4 Study Tips Every Online Student Should Try Today
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If you’ve already taken a few online courses, you know by now it’s just a more convenient way to do coursework, but it’s not necessarily easier.
You still have to study and put in the effort.
Whether you’re just starting out as an online student or you’re several courses in, learning how to study effectively is important to your overall success. It’s a part of education, and it takes trial and error to find the techniques that work best for you.
Setting up a specific place for studying is a good idea, especially when creating a consistent study schedule. You want to be comfortable, but not too comfortable. Studying in your bed is not the best place since you might be tempted to take a nap if studying becomes boring.Your study space doesn’t have to be fancy, either. A cleared kitchen table works just as well as a desk and chair in an office.
Why create a dedicated study space:
Helps with organization
Develops good study habits
Bonus study tip: Bored by your surroundings? Change the scenery once a week to a new location like a coffee shop or a favorite park. But always have your dedicated study space ready for a hardcore study session.
2. Develop a Study Plan
Cramming for an exam the night before is guaranteed to raise your stress levels. You probably won't do as well on your exam, either. As soon as you get your course syllabus, map out study days and exam dates on a calendar. You’ll also want to write down when assignments and projects are due, too.
How to develop a perfect study plan:
Set aside study time blocks
Create solid deadlines
Find a study accountability partner
Stay on schedule to avoid stress
Bonus study tip: Create a master calendar of all your activities. This includes leisure activities like working out or hanging with friends. Because school isn't your only priority, it’s important to develop a plan for balancing your life. Set aside blocks of time dedicated to studying a particular subject or course section for the most effective results.
3. Take Scheduled Breaks
Have you ever been in the middle of doing a specific task when you start daydreaming? If you start doing this while you're studying, it might be time to take a break. Scheduled breaks are a necessity to help you refocus. If you’re having a hard time understanding a concept, sometimes a break away will help you come back with fresh eyes and a better understanding.
How to benefit from scheduled breaks:
Set a timer to stop after 50 minutes
Take a 10-15 minute refresher break
Pick a short, fun activity to de-stress
Move your body to get blood flowing
Bonus study tip: Study break ideas may include taking a walk, calling a friend, working out, or even eating a nutritious snack.
4. Stay Organized
Just like you would for an in-person class, organize your classes into separate folders or even one large binder with dividers. By doing this you eliminate mixing up paperwork, assignments, and other printed materials you have for each class. Additionally, use a paper or digital calendar to keep critical dates at the top of your mind.
How to stay organized:
Clear clutter from study area
Buy a planner you love
Set alerts to stay on track
Use tools like Trello to organize projects
Bonus study tip: Get all of your study materials and class paperwork in one spot. If it's scattered throughout your living areas, you'll eventually lose it. Worse yet, you might miss a critical deadline. Additionally, keep items like highlighters, flash cards, and pencils well-stocked.
Use Study Habits That Work Best For You
When you use these tips for online learning success, you’ll study smarter instead of harder. Each tip will take some time to get used to and implement. Over time, you’ll discover the ways you best retain information and study.
When you pay attention to your learning patterns, you can try different approaches to fit your preferred style. That may mean studying early in the morning. It may look like writing out flashcards and quizzing yourself. It might even mean creating a study group with peers who meet in an online forum to discuss subject material.
With practice and frequency, you’ll discover which works best for you as an online student to get the most out of your study sessions.
What are your best study tips? Share with fellow students on our Facebook page!