You’ve just enrolled in your first online university class. What do you need to know? Do? Understand? What are the best strategies for online learning? In this blog post, I’ll share my top tips for studying online.
Make a study plan
A study plan is crucial to online learning. Every semester, I make a plan, in which I outline important dates, such as exams and assignment deadlines. This is particularly useful when studying multiple courses. When you make a study plan, make sure you plan ahead. Don’t wait until the day before an assignment is due to start working it. This only causes unnecessary stress. At the start of each week, make a to-do-list of tasks you need to complete by the end of the week. This is an efficient way of prioritising your study plan, staying on track and warding off procrastination.
Commit to Connect
Connecting with your peers is so important, particularly in bridging the isolation that often comes with studying online. Join the online tutorials and engage in the discussion forums. Start conversations and post questions. Remember, no question is ever too stupid. Other students are most likely thinking it too.
Know your study style
Pick and choose your battles. Each course has a lot to cover and everyone has other professional and personal commitments. It’s hard to get through everything, and you’re not expected to. Knowing your individual study style is an effective mechanism for online study. I’m someone who learns better by reading and writing. However, someone else might prefer listening to lecture recordings and podcasts. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to study. Once you find what’s right for you, online study becomes a lot easier.
Ask a librarian
Take advantage of all the online resources and support that is available through your library. Chat with a librarian.
Librarians live to help, so please don’t be afraid to ask.
Sleep is more important than so many other things
Never trade sleep for an all-night study session. Never. Lack of sleep doesn’t help with concentration, nor does it produce quality work. A good night’s sleep is the foundation of academic success.
Take regular breaks
Go for a walk or fill up on coffee.
Be kind to yourself
If the going gets tough, remember why you’re studying, revisit your goals, enjoy the learning experience, and most importantly, be kind to yourself. If you fall off the study bandwagon, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just try again. Aim for progress, not perfection.