With many of our University partners moving courses and study online, we wanted to provide some support and advice to these situations that are new and challenging for all of us. We have put together some top tips on how to prepare with and ace online studying, which at times can be more convenient but sometimes concentrating and staying focused can be tricky.
Hopefully these tips for online learning will help you to keep focused and power through your course….
1. Create the perfect study space
The key to staying focused is having a comfortable place to work. Keep your desk space tidy and think about the following:
- Light: A dark space can become claustrophobic, lead to eye strain and fatigue. Take a look at the lighting around your desk, perhaps you need to invest in a new lamp or ensure you have your curtains or blinds open!
- Ambience: Experiment with different environments to figure out how you work best, try listening to music or having the TV on in the background, or complete silence and decide which is best for you.
2. Make a study plan
You will more than likely be sent a timetable from your university with timings of your online classes. Once you have this you should set a study plan incorporating your online classes with time you need to do your work. Sticking to a routine can help to keep you focuses, which is going to be very important for your time spent studying online.
3. Take a Break
Make sure you take breaks in the morning and afternoon as well as a proper lunch break away from your desk. Being tied to your desk constantly could lead to burn out, and you’ll be less productive.
It’s easy to get distracted when your taking part in online learning, so you need to limit anything that could take your mind away from your studies.
Let your friends and family know you are working, ask them not to bother you while you study so you can focus on your work. Turn your phone to ‘Do not disturb’ or switch it off. Close all internet browser tabs except the one you are using for studying. Once you get distracted, focusing again can become increasingly difficult.
5. Limit Social Media
It might be fun getting lost in the world of Facebook or Instagram but when it comes to online studying it can be a HUGE distraction. Log out of all your social media accounts during study hours. Be strict with your self and don’t log back in until you have finished studying for the day.
6. Use Online Resources
There is a huge wealth of resources on the internet that you can access from the comfort of your room to assist your online learning. You can find tools to help in a variety of areas, from time management to producing revision materials.
7. Take notes
Just like when you are in the classroom setting, taking notes will make it easier to remember the important pieces of information you will need to retain. During online classes, it won’t be enough to just sit back and listen. You must treat the online classes the same as you would if you were in the classroom.
8. Connect with others
Staying connected is still important when you are studying online. Use online portals and discussion boards to talk to fellow students on the same course. Chat to each other about tips, exchange of resources, proof-reading etc. Talking to other students will open your mind and help to keep you motivated.
You could set up a Facebook group for you and your classmates, so you can share your experiences and any issues you are coming across. If you’re not able to socialise properly, be sure to use video call features to get some face to face socialisation.
9. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to contact your tutors to ask them questions if you are struggling with a topic. Just because you are not in a classroom setting, doesn’t mean your tutor won’t be available to help you. This is an unusual situation for them too, but together you can make studying online easier.
You might be able to ask questions during online class times. But make sure you have at least their email in case you need help outside of these times.
10. Keep healthy
Having a healthy diet is a good start to keeping your mind healthy for studying, and this is just as important when you’re studying online. So stock up on healthy food to keep your brain happy.
There are also plenty of food that are known for boosting your brain power. For example raspberries, bananas, kale, spinach, fish (full off omega-3) and dark chocolate all contain antioxidants and other compounds which protect your brain healthy and may even stimulate the production of new brain cells.
Before you sit down to study make sure you have everything you need so you don’t need to keep getting up and down. E.g. a cup of tea and a biscuit, a snack and a glass of water.
And it’s not just snacks you need to think about here, make sure you have everything you need to study within reach. Keep your study area topped up with notebooks, pens, post it notes and everything else you need to help you study at home.
Finally, don’t forget – taking scheduled breaks is important – chat with your friends and family, enjoy some food.
Having to study online can be tricky if you’re not used to it. Therefore, it’s important to treat your study time at home just like you would a lecture. We hope our study tips for online learning help you to prepare for your time studying from your room. With a bit of planning and the right attitude you’ll ace online studying!