9 Study Tips for Successful Online Learning
- September 15, 2020
- Posted by: Jade Scammells
- Category: Career Advice
Online learning has a wide range of benefits compared to traditional classroom study, but it is not an easier option by any means. Studying online requires a lot of time-management, discipline and organisation.
If you are considering taking an online course, or are currently undertaking distance learning and need a little bit of a boost, here are our top tips to ensure that you can achieve success while studying for a qualification online.
1. Set realistic goals
You need to determine how much time you can commit to your course each week, especially if you work full or part-time, or have children to look after.
Spending too much time on your course will result in you getting burned out and potentially losing interest in your qualification, whilst not spending enough time on your course means that you will start to fall behind on your workload.
Once you have determined how much time you can spend on studying, you will need to get into a routine…
2. Schedule time every day to study
Establishing a routine will help you focus on your studying. Dedicate time every day to focus on your course, whether that is in the morning when your children have gone to school or the evening when you are back from work.
Block out space in your calendar and set a reminder, so you know when you need to get ready to study. It takes about 21 days to form a habit, so if you dedicate time to study every day, it will become second-nature in no time at all!
3. Eliminate distractions
Quality is as important as quantity when you are studying, so you will need to ensure that when you work, you are free of temptation.
Put your phone away when you’re studying, so you’re not tempted to chat with friends on social media or surf the web, don’t study with the television on in the background and ask your housemates not to disturb you when you are working on your coursework.
If you’re finding it hard to concentrate, there are apps and browser extensions that limit the amount of online time you have on certain websites, helping make it easier to work.
4. Take regular breaks
Don’t forget to take regular breaks when you are studying. Frequent breaks can help you focus and be more productive, as well as reduce stress levels. Take time to get a glass of water, make a cup of tea, stretch your legs or even do some chores!
The Pomodoro technique is an excellent time management method where you work for twenty five minutes and then take a five minute break. Once you have done this four times, take a longer 30 minute break and start the process again. Try it and see if it works for you!
5. Keep healthy
If you are spending a lot of time studying, it can be tempting to eat junk food and slump in front of the television when you are done, but keeping your brain and body healthy will help you learn harder!
Take regular breaks away from your computer screen, eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep to keep refreshed.
A study by the University of East London and the University of Westminster found that drinking water can boost your attention span by up to 25%, which is perfect if you are working on a big assignment or revising for a test!
Remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, so if you are feeling low, talking to someone about how you are feeling will help.
6. Set up a dedicated space to study
When you need to dedicate several hours to your studies a week, you want to do it in a comfortable and peaceful environment.
Set up a study space in your home that you can store all of your course materials and is free from distractions. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and sturdy table to work on, as well as a reliable internet connection.
Decorating your space with study plans, inspirational quotes and photos of family and friends will encourage you to keep motivated too!
7. Treat yourself
Studying can be challenging, so be sure to give yourself a little reward when you complete an assignment, read your course materials or get good feedback from your tutor. This can be anything from treating yourself to a cake from the local bakery, enjoying a relaxing bubble bath or watching your favourite show on Netflix.
If you are finding studying hard, little treats as you go can also help. Listen to your favourite album while you work, or make yourself your favourite coffee or snack while you work on your assignments. The more fun studying is, the more likely you are to keep it up!
8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
With an online course, you may not be able to speak to your tutors face-to-face, but remember that they are still there to help.
If you have any questions about your course or are worried about anything, don’t hesitate to talk to your course tutor or the support staff – they are there to help. They can provide you with study tips and information about resources as well as queries about any administrative issues you may have.
9. Connect with the other people on your course
As well as your tutors, your course mates will be able to provide you with help and support, as well as be a fantastic source of motivation!
Set up a Facebook Group, WhatsApp Group or Slack Channel with your course mates. You can help answer each other’s questions, be ‘accountability buddies’ for one another, and blow off steam with each other at the end of the week!
And finally… If online studying is getting you down, remember why you started your course in the first place; to get a fantastic qualification that will open the door to a new and exciting career!