Online education can be a tremendously valuable and convenient way to achieve your educational goals. But the nature of online learning requires that you motivate yourself to ensure course deadlines are met and the work you’re producing is representative of your full potential.
We asked Robertson College students and graduates of Online College Courses how they managed to achieve online learning success and these were some of their top tips for current and prospective online learners.
1. Avoid Distractions
Because Online College Courses take place outside the classroom, it’s important you’re able to study in a place where you can shut the door and work undisturbed. Be sure to turn off cell phones, emails and chat programs, and recruit family members and friends to help limit interruptions so you’re able to stay on task.
2. Create a Dedicated Study Space That’s Customized to Your Needs
Avoid using the dining room table or other multi-purpose spaces in your home. Instead, find a secluded area that you can designate as your workspace and make your own!
A decorated and clutter-free workspace has been shown to increase productivity, so customize your area with personal pictures, inspirational quotes, and other items that will act as motivation when you need a boost!
When you finish your study session, be sure to tidy the workspace so it isn’t stressful to enter the next time you sit down to learn.
3. Set Aside the Necessary Time to Succeed
As with anything worthwhile, you need to set aside the necessary time to achieve online learning success. We recommend that students enrolled in Robertson College’s Online College Courses invest a minimum of 20 hours per week into their studies.
Try and use this benchmark of 20 hours per week to rearrange your existing commitments so you can ensure your coursework remains a top focus for the duration of your studies.
4. Create a Study Plan and STICK TO IT
Purchase a day planner or make use of your computer’s calendar function to map out your designated study time for the week ahead. If you write your plan down on paper or electronically, you’re more likely to stick to your study commitments.
If you find that you’re not able to stick to the time you’ve allotted for studying each week, revise your study calendar to better accommodate your competing commitments.
Maybe you’ll find that it’s easier to focus first thing in the morning, or after a session at the gym – everyone is different and your online learning should account for YOUR unique requirements.
5. Focus on a Specific Topic or Goal
In order to achieve online learning success break up your 20 hours per week of studying into smaller increments.
This will ensure you’re studying is more manageable and that you’re able to get the most out of each study session. One way to divide your study sessions is by the chapters covered in your courses.
Robertson’s Online Courses include weekly due dates so it’s easy for you to map out what chapters need to be studied prior to each deadline.
6. Ensure your Valuable Study Time is Mentally Engaging
It’s easy to read words on a page without actually retaining any of the important information. Even after you’ve shut out all the distractions around you (social media notifications, email, your roomates dog) you still may find it challenging to recall the content you just went over in the previous page of your coursework.
For this reason, a good strategy is to quiz yourself after each chapter or chunk of information. If you can’t recall important details, go back and reread the content. Making notes is also proven to help with retaining information.
7. Take Notes
As mentioned above, taking notes is a great way to hold onto the information you’re expected to remember from your Online College Courses.
Whether you’re taking your notes on a piece of paper or typing them out on a computer, it’s important to get at the key nuggets of information so that it’s easy to retain the content that matters.
Ensure your notes are organized with bullet points or dashes and equipped with headers and dates so you’re able to quickly locate the content you’d like to review.
8. Make Studying Enjoyable
Studying can be daunting and often times we prioritize other, more enjoyable tasks, before we begin our studying. This is especially true for online learning where we don’t have a physical classroom to show up to or a required time to sit down and focus.
By introducing small pleasantries in to your study routine you will feel more motivated to study, leading to greater success in your online learning.
Search your favourite streaming platform for an instrumental playlist, take a break from each session with a latte or your favourite coffee drink, reward yourself with nice stationary supplies – it’s these small touches that will enhance your study process and make your studying enjoyable.
9. Turn off your Social Media Notifications
Sometimes we pick up our phones or other devices and begin to scroll through our social media accounts without much awareness of what we’re doing.
One tip is to actually delete your most beloved apps from your devices for the duration of your allotted study time. That way, when you pick up your phone or log on to your computer to scroll mindlessly, the apps won’t even be there to distract you.
You may also try allowing for small, 15 minute breaks in your studying to check out your social media platforms without guilt.
10. Eat Healthy and Stay Active
It goes without saying that our minds are at their best when they’ve been nourished with proper diets, outdoor time, and regular exercise.
In addition to budgeting time for studying within your week, you should also try outlining time to visit the gym or a workout class, and make hearty meals for yourself designed to fuel your study sessions. Once again, planning is key so make time at the beginning of your week to purchase food items, and meal prep.
11. Allow Yourself to Take Breaks
Structured and reasonable break times are shown to make studying more impactful and manageable. We’ve learned that Robertson’s Online Courses are broken up into chapter learning, so plan for short 15 minute breaks within each chapter where you can fill the time with something enjoyable like a quick stretch, a walk outside, or perhaps that scroll through Instagram you’ve been itching for.
Whatever the break consists of, ensure it is planned and allows you enough time to reset before a productive study session.
12. Create a Study Team
Online learning is more independent than other types of learning environments. For this reason, you should try and connect in-person with members from your Online College Courses.
Even if it’s just a bi-weekly event, connecting with 2-3 class members over a coffee will allow you to share ideas, determine where class members are in their course work, and ask questions regarding material you find challenging.
Group meet-ups are also a great way to establish connections with people you may come across in your prospective career.
13. Get Ahead of Deadlines
If possible, complete coursework before it’s due. This will make it easier to stay on top of your assignments, as well as allow for more time on edits and revisions.
A good benchmark is to plan on finishing your work two days before it’s actually due, this buffer period provides you with time to catch mistakes and make simple tweaks that could end up improving your grade.
14. Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
As mentioned, your Online College Courses. should be a top priority, and as such, it should be exciting when you complete a course milestone. These moments are the perfect opportunity to reward yourself for the challenges you’ve managed to successfully overcome.
Rewards should be customized to your unique requirements and interests; weather it’s a night out with friends, or an afternoon shopping with your partner, rewards should play a role in achieving success in your online courses.
Following the above tips will surely help you succeed in your Online Courses. In addition to these tips, advisors at Robertson are here to help current and prospective students navigate any questions they may have regarding online courses.
There are challenges and benefits to online learning and we’re here to ensure every student is able to succeed in the learning environment of their choosing. Talk to an advisor today about training for a meaningful and rewarding career through our online classrooms.