Students spend a great deal of time studying online. They use search engines to find out information. They also collaborate on work together using social networks. Plus, they watch lectures on video or even participate in virtual reality sessions. Even if a student is at a traditional campus-based university, much of their studying will be undertaken online.
So, how can students get the best out of this relatively new way of studying? Much of the “academic skills” advice they get at university is based on the old ways of doing things, such as reading books and making notes on paper. But that’s not how students tend to work these days. Hence, here are seven steps you can take to ensure you are successful with your online studies.
Step One: Make a plan
It’s too easy to get distracted online, be taken off at tangents and not do as much work as you intended. In traditional studying, the plan is done for you by your lecturers. They set the timetable and tell you what to read each week. With online study, you are free to do your own thing. That can lead to trouble unless you are disciplined and have a plan as to how you are going to study.
Step Two: Get to know the technology
When you study online, you will be using a wide variety of software programs and online services. You will waste time later on if you don’t get to grips with them at the outset. There are plenty of free courses and video instructions to show you how to use the programs and services you will need. Take a look at them before you start studying and practice using the technology in advance. You will be in a much better position by doing this, freeing up your time for effective study.
Step Three: Set up your study environment
Whether you are studying at home in your bedroom or have a separate study room, if it isn’t organised for online study, you will not do as well as you would like. You need to ensure that you have good broadband access, that your screen is set up to avoid reflections and that you have a comfortable chair to support you through the long hours you will sit at your computer. But you also need things at hand which would typically…