Successful study in our busy modern world is all about knowing your goals, being organised and using your resources to best advantage.
Signing up to study online is a great way to strengthen your CV and impress prospective bosses. However, everyone is just so flat out these days that it makes sense to tackle your course in a way that streamlines your workload and delivers great results. Here are some tips that will help.
Understand your motivations
Online learning is a perfect platform for self-starters, but it still requires a degree of independence and discipline (traits that are attractive to employers, by the way). Knowing why you are studying will help you push through the tougher moments in your course and flourish.
Is it about career success, personal values and pride, financial rewards, or some other motivating factor? Having this understanding will keep you working towards your objectives.
Set some goals
Make sure you write down a list of study goals and review them regularly. Doing so will give you the confidence that you are coping and keeping up with your course requirements. Short-term goals may include finishing daily or weekly items on a to-do list, or completing one part of an assignment within a set period of time. Longer-term goals can be broken down into more manageable slices to give you a sense that everything is on track.
Get your head around what is required
It is convenient, not easy, to study online. To learn, you must commit to your course and get up to speed on what is expected of you. What technology will you need? Where can you access course material? How do you submit assignments? What is the best way to use the expertise of tutors?
Answering these questions, and others, will alleviate much of the stress that can accompany study.
Make a study schedule
The beauty of online courses is that you can study anywhere, anytime. At the same time, it is important to have a study schedule in place to ensure that you are putting in the necessary time to complete assignments. That doesn’t mean you have to burn the midnight oil – regular, short, sharp and focused study sessions are usually the most effective.
An appropriate schedule will differ from person to person, depending on lifestyle habits and family and work commitments. It is crucial, though, to avoid a scenario whereby study is always the first thing that gets dropped or is just squeezed in at the end of the day.
Manage your stress
Students are renowned for pulling all-nighters and ignoring their health. Such an approach will heighten your stress levels. People take in information better when they are mentally and physically sharp, so get some sleep and make sure you set aside time for your preferred mode of exercise.
Stay in touch with your tutors
Tutors are your best friend. The best online education providers ensure tutors are readily available so they can ease students’ concerns about course content and processes. Ask them questions – they are there to help.
If you don’t seek assistance, you may take the wrong tack with assignments and add to your workload. In many cases, a simple email to a tutor can clear up any confusion.
Studying from home, or even in a café, is one of the great advantages of online study. There can be distractions, though (screaming children, friends dropping by, the footy on TV). So try to set up an area that is relatively quiet and conducive for study. If possible, switch off your phone and email while you study. They will only make you procrastinate.
For details on the great range of courses at Australian Online Courses, please view our course catalogue.