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What are the best study techniques for online classes?

I am attending online classes and this is my first time in college and I'm more of a hands on learner.
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5 answers

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Rachel’s Answer

You've come to the right place! Online classes are very convenient and I took a lot of them during my undergrad career. Here is how to be successful in them:

  1. Stay on track - do assignments early, finish things a head of time, and be aware of all of your deadlines
  2. do all the the assignments and read all of the coursework required- do not cut corners
  3. use Google calendar to keep track of deadlines
  4. communicate with your professor early if something comes up
  5. do not be afraid to ask for an extension if you need one
  6. study, and study a lot! you don't have regular class sessions so you will need to put in more work at home.
  7. Do your best and genuinely try hard to give it your all.

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Nicole!

We've all experienced classroom study in school, but online learning is something completely different. Here are six practical tips to show you how to study online and achieve online study success.

1. Motivation is key

Online learning suits self-starters and people who really want to learn, but it can be a challenge too because the motivation and discipline all has to come from you.

The great thing about this is that the commitment and self-motivation required to make the grade in online learning is extremely attractive to employers. Remember that by attaining an online qualification, you've already demonstrated the drive to work independently and efficiently. This alone gives you a great advantage over other applicants.

2. Set realistic study goals

Different online courses have different workloads. Make sure you know how much time is required so you can balance study with other commitments. For example, if you work full-time and have a family or an active social life, don't trick yourself into thinking you can manage 25 hours of study each week.

Unsure about the time you can devote? Consider signing up for just one unit at a time when you first start your course. See how you go about fitting it into your life – you can increase your workload as you grow more confident in your time management abilities.

3. Make online study part your daily routine

Set aside time for online learning just as you would for attending classes. Give yourself ample time to sit down and read through your materials, so you understand everything clearly.

Identify the time of day you will devote to studying. Ask yourself: are you a morning person or a night owl? Then schedule in your study at a time when you’re performing at your peak.

Don’t forget to factor in time for healthy snacks and breaks – they help keep you awake and focused. Once you refine your study skills, online learning can be made a lot more effective with the application of these techniques.

4. Understand how online study works

Before you start your course, find out more about how to study online, including:

Submitting coursework
Accessing discussion groups
Contacting instructors
Accessing library facilities
Changing enrolment details.
Getting all this down pat before you start will help you feel in control and ready to focus on your course.

Make sure you understand in advance how your course will be assessed. Are exams held at particular times? Do you have to enrol for them? Are there any 'contact hours' at all? Are there times when participants need to be online at the same time?

5. Get help from people in your study network

Make the most of the support you can get through your online course provider. Lecturers and tutors can guide you through coursework, while support staff can assist with study tips, professional contacts and administrative issues.

Students can also help each other via online chat rooms, forums and social media groups.

As an online learner, your tutors understand you have other commitments. If things get on top of you, let them know. You might be able to negotiate an extension.

6. Reward yourself for success

Online study requires discipline. So reward yourself every time you achieve a study goal – this will motivate you to keep going and complete your course. It can be as simple as enjoying a piece of cake for getting through the week's readings, or treating yourself to a massage for getting an assignment in. It's important to reflect on what you’ve learnt and be proud of yourself.

Discover what employers really think about online study, and the real facts about online courses.


Good studies!
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Rachel’s Answer

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Here is how to be successful in them:</span>

  1. <span style="background-color: transparent;">Stay on track - do assignments early, finish things a head of time, and be aware of all of your deadlines</span>
  2. <span style="background-color: transparent;">do all the the assignments and read all of the coursework required- do not cut corners</span>
  3. <span style="background-color: transparent;">use Google calendar to keep track of deadlines</span>
  4. <span style="background-color: transparent;">communicate with your professor early if something comes up</span>
  5. <span style="background-color: transparent;">do not be afraid to ask for an extension if you need one</span>
  6. <span style="background-color: transparent;">study, and study a lot! you don't have regular class sessions so you will need to put in more work at home.</span>
  7. <span style="background-color: transparent;">Do your best and genuinely try hard to give it your all.</span>

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Jennifer’s Answer

I really agree with the other answers that have been submitted here. I am also in an online program myself and I think the key is the time management and discipline and also taking one class at a time. I would add...
make friends with your classmates - you can really help each other - talk via skype, etc. It helps to absorb the material. Also, my program has a facebook group that is just for the students - it allows us to connect, ask questions, sometimes vent, etc.

Join a professional organization for you field - this will allow you to get to know people and network outside of your school program and get some F2F time that will compliment nicely.

And don't be afraid to ask for help in your life generally. I had a paper due this weekend and that meant that my husband was asked to take the dog to the vet, clean up the kitchen, and do the shopping. There will be times of craziness when you have projects due where you will have to ask others for help.

All the best of luck to you in your studies...
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Susan E.’s Answer

Studying online takes self-discipline. I gained a Master's Degree for a few years doing it and I tell you it's not easy. Sometimes it's good to have an online/distance class when your schedule does not allow to have a regular class and it can be pretty flexible. So having said that, I would say structure your day as you would a regular class and use your study time wisely. In fact, distance classes are no different from regular classes, only that you don't have a teacher in the classroom. However, you should be able to keep in touch and ask any questions via email or a message board if the teacher offers one.