Online Learning

Tips on How to Succeed as an Online Student

Studying online may be a great way to embrace independent learning, but there are several things that can trip cyber-students up that may not affect their campus-dwelling compatriots. Here are some tips on how to succeed as an online student.

First of all, don’t get caught up in the snarl of information that is the Internet. Because of the online nature of the course it can be far more tempting to yoink reams of ‘facts’ from the Internet; if this is the choice you want to take, beware. The Net is rife with unverified, disputed and often plain made-up rubbish, ready to sneak up on the unwary user.

Online doesn’t have to mean at home. Many people find studying in their own home to be too distracting – housework, partners, roommates and pets combine with the lure and temptation offered by books, the internet and television to try and coax students away from actually working. If you find yourself falling into this bracket, get up, go find somewhere public (an internet café, for instance) and get cracking away from distractions.

Work out when the best time for you to study falls during the day, and try and work that in to your daily schedule. If you know you don’t study well at night, then make sure you’re asleep and up bright and early to get a few hours in before work. Conversely, if you prefer to work at night, make sure the hours leading up to your optimum study time are relaxed, and that you approach the task with a clear, uncluttered mind.

Following on from this, get plenty of rest. It’s all well and good to stay up burning the midnight oil and studying way past your bedtime, but your brain won’t take in the information as efficiently if it’s tired. The brain finds it easiest to process and retain information if it comes in several short bursts of 45-50 minutes than in one marathon three-hour session.

Studying online is a rewarding experience, but it also requires plenty of self-discipline and dedication on the student’s part. Work it in to your daily routine, try to study at least four times a week, and you’ll soon find that it becomes less of a chore and more of a regular task. Well-planned study and good habits will always produce better results than procrastination and cramming, so make sure that your diary takes into account your workload, study hours and all-important downtime. Rest and play is just as important as poring over textbooks…as long as it’s done proportionately. Remember these tips on how to succeed as an online student!

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