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How to Organize Your Study Materials for Online Classes

July 26, 2019

Online classes allow students to study wherever and whenever they are. No matter where you are, you can study and work toward your goals, all while keeping with your routine schedule. Students who choose to study online benefit from learning in an environment that best suits their own needs – whether that’s at home, the library or their favourite coffee shop. If you have decided that studying online is for you – great. It’s an incredible option for students who work better outside the classroom. While it is an attractive and more affordable option than traditional learning in the classroom, online classes do take a lot of dedication and organization. If studying online is of interest to you, continue reading to learn how to best organize your study materials for online classes so you can be successful. 

What to know before taking an online course 

Before we dive into how to organize your online study materials for best success, it’s important to first explain what online courses are and why they may be a great fit for you. In many ways, online courses are very similar to traditional in-the-classroom learning. Online courses are just robust as face-to-face learning The main difference between the two is that students who study online, like mentioned above, can study anywhere, at any time. Since this is the case, students must be self-motivated and be strict with themselves when it comes to staying on top of studying and deadlines. 

The first step to studying online is finding online programs and online courses that interest you. It’s important to know that choosing to study online is not an easier option, it just may be a more convenient one. To successful study online, you’ll need to dedicate time, consistently attend the online program, concentrate, and fully commit to learning online. 

What is the benefit of taking an online certification or an online course? 

Because many accredited colleges are offering distance learning, it has become an incredible option for students. There are many benefits to studying online, including but not limited to, the quality of education, the option to continue working during studies, flexible schedule, and time and cost savings. Learn everything you should know about online programs here (link to previous article “Studying Online: All you should know about Robertson’s online programs”). 

How much do online courses cost? 

Like mentioned above, one of the main benefits of taking online courses are the time and cost savings. The cost of online certifications and online programs will change across the province, but they are typically more affordable than traditional in the classroom education. This is mainly because there are naturally less associated costs with distance learning. For example, students will not have commuting (gas, car insurance, etc) or residence costs when they choose to take online courses. It’s also typical that online course materials, such as textbooks, are available online for students at little to no cost. At Robertson Online, all of the online programs and online certification costs are detailed along the right side of the page. Browse Roberson Online programs here. 

Tips on how to be successful in your online class 

Now that you have a clear understanding of the benefits to taking an online program, it’s time to learn how to be successful in your online course. Studying online, while affordable, takes hard work and dedication. Below are five tips on how to be successful in your online class: 

1. Create a calendar of Important dates 

When you begin your online course, you’ll likely receive an online syllabus with important due dates and other information. Don’t forget about this online document. One way to make sure you don’t miss an important deadline or exam date is to write the dates down in a place you will look every day! 

2. Find a study space 

This may be obvious, but in order to get work done, you have to have somewhere you can go and do the work. A study and work space can look different for everyone, but it’s important to find a space that is free of distractions and an environment in which you feel motivated. This could be an office, a public library, a coffee shop, a kitchen table, or sprawled out on your bed. 

3. Have access to good internet 

Most online courses offer course information and tools 24/7 online. This is great, but only if you have internet access. Having reliable internet access will allow you the opportunity to check in with your online course and help you stay up to date with potential changes. Another tip: always be sure to save and backup all of your work throughout. 

4. Set achievable goals 

In order to be successful in an online course, you must make achievable goals for yourself. At the beginning of your study session, set out exactly what it is you’d like to accomplish. Start small and realistic. As the course goes on, you will become better at determining what is achievable in each study session, in which you will be able to set bigger goals. 

5. Manage your time 

It’s key to manage your time. To be successful, you have to allow yourself enough time to get everything done. Without being in a physical classroom and hearing your peers talk about assignments or readings due, it can be easy to forget and procrastinate. On your calendar, set time slots for when you will study. This will help you stay accountable. 

6. Take notes 

It’s easy to think that you’ll just come back to the lesson, or that you will remember the information, but with all of the information you’ll be taking in, it’s likely you will forget. To make sure that doesn’t happen, take lesson notes. These notes are a crucial part of the studying process. You will need them for studying for exams, writing papers, and for keeping track of assignments. You can write notes electronically or by hand – whatever works best for you. 

How to organize study sessions for online classes? 

When it comes to study sessions, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Here are three ways you can organize your online course study sessions: 

  1. Create a specific study timeline
  2. Set specific time limits
  3. Find your peak energy 

What is the best way to sort online study materials? 

Studying online can be overwhelming. When enrolled in an online course, you may be bombarded with outlines, modules, and other resources. You’ll also be taking consistent notes throughout the course. With all of this information, you have to make sure it’s not just floating around on your desktop where it could be deleted. The best way to organize your study materials is to have an organized filing system. Create one folder for each course, and within each folder have different folders for the syllabus, course notes, outlines, etc. Have one version on the computer you will use for the course, and another version of it saved on a backup drive. 

The information above should help you understand how to organize your study materials for an online course. If you are interested in studying online, Robertson advisors are here to help current and prospective students navigate any questions they may have about studying alone and online courses.

Like discussed above, while it takes a lot of dedication and motivation to be an online student, there are many benefits to learning online and we are here to ensure every single student succeeds no matter what learning environment they choose. Talk to an advisor today about training toward a meaningful and rewarding career through our online classrooms.

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Once you take the first step, one of our Student Admissions Advisors will get in touch to better understand your goals for the future.