Online courses can offer college students many benefits: convenience, flexibility, and overall opportunity. For some students, however, online coursework may not be an ideal learning style for the lack of in-person instruction, collaboration, and forced time management. Here are some tips to manage online coursework.
#1. Prepare your study space.
If you’re studying or taking classes at home, you definitely want to have a designated work space (even if that’s just a corner of your room). Make sure you’ve got a flat surface to work off of and that it’s in a space that is as quiet as possible. Classes might be online with limited interpersonal contact, but you don’t have to feel quarantined or bunkered down. Recreate a study environment that’s right for you.
#2. Get the tools you need to succeed.
You might need some gear to guard against the distractions at home and ensure you are successful, such as blue light glasses or noise-cancelling headphones. Also, many majors require expensive software programs, such as for computer science, video editing, etc. If you need cash quickly to cover the cost of new tech, download the Boro app and you can get cash in your bank account in as little as two business days.
#3. Time management is key - including study breaks.
Procrastination is the enemy of online coursework. Online classes allow students a lot of freedom, but some students dislike the lack of structure and timelines. Combat the temptation to procrastinate by creating your own written schedule and then hold yourself accountable. Reward yourself for “attending class” with study breaks. Check out this TEDTalk for a laugh and some inspiration about procrastination.
#4. Limit social media use.
Social media can be one of the most significant distractions during online coursework. It’s just too easy to scroll through Twitter during a video lecture. Monitor your screentime or download an app that blocks social media for a set period of time (try the SelfControl app). Your study space, tools, planned schedule (and not to mention tuition) will all go to waste if you are reading texts instead of textbooks!
#5. Stay in touch with classmates and professors.
Staying connected with classmates and professors can increase your learning efficiency and motivation. For example, set due dates with a study buddy and hold each other accountable. Reach out to teaching assistants or professors with any concerns about your coursework. Though it might not be face-to-face, there is certainly a network available to better your learning experience.