Online studies have been a great bonus to millions of people who are restricted from taking courses due to living in a remote area and far away from an educational institute, time constraints, heath issues, child rearing, and a host of other reasons why going to a local school is difficult and maybe even impossible.
With so many courses now being offered through long distance learning, you can see why this would be a major attraction and an enormous industry.
The convenience is certainly a prime advantage of taking courses through the internet. But with convenience comes pitfalls or disadvantages.
Consequently, here are five ways to use your time effectively and get the most out of studying online.
#1 Set Aside Time Slots
While making it on time to a class to a physical building might be hard, when taking a course at home, it is harder than you might think. For example, there is a huge tendency to say you will do things later, since you have plenty of time. The truth is that you should set up good practices right from the beginning and one of those is setting aside proper blocks of time to do your work.
Remember that you will have reading to complete, videos to watch, assignments due, and interim testing. To keep up, you should pace yourself and make a calendar with time slots. Even if you have only an hour here and then two hours later in the day, by making a conscious effort to get yourself studying, you will be more successful. And once you do that for a few days, it will become a habit, which of course, is a good thing.
#2 Connect With Others
Some courses actually require conversation and participation as part of the grade structure. Sharing and interacting is typically done through skype, online forums or virtual classrooms, where others in the same course get together to discuss the course material. But even if this is not mandated by the instructor, you should still find a way to speak with the other students. Supporting each other helps everyone to gain better perspective on the material and ultimately get better grades.
#3 Set Aside Space
Working in the same space adds to the structure of learning online. If you can set up a small area for yourself where you keep your computer, books, notes and other tools, then your mind says that is where you need to be. But if you always have to find somewhere to work, then the task of doing so becomes a deterrent against studying. It just becomes too much trouble to bother. So, another good study practice is to make a little nook for yourself that is used only for your studies.
#4 Healthy Snacks and Beverages
This may seem like an odd practice to get into, but eating is one of the major distractions when trying to focus on classes. For most people, it is much easier to wander around the kitchen looking for things to munch on or to cook rather than start reading the next chapter in a textbook.
Instead of doing that, keep some healthy snacks in your work area along with a bottle of water. In doing so, you beat the urge to procrastinate by wandering to the kitchen, and you keep yourself hydrated while boosting your energy level, which makes your mind more alert. As the expression goes “Brain Power”.
#5 Get To Know Professor
If you take a degree at a brick and mortar college or university, you often know who the instructor or professor is. In fact, you see the person every time they conduct a lecture. They also hold office hours during which you can get help or ask questions.
While you may not see the teacher up close and personal while taking a course online, many professors still hold what are called virtual office hours. These are time slots where the instructors make themselves available to answer questions. Make yourself available, too, and have some questions ready to discuss.
Good Habits For Studying Online