The average college student dedicates about 3.4 hours to school tasks every weekday. Although the ability to complete course assignments at your convenience is a significant benefit of online programs, students still need to dedicate time and effort to succeed. We understand that you are juggling other priorities along with your coursework. That’s why we’ve put together the following tips for online students.
Become a Time Management Master
How you manage your time is one of the most important strategies you need to master to succeed in your online program. Making — and keeping — a schedule is one way to ensure you are spending enough time studying. Set aside dedicated time in your day to study and try to avoid excuses to do something else. If you can devote time to your coursework every day, you’ll retain the knowledge longer and feel less overwhelmed by the workload. Try using a calendar app like CalenGoo or Pocket Informant to help you keep your schedules organized. They both work with other calendar clients for easy viewing on your phone.
During your actual study time, it’s imperative that you keep focused on the task at hand. Especially as an online student, distraction is just a click away. Check out tools like Study Rails and RescueTime that can show you how you’re spending study times or completely block distractions offered by the Internet. If you have children at home, try to have someone else watch them while you’re working. Keep the television off and turn off your phone.
Keep Materials Organized
Organization is a crucial foundation for efficient and successful studying. It’s very important that you have some kind of method to keep course materials together. With the advent of helpful online tools, there are plenty of options available for students wanting to be organized. Here are a few popular apps that may work for you:
- Evernote is the most popular note-taking app available and among the biggest in any category. This cloud-based tool allows you to access notes from any device, including your computer and phone. You are able to take notes in a word processor type function as well as take photos and audio recordings. You can even create files to keep your notes organized.
- A good student-specific tool is myHomework. The app gives students the chance to schedule all due dates of assignments. It can also remind you of when you need to complete a test or submit a paper.
- For a simple to-do list, check out Any.do. This app will buzz at 9 am, and remind you to plan your day. The hope is that this daily ritual helps you keep up with tasks you may forget or must complete quickly. There is also a web version available for use on your laptop.
Find a Set of Strong Resources
A good set of easy-to-use resources for reference can make your work much easier. Try finding a trusted online encyclopedia to use. You will learn quickly that Wikipedia isn’t very trustworthy, so try World Book or another well-known source. It you’re having trouble, try contacting the Point Park University library, which can recommend reputable sources.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Online courses may be different than the traditional college experience, but the study skills you already have can be put to good use. Try recalling the practical tips you learned in previous educational experiences and apply them for your online courses. Here are a few easy ones to remember:
- Remember what kind of learner you are. Whether you’re an audio or visual learner, use that to your advantage. If you’re an audio learner, read your assignments out loud or to another person. Prefer to learn visually? Write notes to yourself. Keep track of what is working and what isn’t. It may seem simple, but it’s a small change that goes a long way.
- Develop a unique study method that works for you. Create a short hand for easy note-taking. Use your own specific style of bullets and lists. There are plenty of free tools that make flashcards so you can quiz yourself. Reach out to a friend or family member who is willing to study with you. Anticipate the lessons ahead of you. Try to stay ahead in readings and assignments. You may even find that knowing what’s next helps you with what is currently happening.
These are just a few ways to stay on top of your studying. More help is available with our student support staff. This support system will work alongside you every step of the way, serving as a one-stop shop for any needs you have relating to your success. This is just one of the ways Point Park University helps its students succeed.