Online Learning

5 Internet Savvy Study Tips for Online Learners

1. Use your local library- online!: While a local library can obviously be a great resource when going to school off-campus, most libraries have amazing databases and catalogues online. By using your library card on a library's website, you can view an archive of periodicals and references, completely for free and without leaving your desk, not to mention that the search functions are much easier to use than the dewey decimal system.

2. Good Docs: One of the perks of learning online is that you have access to your class materials wherever you go. This is the premise of Google Docs. On any computer, you can sign-in to your Google account, and access any documents you save there: course materials, your syllabus, or an essay you are writing. Additionally, you can "share" documents with other people and edit them collectively. This would allow you and other classmates to collaborate on a study guide or compare notes.

3. Look at the source: While the internet offers a wealth of information on any topic you can think of, its very democratic nature means that everyone has an open forum to say what they want. Therefore, when gathering information to study, use in an essay, or to help you understand a concept, make sure you are wary of who you are getting the information from. Make sure the site isn't sponsored by a company or group that might have an agenda, and be sure that it uses citations to back up its assertions.

4. Online flash cards: Haven't made them since high school spanish? Well you should. Flash cards are one of the most basic ways to train your memory, especially since they involve speaking out loud instead of just reading. You can find websites that allow you to make flash cards online, eliminating the need to buy index cards or cut paper, as well as saving you time and energy writing everything out. You can print them out, or use them online and save paper!

5. Chatting with classmates: By using functions like AIM, MSN Messenger, chat forums, and even email, you can be in connection with classmates just as easily as with a traditional class. Not only can you ask each other questions or study tips, you can send documents to one another as attachments. Plus, these means of communication are free. It should also be noted that it's fairly easy to copy other people's work online, so you should keep in mind that today's professors will put your work through plagiarism checkers!

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