cloud storage, for example Dropbox or Google Documents, in order to be able to access your previous work from your smart phone or tablet, if needed. Furthermore, ensure that you not only have a backup of your online course material and assignments, but also you have saved your instructor’s or trainer’s contact information in your cell phone or in your email. A reliable internet access will also give you the opportunity to check in, stay current with your eLearning course, and deal with sudden schedule changes.
4: Practice time management.
The flexibility to create your own schedule (in some cases) is often one of the biggest appeals of taking online classes. But that freedom can also be detrimental if you do not have solid time management skills. Without them, you might easily find yourself cramming before classes or handing in subpar assignments.
Though how you manage your time will depend on your schedule, mode of delivery of online course, learning style, and personality, here are some universally valuable tips to help you practice and improve your time management skills:
- Look at the syllabus at the start and make note of major assignments. Mark them on a calendar you check regularly so you know what workload is coming in the weeks ahead. Don’t forget to factor in prior commitments that may interfere with your regular study schedule, such as vacations, so you can give yourself enough extra time to complete assignments.
- Create a weekly schedule that you follow, designating certain hours each week to reading, watching lectures, completing assignments, studying, and participating in forums. Commit to making your online coursework part of your weekly routine, and set reminders for yourself to complete these tasks.
- When working on your assignments, try time-blocking, allotting yourself a certain amount of time for each task before moving on to the next one and setting a timer to keep you accountable.
- Check in periodically throughout the term, and look at how you’re spending your time. A little self-reflection and adjustment can go a long way
5: Take breaks
If you find yourself working on a challenging problem without much progress for an hour, take a break. Your performance will decrease if you are feeling tired or frustrated while studying. When taking a break, make sure that you get away from your study space; you need to have a change of scenery. A mild physical activity, such as a walking outside, taking a shower will help you maintain balance, renew energy, and go back to studying with a clear mind. Resting your brain after learning is critical to high performance.
It is important to realize that online courses are not an easier way to learn, but rather a more convenient one. To successfully learn online, you need to dedicate a significant amount of your time, consistently attend the program, be concentrated while studying, and fully commit to your learning process, just as you would do for a regular course.
I hope these few tips will go a long way in making your online study a success.