There was a point in time when studying for your college courses meant grabbing a study buddy and heading to the campus library or teaming up with a group of students to prepare for your exams. It isn’t quite as simple with online learning, particularly if the campus you’re learning from isn’t in your immediate vicinity. Before you get discouraged, check out these habits, tips, and insights to help you study smarter and succeed when studying online.
Put Yourself on a Schedule
Even with home study and online courses, it’s important to put yourself on a schedule and stick to it. Having a set time to study, attend class, and do your coursework will help you be more successful. Put your phone on silent, stay off social media and take your schedule seriously.
Designate a Study Space
Can you study from your bed or your living room sofa? Absolutely! But if you find yourself streaming your latest show or taking a nap, you might be a little too comfortable in your chosen spot. Designating a specific study space can help eliminate distractions. Outfit your space with your textbook, computer, notebooks, pens, and anything else you need to help you stay on task.
Have Reliable Internet Coverage
Sketchy Wi-Fi just won’t work with online classes. Make sure your home Internet is up to the task by checking the technology requirements of any course you take. If you don’t have home Internet, consider utilizing the local library or another location for your coursework. When choosing an outside-the-home location, just be sure to check for hours of operation and plan your schedule accordingly.
Review the Course Syllabus
Online study is great for the motivated, independent learner, but its flexibility can also offer challenges. Review your course syllabus for assignments, expectations, and even exam dates. Make sure to note and display important dates and go over the syllabus to determine how much participation will be required in the class.
Use Apps for Organization
To stay on top of assignments and exams, try a scheduling app. Using your iPhone’s to-do list or another scheduling app can help you know when assignments are due, when exams are scheduled, and even when there are changes to the normal schedule during the semester. Set alarms and put important dates on your phone’s calendar for added protection from overwhelm and forgetfulness.
Understand Your Study Style
An important part of succeeding with online coursework is understanding your studying style. If you learn better by listening, consider replaying lectures if that option is available. If you’re more of a visual learner, consider taking notes that you can review at length after class. Identifying the way you learn best can help you customize your coursework and give you the best possible chance to succeed.
Network With Classmates
Who says you can’t have a study buddy or join a study group? Network with classmates, schedule video study sessions or find someone you can text when you do not understand the assignment. Online coursework may create more room for isolation among students, but it doesn’t have to leave you hanging on your own. You may find yourself making a new friend — all while acing your exams.
If you want to be successful with your online courses, don’t forget to schedule in some breaks. Studying all the time could leave you feeling stressed and depleted.
Taking time for self-care is an important part of your success. In fact, studies show that taking breaks can help you be more creative, productive, and effective with your work. Use your break time to rest your eyes, have a snack, or even take a walk. Allow yourself this time to recharge before you hit the books (digital or otherwise) again.
Using these life hacks, you can succeed with your online learning and have a rewarding college experience. While the landscape of studying may have changed, the technology available has provided a way to bridge the distance while keeping you organized and on-task. Before you know it, you’ll be acing your exams, getting to know your classmates, and wondering why you ever stressed about it in the first place!