5 Study Tips for Online College Students

5 Tips For Success in Online Classrooms

  • Make a Calendar
  • Communicate
  • Virtual Study Groups
  • Study Time and Space
  • Seek Help

Study tips for online college students will differ somewhat from study tips for those who are attending classes in person because online classes present some unique challenges. Below are five ways students can increase the likelihood of success in online classrooms.

1. Make a Calendar

Starting out the semester in an organized way is one of the most important online study tips for students. One of the challenges of attending an online course is that students do not get the kind of constant reinforcement about deadlines that they do in brick-and-mortar classrooms. In an asynchronous classroom, it can be more tempting to let things go and then try to catch up at the end of the semester or just before a deadline or even to simply forget about things. Therefore, it is important for students to make a calendar that notes all assignments in whatever way the student is most comfortable, whether it is using pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an app.

2. Communicate

In an online classroom, participating in online discussions may be even more vital to understanding and retaining material than in offline classes because it is one of the few opportunities students get to interact with others. It takes some extra effort to participate, but setting up those lines of communication is vital to a student’s mastery of the coursework. As an article in the Huffington Post points out, what is key is not just answering questions but having a conversation. Establishing those relationships is also important when seeking help from other classmates or the teacher, as discussed below.

3. Virtual Study Groups

One important online study tip is that study groups are not just for brick-and-mortar classrooms. Organizing them for virtual classrooms can be helpful as well. There are platforms specifically designed for these purposes, or something like Google Hangouts could be used. Online study groups can be as structured or as informal as students feel they need to be. However, even for a low-key study group, it is best to identify some objectives at the start.

4. Study Time and Space

Another challenge for online students may be carving out the time and space to study. Campuses provide a natural environment for doing this, but online students might be at home juggling childcare or other family responsibilities or trying to stay on top of school despite a busy work schedule. Despite these responsibilities, it is important to prioritize study time just like any other time, and students should add this time into the calendar they make. Furthermore, if they can get to another space, such as a coffee shop or a library, in order to do that studying, it may help them stay focused.

5. Seek Help

Although there may not be a virtual office that a student can visit, instructors are still generally available over email and might even have virtual office hours. Instructors can help with the material and offer online study tips. In addition, the school may have other online resources to help students. Many schools have an online writing lab where students can get assistance with their papers. There may be options for other types of online tutoring, or students can find these kinds of services on their own.

Online learning can offer excellent opportunities for students who are too far away from a university or have other limitations that prevent them from attending class in person. These study tips for online college students can help them succeed.

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