Over the past decade, more and more people have been switching to online study. Although the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the process, there are lots of good reasons to do it, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. If you’re studying online for the first time you might find it a bit overwhelming, but this article will help you make the adjustments necessary to get as much as possible out of the experience.
Set out a clear schedule
Most people studying online are trying to fit classes and coursework around other responsibilities. Make sure that you know how much time you’ll need for each element of your course and plan accordingly. Don’t let all your study-related work pile up at the end of the week when you’re low on energy and running out of time. If you can set aside specific hours for study, you’ll find it easier to stay focused and meet your commitments.
Keep track of your goals
Online coursework is generally broken down into multiple segments. Setting goals regarding when you want to complete them and the grades you hope to get can help you stay on target throughout your course as you work towards your final goal. This could be anything from earning a Wilkes ABSN to progressing to a Ph.D. It could also be about doing extra work to acquire the niche skills that will help you get into a specialized area that interests you.
Create a space for study
You’ll find it much easier to concentrate on your online classes if you have a dedicated space for study. This could be anything from a private den to a seat beside the kitchen counter. What’s important is that it keeps your education separate from other aspects of your life, helping you to switch off properly at the end of the day. Don’t neglect your personal fitness, make time for some physical exercise because it also helps maintain mental health.
Connect with fellow students
It’s always useful to be in a position to ask fellow students for help if you find parts of your course difficult. Social engagement also makes the whole process of learning more fun. Most online educational institutions offer social networking space, from a separate social media group to a chat bar down the side of the screen. Getting to know others on your course, and their varied reasons for being there, can also help with motivation.
Get to know the technology
You’ll find it much easier to focus on your online studies if you’re already familiar with the platform involved before they start. Take some time to explore it and try it out in conversation with friends. Learn where to find features like chat and record, and make sure you know the protocol for asking questions. Institutions that use proprietary software usually offer tutorials to help with this. It’s also a good idea to find out where you can get help if something goes wrong – before that help becomes necessary.
Use diverse learning techniques
If your course is primarily delivered in the form of videos which need a lot of attention, watching them all back to back can be exhausting. Try to split them up and use other approaches such as watching relevant documentaries or reading books. Go back through your notes at regular intervals to make sure you fully understand them. If possible, find a friend who can quiz you on your notes, or discuss recent classes with your fellow students.
You’re not in a classroom where everyone can see you, so take advantage of that. If you’re feeling restless, get up and move around for a bit. Exercise breaks can do a lot to improve your focus. Some people even work out while watching class videos. Have a drink of water or fruit juice on hand while you study, and eat healthy snacks when you feel the need to. All this will help you to get more out of your course.
Take learning seriously
Sometimes when a course is online it’s easy to forget that it’s something you need to pay serious attention to. Don’t let yourself be distracted and remember that good attendance and hard work count for just as much as they do in traditional learning environments. After all, the results you get will be just as important to the furtherance of your career.
Although adjusting takes a bit of effort, the advantages of online learning more than make up for it. Once you’ve found your feet, a world of learning opportunities will open up to you. With extensive resources on hand, you’ll be able to unleash your true potential.