And just like that (snap!) the world has shifted and many are now scrambling to take their work online, school online, everything online. For those who are new to online learning, here are a few study tips that will help ease the transition.
#1: Set daily goals for studying
Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish in your course each day. Setting a clear goal can help you stay motivated and beat procrastination. The goal should be specific and easy to measure, such as “I’ll watch all the videos in Module 2 and complete the first programming assignment.” And don’t forget to reward yourself when you make progress towards your goal!
#2: Create a dedicated study space
It’s easier to recall information if you’re in the same place where you first learned it, so having a dedicated space at home to take online courses can make your learning more effective. Remove any distractions from the space, and if possible, make it separate from your bed or sofa. A clear distinction between where you study and where you take breaks can help you focus.
#3: Schedule time to study on your calendar
Open your calendar and choose a predictable, reliable time that you can dedicate to watching lectures and completing assignments. This helps ensure that your courses won’t become the last thing on your to-do list.
#4: Keep yourself accountable
Tell your friends about the courses you’re taking, post achievements to your social media accounts, or blog about your homework assignments. Having a community and support network of friends and family to cheer you on makes a difference.
#5: Actively take notes
Taking notes can promote active thinking, boost comprehension, and extend your attention span. It’s a good strategy to internalize knowledge whether you’re learning online or in the classroom. So, grab a notebook or find a digital app that works best for you and start synthesizing key points.
#6: Join the discussion
Course discussion forums are a great place to ask questions about assignments, discuss topics, share resources, and make friends. Learners who participate in the discussion forums are more likely to complete a course. So make a post today!
#7: Do one thing at a time
Multitasking is less productive than focusing on a single task at a time. Researchers from Stanford University found that “People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time” (Adam, 2009). Stay focused on one thing at a time. You’ll absorb more information and complete assignments with greater productivity and ease than if you were trying to do many things at once.
#8: Take breaks
Resting your brain after learning is critical to high performance. If you find yourself working on a challenging problem without much progress for an hour, take a break. Walking outside, taking a shower, or talking with a friend can re-energize you and even give you new ideas on how to tackle that project.
Adam, G. (2009). Media multitaskers pay mental price. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html