5 x top tips to get the most out of your online study
Online study is an amazing option for getting an education without being limited by geography or a rigid schedule. Increasing numbers of adults are choosing to pursue online certifications and qualifications. However, while we’ve all been students before and experienced classroom learning, many people don’t realise that online study is a slightly different experience requiring a slightly different mindset.
We’ve compiled 5 top tips to help prepare you for your new study experience.
01. Check your IT
It’s essential that you understand the technical requirements needed to access your content and complete your course. If your IT situation doesn’t allow you to access the course materials or make the best use of all of the online tools, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Have you checked that your IT is up to scratch? We understand that not everyone is IT savvy so if you’re not sure, please don’t hesitate to ask for help.
02. Set realistic expectations
Have you figured out how you’re going to fit study into your weekly schedule? If not, best to do it as soon as possible.
Firstly, work out how many hours per week of study is required to maintain a steady work flow. Those hours will have to be accounted for within your schedule, meaning that something will have to shift to make way for that. What are you willing to let go of while you’re striving for your goal? TV? Social media time? Morning sleep-ins?
And don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can get your coursework done in less than the estimated amount of time. Everyone works at a different pace and you might need a little more time than the suggested weekly commitment. Again, if you’re not sure, ask. You’ll thank yourself later if you’re realistic now about what you’ll be able to manage.
03. Understanding how it all works
Understanding how the whole process works from the get-go will help you dive seamlessly into online study. Most of this preparatory information should have been covered in Orientation but let’s go over the main points of contact again:
- Do you know how to contact your learning facilitators?
- Do you know how to access your online materials?
- Do you know how to submit coursework?
- Do you know how to access group discussions?
TOP TIP – make sure that you read every college notification that comes into your inbox. There may be something really important that you need to know, like a change to the submission date of an assessment.
04. Find your study space
The world is your classroom when you’re studying online, but some places are more conducive to study than others. Before your course begins you should have an idea of where you work best. Find somewhere that is free from distractions. For example: If you know that you can’t concentrate when you’re around people, commit to studying on your own.
When thinking of your perfect work space take into account:
- lighting – best to have a bit of natural lighting as opposed to all artificial lighting
- comfortable seating – check the ergonomics of the situation
- temperature – are you warm/cool enough?
- air flow – make sure your space is not too stuffy
- personality – give your space some personality eg create a visual of your long term goals and stick it on a wall to remind you of why you’re there
05. Connect with other students
Your online learning platform will provide you with chat rooms, social media groups or forums to connect with other students in your group. This can do more than help you make friends – you can form study groups, ask each other questions about the coursework and work together on assignments. Additionally, connecting with other students going through the same struggles of balancing online study with day-to-day life can help you to stay on track. They may introduce you to new ideas of how to manage your time or provide support and commiserate with you about your struggles.
And finally, as we’ve stated many times already, shout out if you need something. No question is ever stupid. And remember, the team at College of Event Management are on your side and want you to succeed!