Are you new to online study? Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to ensure your learning experience is the best it can possibly be? Whatever your reason for visiting this blog, below you will find a number of tips for studying online and get the most out of your education. These online course tips have been compiled to support you in successfully completing your studies – and have fun doing so.
So let’s dive into our top 10 tips for studying online (and successfully too!)
1. Treat your online course just like you would attending a course in-person
It’s vital that you afford your online studies the same importance and commitment as you would attending a college or university course in-person.
Online courses require a different sort of self-discipline (after all, you won’t have a classroom or tutors closeby to keep your focus on-track), so whilst you can choose when and where you undertake your studies… it’s still important that you make this commitment to completing the work to the best of your ability.
The saying ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’ is most definitely true when it comes to completing your online course. You will find your course more engaging and – it goes without saying – educational when you dedicate your full effort and focus to tackling the contents.
2. Identify your learning objectives and goals
Each student enrols on our courses with their own set of learning objectives and goals. Some wish to transition into a new career, some want to dip back into the professional world after having a break from work, and others simply wish to learn more about a topic.
By identifying your own learning objectives and goals, this will help to clarify exactly what you want to get out of your online course. Is it mastering the skills to secure an entry-level position in your chosen industry? Is it to become more knowledgeable or skilled in a specific discipline?
Once you’re clear on exactly what you want to achieve by the completion of your studies, you can then better identify how to reach those goals. It’ll also make it easier to recognise when you’ve accomplished your objectives successfully.
3. Get organised with a study plan
We previously discussed the benefits of establishing a study plan in our blog 4 Time Management Techniques to Support Your Studies (which includes some additional tips for studying online.)
Yet, to reiterate why creating a study plan can support you to successfully complete your online course… a study plan will help you to manage your time (in a way that fits around any other life responsibilities and commitments) and keep you on track to receive your Certificate of Attainment and Certificate of Completion.
Alongside a study plan, you can create a calendar to schedule in your studies, establish to-do lists so you don’t miss any important tasks, set time limits to pace your studies and not feel bombarded or overwhelmed. All of this will help you to keep organised and make your studies much more manageable.
One of the many benefits of online studies is the ability to choose when and how much/how little you study on any given day. A study plan will assist you with ensuring you make consistent progress.
4. Reach out for support whenever you need it
This tip is pretty self-explanatory, but we want to reiterate how important it is to ask for help or request support with your studies.
The Learning Online team and your tutors are here to offer their full guidance. Whether you have a question or are confused about particular course contents, or you need support in a more personal capacity, whatever it is, never feel isolated or like you need to struggle alone when it comes to your studies.
Whilst online learning may be remote, we are still a community. We are here to help you navigate any obstacles during your studies, as our role is to offer you both our professional experience and encouragement, so you can complete your online course with flying colours.
Through asking questions or reaching out for assistance, your learning experience will only be enriched.
5. Take notes and regularly revise to ensure your understanding
Our online courses have all been designed by industry professionals, offering insight into topics in the most accessible and inclusive ways possible. Whether you’re familiar with a topic or completely new to it, this education is designed to suit all abilities.
Yet to successfully complete your online course, you’ll still want to take notes and regularly revise your modules (which is possible with the 24/7 access to your course.) This will help to refresh your memory and familiarise you with any new information or skills.
In fact, studies have shown that repetition can improve learning. This is called ‘the spacing effect’ which “has tremendous potential to improve educational outcomes”. Note, we’re not talking about cramming information within a condensed period of time, but instead regularly engaging with your learning in a steady, consistent way.
6. Find your own ideal learning environment
One of the core reasons that online study is successful for so many individuals is the ability to choose how and where you’re receiving this education. For some, sitting in a crowded college/university classroom is not beneficial to the quality of their learning. For others, they appreciate the social element of attending courses in-person, but struggle to keep up with the pace set by tutors within the session itself.
With your own online course, as we’ve stated before, it’s up to you when and where you choose to study. That’s why it becomes even more important to understand what environments help and hinder your studies.
Do you work best with the background noise and chatter surrounding you? Then perhaps setting yourself up in a cafe – away from any distractions at home – may suit you. Or perhaps it’s the exact opposite and secluding yourself for an hour or two at home will help you to focus, as opposed to being interrupted by closeby conversation.
Identifying your ideal learning environment can help you to keep engaged and motivated, or help to pre-empt any particular distractions to your learning. You can even try different environments, depending on your own mood, and discover what works best for you.
7. Don’t be afraid to set firm boundaries
Following on from our last tip, if completing your online course at home you may encounter the challenge of friends and family unknowingly interrupting your studies.
If this is the case for you, it may be beneficial to establish boundaries and be able to communicate these clearly. For instance, if you have created a study plan and have identified times you plan to tackle your course, you can share this information; let your friends and family know you won’t be available at certain times of the day.
Better yet, put any messaging apps on snooze and close your social media so you’re not tempted to respond to any notifications pinging through.
If you’re able to communicate the importance of being able to concentrate on your online course, chances are your friends and family will respect your request for this space and – in fact – help put their own measures in place to ensure you’re not unnecessarily distracted.
8. Use the resources at your disposal
There’s a wealth of knowledge that you have access to and we don’t only mean your course contents… we mean your tutors too. Your tutor will have curated your course modules to give you an expert insight into this industry, yet they are also there to offer you professional guidance too.
If you’re curious or want to learn more about an element of your studies, use this opportunity to pick their brains. Whilst in tip 4 we recommended asking questions if you’re unclear about any element of your course, in this instance, we mean seizing the opportunity to connect with an industry professional who’ll be happy to chat with you about your interests.
Don’t forget, there’s nothing to stop you from undertaking extra research online. So use the resources which are at your disposal – whether it’s the tutors facilitating your course, or the information which can be easily accessed online.
9. Reward yourself when you meet a deadline or goal
All levels of success should be recognised and celebrated, especially when it comes to any personal achievements during your online course.
By rewarding yourself when you hit a particular deadline or goal, this will help you to keep your engagement and motivation levels consistently high, and it can also be an effective way to break down your studies into manageable chunks. Knowing that you’re working through a series of smaller goals, all of which lead to your overall aim of completing your course, can help you to remain energised throughout your studies, beginning, middle to end.
10. Engage with your community
The last of our tips for studying online (successfully too!) is really about connecting with the community around you. Whether this is through social media, message boards or virtual study groups. Having a network around you, cheering you on as you complete your online course, can be fundamental to successfully tackling your studies.
Just because you’re studying online doesn’t mean you need to feel isolated, and as we indicated for tip #9 it’s important to celebrate your wins. Share your achievements with loved ones. Post about your studies on social media. Share any new skills you’ve mastered.
Connecting with others and discussing your studies can also help keep you accountable, so knowing that your friend will check in with your progress or a family member will want to see a demo of your new skills can be the boost you need to get cracking. Likewise, talking with other students can be an ideal opportunity to bounce ideas or discuss anything you’re finding particularly tricky about your course.
Communicate, engage and connect. You’ll find the success of your studies that much more rewarding when you do.
So there you have it, our top 10 tips for studying online. If you have any questions or comments about these online course study tips, make sure to contact us here.
Otherwise, happy studying! Make sure to share your achievements with us over on our Facebook and Instagram – and if you have any of your own tips for studying online we’d love to hear those too.