The following is a guest post by Stacey Wonder, freelance blogger and content specialist. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
Your parents and grandparents probably never imagined how the education process would change in 20-30 years. Now, you can choose what, how, and where you want to learn without being bothered by location, time, or sometimes even money.
If you are eager to get knowledge without leaving your room, online education is what you need. It allows students all over the world have access to the classes and professional teachers’ assistance.
However, remote studying has its pitfalls, such as the lack of motivation, concentration, or organizational skills. What can you do to make online learning effective? Keep reading to know about the five tactics that every online learner should try.
1. Communicate with Other Students
Entering the common chat for all the students in your online course is a great way to avoid falling behind while socializing even if you are far away. You can simply chat just like with regular classmates, discuss assignments, or help each other with studying.
Such communication will not only help you find new friends and make your studying more interesting; it will also allow you to retain information when looking through the discussions between your peers.
2. Learn How to Take Notes Effectively
Notes are an essential part of studying. Unfortunately, most students don’t pay attention to the note-taking method that they use, which might have a significant influence on their effectiveness.
For example, there are effective note-taking methods that are proven to be effective in any format of learning – online or at the traditional learning institution. Here are a few of them:
- The Cornell Method. The uniqueness of this method is in its page layout – the division into a few sections, for example, title, keywords, questions, and summary.
- The Boxing Method. The boxing method is helpful for visual learners (the students who perceive information through visual sources) as it implies breaking the page and the lecture material into logical parts that are written down in the small boxes. This method helps with structuring information and writing it down in a way that makes it easier to later.
- The Charting Method. This method uses charts for writing down the main aspects of different terms, events, or facts. This is the most convenient method of note taking for history classes or in cases when you need to compare something according to specific characteristics.
- The Outline Method. If you need to take a lot of notes on broad topics or follow the fast tempo of your lecturer, this is the most convenient method. It is similar to the outlines that you usually write when creating an essay or any other type of school paper. It implies using headings and subheadings with the combination of bullet lists and the key ideas written in the form of a brief outline.
So, the note-taking method that you choose depends on the specifics of the subject and the lecture format, but you never know what will suit you the most until you try more than one of them. Sometimes students might combine these methods to increase their effectiveness.
3. Don’t Take Long Breaks
Online learners often have an opportunity to schedule their studies as they want and dedicate time to online studies according to their busy schedule. While this is one of the core advantages of online learning, it often results in long breaks between lessons and study sessions, which isn’t good for proper studying.
If you take many long breaks between your sessions, you increase your chances of spending your time and money in vain as such studying won’t provide you with enough knowledge.
Our memory is a complicated system which demands some repetition from time to time. If you you don’t re-read your notes or textbook, you will probably forget almost everything due to the volume of other information that you perceive every day that replaces information that your brain considers irrelevant. This phenomenon can be proved by the Forgetting Curve of Hermann Ebbinghaus and the experiment with spaced repetitions.
4. Manage Your Time with Planners
Many students suffer from lack of motivation and self-discipline which we usually tend to describe as “the lack of time.” Let’s face it, procrastination takes big chunks of our time and decreases our productivity, especially when it comes to activities that might seem less compelling or relevant.
However, online learning can and should be scheduled just like regular classes in school. Why? Because it helps students to organize their time and get prepared for new study sessions. When your brain is used to the schedule of your classes that you regularly have, you
can see that it’s much easier for you to concentrate and focus on studying.
So, is there any option of how one can ease studying schedules for self-organization? Modern technology will provide you with the answer as mobile apps for daily planning are great for every student:
All these apps are highly effective when it comes to planning your studying sessions, tracking your studying accomplishments and writing down your homework tasks. Online learners will experience the benefits of these apps even more than regular students as they face the need to motivate themselves more and keep up with the course program without any help.
5. Stay Motivated
Motivation is one of the most important parts of self-development. If you lack the motivation to continue your online learning, try some of the following tips:
- Establish short-term goals. For example, pass the test, finish a book, complete an assignment, etc. Make a plan and track your progress. This way your growth will be more noticeable to you.
- Don’t forget why you do it. You took this online course for a reason, but with time you might forget about it. You can write down your main goal on a paper and put it in a place where you can always keep an eye on it. Or, you can even create a collage or a vision board.
- Develop a positive mindset. Sometimes studying may be challenging and overwhelming to the point when it makes you want to quit your courses. Remind yourself that every task that the teacher gives is manageable.
- Organize your workplace. Having a clean and organized workplace definitely helps with your motivation and inspiration. Try to make the most comfortable surrounding and avoid distractions to improve your productivity and feel happier.
Every studying program is manageable when you are motivated. Even if you fell behind because of procrastination, you can ask your teacher for an individual class, or hire a tutor to help you with certain tasks. So, never give up and keep a positive approach.
Online classes are great for everyone who wants to learn something new. Using different note-taking methods and having a consistent, serious approach will help every online learner to achieve the best results.
If you want to improve your online learning process, be sure to follow the simple pieces of advice listed in this article. Also, don’t forget to stay motivated – sometimes you need to remind yourself that the reason why you learn is to have more opportunities in the future.
Author’s Bio: Stacey Wonder is a freelance blogger and content specialist. She usually writes on educational topics, motivation, productivity, and self-development. When not busy with her projects, she creates short detective or fantasy stories.
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.