William Woods University offers online programs of all kinds, including an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, a transfer program to finish a degree you may have started, and several Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees. Online education doesn’t have to be hard. While you may already know that it can bring convenience, flexibility, and affordability, we’ve put together ten study tips that have helped online students of every kind.
1. Practice Discipline.
Make your schoolwork a priority and discipline yourself to complete the work you need to complete. The more you work at this, the easier it gets. Don’t neglect areas that will help you as a student, like eating right and getting exercise.
2. Become a scheduling ninja.
Because online learning allows you to make your own schedule, it means you need to set apart time for reading, discussions and completing assignments. Whether or not you ever considered yourself an organized person, it will come to you with practice. Your instructors will create organized syllabi that are easy to follow. You can break them down and organize each task by how long you think they will take. Your calendar will become your best friend and you will get really good at scheduling.
3. Make your goals visible.
Write down your goals and put them up in a place where you can see them often. At the end of the day, or if you’re ever feeling discouraged, they will be up on the wall or on a post-it in the corner of your computer screen, reminding you why you started in the first place.
4. Create a workspace.
It’s important to make yourself a place that your mind can associate with getting in the zone. Whether it’s your local library, home office or kitchen table, conditioning your mind and body to a particular place is really good for your productivity. (Choose anywhere but your bed. Associating your bed with your studies makes the brain associate your bed with a sleepless activity, and sleep becomes much harder!)
5. Communicate your schedule and schoolwork with your family.
Your kids, spouse, or parents may think that because you’re home, you are available for play or cooking or help with a chore. Make sure you communicate with the people in your life that work time is work time. Your school time deserves your attention, and the people who care about you — and are so proud of you! — will understand.
6. Be proactive about avoiding tech problems.
“My email didn’t send” and “the wifi went down” is the new “my dog ate my homework.” While your professors can be understanding of technical difficulties, be proactive about not getting yourself into a predicament like this. Don’t wait until the last minute to upload an assignment or answer a discussion question. Take good care of your computer, save often and always leave yourself enough time for a backup plan in case something crashes.
7. Get to know your classmates.
A lot of your classes will have discussions and places to get to know the other online learners like you. It takes being intentional, but don’t be afraid to reach out to a few of them. E-learning doesn’t mean you can’t make a few study buddies or friends. These are people who made the same decision as you, and you probably have a lot in common with them.
8. Ask questions.
Speak up and use your professors as the resources they are. Never lose sight that they are real people who are passionate experts in their fields, and that they love to help out a student who cares about his or her success.
9. Check in everyday.
Even if you’ve finished all of your work for the week, remember to check in every day for any scheduling changes, updates or notes from your classmates or professors.
10. Get excited!
This is your chance to get ahead, learn something new and do something for yourself. Be proud!