9 Online Learning Strategies for Success
While school may look a little different this year there are steps you can take to make the most of online learning.
1. Get Organized
Before classes start, make sure you are able to access the required course materials, including online tools, and course websites. Take the time to practice navigating the online system so you will be prepared.
2. Set Up Your Workspace
Set up a dedicated learning space for studying. When choosing a workspace, try to limit distractions as much as possible, both physically and online.
Some work best listening to music, while others need peace and quiet. Experiment to discover which type of setting boosts your productivity. Whether your workspace is at your kitchen table or in a local coffee shop, just make sure you have a strong internet connection to access your coursework.
3. Figure Out How You Learn Best
Once you have established your workspace, think about how you accomplish your best work. If you are a morning person, make time to study first thing. More of a night owl, set aside an hour or two in the evening to cozy up to your computer.
Not everyone learns the same way, so if you are a visual learner, print out transcripts of the video lectures to review. Do you learn best by listening? Make sure to allow time to play and replay all audio and video course content.
4. Make A Schedule
Without a teacher regularly checking in, it’s important to use your time wisely. Look over the syllabus and make note of any major assignments. Mark them on a calendar you check regularly so you know what is coming in the weeks ahead.
Break up your workload by dedicating certain hours each week to reading, watching lectures, writing assignments, studying, and participating in discussions. Then, set reminders for yourself to complete the tasks. Treat these blocks of time as seriously as you would a face-to-face lesson by showing up, using your designated workspace, and letting others you are unavailable during certain times.
5. Be an Active Participant
Take initiative by reading materials, reaching out to classmates and instructors, and conducting research as needed. Students who take the time to engage with their instructors and classmates also tend to have the most success in their classes.
6. Stay Connected
Just because you are not physically in the same location, does not mean you can’t get to know your fellow classmates. Build relationships with other students by introducing yourself and engaging in online discussions. Make an effort to ask and answer questions to increase your understanding of the course material. Your peers can be a valuable resource when preparing for exams or asking for feedback on assignments. You can also start an online study group.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your instructor to introduce yourself or ask questions, either. They are eager to engage one-on-one with their students, whether online or in person. And, if you do fall behind, speak up. Don’t wait until an assignment is almost due to ask questions or report issues. Email your teacher and be proactive in asking for help.
7. Have an Open Mind
Some online learners feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions virtually than in the classroom. Online learning provides students with the time they need to actively reflect and organize their thoughts before answering a question or making a comment.
8. Ask Questions
The best online learners don’t hesitate to ask questions. They aren’t afraid to request clarification or guidance from other students and instructors. By doing this, they avoid confusion, become more engaged with the content, broaden their knowledge, and deepen relationships with their classmates.
9. Hold Yourself Accountable
Set goals at the beginning of the semester and check in with yourself weekly. In a traditional classroom setting, you’ll often receive verbal or visual reminders of an assignment’s upcoming due date. But without a teacher actively reminding you, it’s up to you to make sure you’ve allowed enough time to complete the work. If you are having trouble holding yourself accountable, pair up with a fellow classmate, or enlist the help of a friend or parent to check in.
By being organized, proactive, and self-aware, you can get the most from your online class even when life outside of school becomes chaotic.
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