If you’re an online student, you probably enjoy the ability to tackle your studies at your own pace. But succeeding in the relaxed environment of online learning requires a healthy dose of self-motivation. Here are some valuable online study tips to help you perform at your best in your online classes.
Understand the requirements
In an online environment, you need to take the initiative to make sure you understand the course requirements. How do you submit coursework and join discussion groups? Can you contact your instructors via email? How do you access exams, and are you required to be online at certain times? If your course has technical specifications — such as certain software or a specific web browser — make sure you have what you need before class begins.
Develop a schedule
One of the perks of online learning is its accommodation for flexible scheduling. But to succeed, you’ll need to make sure you’re budgeting enough time in your day for your studies. Choose a time that harmonizes with your other work and family commitments, but stick to your appointed time once you’ve committed to it.
Create a conducive environment
Getting your education at home is convenient in multiple ways. But home also can be a source of significant distraction, and it takes discipline to develop good study habits. A quiet space where you can concentrate is vital, whether it’s in a home office, a library or a coffee shop. Wherever you choose to work, consistency pays.
Interact with other students
Studying online rather than in a traditional classroom can be isolating. By getting to know your fellow students through social media groups and online forums, you can develop a support system and learn from others. Your peers can help if you’re unclear on a concept or if you want to toss around some ideas. Who knows, you might just make some new friends.
As with traditional university classes, online learning requires that you keep track of your course materials. Whether you prefer an online calendar, a notebook or a calendar on the wall, develop a system that works for you to track registration deadlines, assignment due dates, tests and other important benchmarks.
Give yourself a hand
One of the most important studying tips you’ll encounter is to take frequent breaks — your eyes, back and sanity require it. But it’s also important to recognize your hard work and discipline. Every once in a while, step back and take time to acknowledge your accomplishments. Find a way to reward yourself, even with something as simple as a walk in a beautiful park on a sunny day. You deserve it!