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Studying Online: What are Some Tips for Success?

Some people think that students who study online have it easier than those who take classes on campus. They imagine students working in their pajamas while watching their favorite movies or television shows. While you can work wherever you want, you shouldn’t assume that online degrees are easier. Many people find that the classes are actually harder because they don’t have professors constantly reminding them of due dates and telling them what they need to do every day. Using a few simple tips can put you in a better frame of mind and make your classes a little easier too.

Develop a Schedule

Though online classes do come with the advantage of letting you work whenever or wherever you want, it’s important that you develop a schedule and stick to it. Check the syllabus carefully of each class you take to find out when assignments are due and what you need to do every week. Many courses require that you complete an essay question or post to a shared message board every week and that you respond to postings from other students. Writing down everything you need to do each week can help you stay on top of assignments.

Create an Effective Workspace

Have you ever sat down to do something online and found yourself so distracted by the show on television that you forgot what you planned to do? When you take classes online, you must focus on your courses and assignments. If your professor gives you 20 minutes to complete a quiz, you can’t get distracted by things going on around you. An effective workstation for you might be a desk in your guest room where you can work on your schoolwork with the door closed. Others may prefer working in the kitchen, the living room or creating a dedicated place for working.

Don’t Do Everything at Once

When you study online, you might make the mistake of trying to do everything at once. Instead of spending six hours or more completing all your assignments before the due date, space out your work. Some students find it helpful to spend 30 to 60 minutes working on one course, taking a short break and then spending an hour working on another class. No matter how much time you spend on your studies every week, make sure you take a short break to avoid burning out.

Make Studying a Part of Your Day

Kelsey Sheehy of U.S. News and World Report recommends that students make studying a part of their daily lives. Even if you do your work on your laptop or desktop computer, it takes only a few minutes to check in on your classes with your tablet or smartphone. This helps you keep informed of any changes in your courses too. You never know when your professor might give students an extension on a paper or add an extra discussion question to the message board. Checking in also serves as a reminder of what tasks and assignments you still need to do.

Colleges and universities now let students study everything from history and literature to math and science online. You can earn your degree without ever once visiting the campus. If you want to study online, you can rely on a few tips to make your life easier.