Online learning resources can make learning a fun and rewarding adventure. However, there is a danger looming behind all that flexibility: procrastination. You constantly tell yourself there is enough time to study tomorrow, so you don’t manage to achieve the planned results.
If you are looking for ways to boost your productiveness in online learning, this is the article for you. The following 7 methods will help you focus and achieve the goals you are after.
1. Plan your studying schedule
If you are committed to obtaining an online degree, then the learning process cannot be based merely on fun. Online programs can be just as challenging as traditional ones; you’ll have to face and complete various assignments, participate in forums, and pass exams.
Are you aware of the most important thing to do when you’re trying to get more productive? Make a plan! For example, you can spend three days of the week on your assignments and three days in studying. Choose a schedule that works for you and make sure to stick to it.
2. Formalize it
No one will take your online learning adventure seriously if you’re not the one who’s serious about it. Although online degree programs allow a certain range of flexibility, gamification and fun, they still require a formal approach.
Each program has a proper schedule, coursework materials, specific assignments and tests. The main difference is the setting – you access these materials from your home. A relaxed reading session on your couch won’t deliver the desired results. Create an environment that enables you to focus. Arrange your desk with the materials you need, isolate yourself for few hours per day and make a commitment to the plan you’ve created.
3. Get rid of all distractions
When you’re in an actual classroom, you wouldn’t accept a phone call from your friend during the professor’s lecture, would you? Online learning shouldn’t be different. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by social media, phone calls, guests, or anything else when you’re listening to an online lecture, you’re completing an assignment or you are studying for the tests.
You are allowed to take short breaks in between sessions of activity. Use that time to send emails, check social media updates, read the news, have a coffee, or do anything else that makes you happy. Then, you’ll need to get rid of all those distractions and return to studying.
4. Ask a lot of questions
Online instructors want their students to be as engaged as possible in the learning process. Use this opportunity! Connect with your course instructors or online tutors and ask any question you have in mind.
Of course, you need to think about your questions before posting them. Maybe they were already answered? Make sure you maintain a concise style and check the sentences before submitting them. You don’t want to look silly because of improper grammar.
5. Connect with fellow students
Don’t neglect the opportunity to become part of an online community that will help you make progress as a student. You can connect with other students in the same program and learn from each other. Everyone uses different applications, online tools and methods that help them study more productively. When you engage in this community, you will benefit from a collective experience.
Don’t be afraid of team projects; there are great collaboration tools that will make the completion process more fun than you expect.
6. Learn how to conduct a decent research
The fact that you’re an online student doesn’t allow you to base your projects on the first page of Google results. Yes, you can definitely use the Internet when conducting research, but you need to evaluate the reliability of each source before you decide to use it. Wikipedia and other submission-based sites won’t always be the most effective sources, so use them as carefully as possible.
7. Use online learning tools
You cannot be a productive online learner if you don’t implement the right edtech tools into your practice. Try the following ones:
- StudyBlue – an online service that enables you to access quizzes, review sheets, flashcards, study guides, and other materials that will save you a lot of time. You don’t have to create your own flashcards, and you can start learning immediately from the ones you locate at this website.
- FunBrain – a website that helps online students become more productive by gamifying the learning process.
- Quizlet – an online destination where you can find tests, flashcards, and study games that add some fun into the learning process. Students of all ages can find the materials they need at Quizlet.
- Studygs.net – a service that offers resources in writing, reading/research, testing, memorizing, time/project management, and much more. If you want to discover the most effective ways to learn without direct guidance of a professor, this is the right website for you.
Julie Petersen is a private English language tutor and blogger who features the latest career and marketing trends in her articles. At present time she is running her educational blog http://AskPetersen.com/ and working on her first ebook dedicated to online learning.