Thanks to the growing popularity of online study – you can now improve your knowledge and gain qualifications from the comfort of your own home.
Like all good things, however, this too comes at a price. You will probably never meet your lecturer face-to-face. You won’t have the motivational benefits of interacting with other students’ on-campus, and you’ll miss out on the structure created by having to attend scheduled classes. But with a few simple strategies, you can have online study success!
Here’s what to do.
Create a study schedule:
The first step is to treat your course with the same respect you would if you were on campus. That means creating a planner, entering in the due dates of all assessment pieces, adding every family, social and work commitment you can’t avoid, and finally, blocking out regular study periods. Time constraints? Make the most of early mornings before work, or lunch breaks, to get stuck into the material.
Make your expectations realistic, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. There’s nothing like missing deadlines to put you off your study. Before you become dejected, ask yourself if you’ve balanced your work, life, and study properly. The secret to keeping your head in the game is to do something course-related most days, even if it’s just logging in and checking for updates.
Make the most of online forums, social media groups, and other options provided by many courses to contribute, get input from lecturers, and other students, and generally feel connected. If you don’t understand something, tap into your network and ask a question straight away.
Join or create a study group:
You may even discover others in your own area you can set up a face-to-face regular meeting with. Check out the social media pages associated with your course as a starting point to connect with other students. If you can’t meet face-to-face, there’s always online video conferencing calls.
Get a mentor:
Someone who understands the subject matter would be fantastic, but even a mentor who just motivates you, and keeps you accountable to your study schedule is worth considering.
Stay motivated during online study:
Set goals and give yourself rewards for progress. Finished an assignment? How about a night at the movies? Covered three chapters of study material? Now you can watch your favourite TV show. Small goals with small rewards help keep you on track and avoid procrastination.
Top tips for successful online study:
- Set realistic expectations
- Lock in a study schedule
- Set goals and reward achievements
- Stay connected