There are many benefits of online learning. Not only can you study at a time that suits you, at a pace that suits you, and in a place that suits you, but it is often a vastly more economical option, and you will likely make connections with fellow students outside of your area.
With these benefits though, come challenges. Below I’ve outlined the three common challenges that remote students face and ways to overcome them.
Online learning programs have a wealth of support available, but motivation is required to continue chipping away at your coursework. Here are some strategies to help you stay on track!
Stay connected - and not just when things are difficult! If you take time to connect with students and your faculty via discussion boards, sharing viewpoints and asking questions, your course will be much more interesting. You’ll also be more motivated to ask for help if you get stuck.
Reward your successes when you achieve a study goal. Whether it’s completing an assignment, online module, or simply sticking to your study schedule perfectly, do remember to be proud of your successes and allow yourself a special treat as a reward!
Remember your purpose for studying in the first place. Are you upskilling? Learning a language? Keeping your mind active? Remind yourself why you began studying and create an inspiring study space based around this to keep you motivated.
Balancing online education with your already busy schedule can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you carve out the time needed to reach your study goals:
Pencil in study time in your diary. This sounds obvious, but by dedicating a set time for your coursework and committing to it, you’ll be much less likely to allow other tasks to take precedence. Focusing on your study and not attempting to multitask will make your study sessions more effective and engaging.
Plan your sessions by taking stock of what needs to be done before diving in. Know and list the tasks that need to be completed daily and weekly, and break down larger items (assignments, for example) into smaller, more manageable tasks. By studying with purpose, time spent studying will be much more rewarding.
Limit distractions, if you have a tendency to become sidetracked by texts, social media or email. Consider tools to avoid these time-wasters when you need to focus on school - it’s possible to pause notifications on phone applications and email, and you can mute text notifications on your phone. Letting friends and family know your study routine will also help!
As an online student, you can access classes wherever you can connect your device, but a strong internet connection will be required. It can be frustrating to have poor connection to resources you need.
Reliable internet connection is the key to success for any tasks completed remotely. It’s also a good idea to have a list of reliable Wi-Fi connected places you can visit nearby, such as a public library or cafe.
Devices used don’t need to be state of the art, but it’s a good idea to ensure that they’re compatible with the programs you’ll be using. For example, be aware that some programs may not work as well on a tablet device as a laptop- ensure you have the correct device for the task.