August 17, 2022 9:21 am

Many students lack the motivation required for the online learning format, which can end up manifesting in an average or poor academic performance. The biggest factor contributing to the reduction of focus and motivation in online learning is the relative absence of structure in comparison to lessons held in traditional classrooms. There are many distractions that can also make students falter in their concentration or fail to attend online classes altogether, such as their beds, family members, pets, and electronic devices. It may also be difficult to keep track of assignments and deadlines due to inconsistent schedules and varying approaches by different professors in an online classroom. This deficiency in focus also limits productivity and personal drive. If you are unable to stay alert all the way through an online class, you can benefit from one on one tutoring afterwards.

Acing distance learning is not impossible with the right tips and tools. Whether you are taking an online course for the first time or are already an experienced distance learner, everyone can benefit from a few tips to help them adapt to online studies and keep their motivation up throughout the semester. Below are five tips on how to study online effectively.

1.  Pay Attention to Your Syllabus and Online Discussions

A syllabus is an important tool in online studies because it outlines the course expectations. Paying attention to the syllabus sounds obvious, but many online students forget about it. Some students only check the course schedule superficially and set it aside. Yet, the syllabus has useful information about your lessons, professor, assignments, grading system, and guide to online resources and course materials. It is impossible to know the course expectations without paying attention to the details outlined in the syllabus. Understanding what and how you will proceed with your studies and the materials you will require to complete each unit will enable you to prepare for online learning in advance. The most important details to look out for in the syllabus include how to contact the professor, how the course fits into the general education program, the objectives of the course, dates for submitting assignments, test schedule, plagiarism policy, grading policy, and books chosen.

Online discussions also assist in understanding the course expectations. Online learning does not have to be a solitary experience. Most online courses have online discussions and group activities where you have the opportunity to interact with other learners. These engagements can help you to get the most out of the course and provide you with a learning network that persists even after the current course.

You must stand out during webinars and other online discussions with your professors or classmates. Use remote tutoring to stay updated on the course and to help you contribute actively to online debates. There are some websites that offer free tutoring to online learners. Engaging in conversations online can have a positive influence on the evaluations done by your professor. Most importantly, online discussions and conversations are a platform to expand your knowledge and understand a problematic topic.

2. Set a Study Schedule

Online courses have a lot of flexibility, especially in terms of deadlines for submitting assignments. Still, effective online learning requires that you don’t use the flexibility to bail out on the set deadlines. Always note the deadlines and try to submit assignments on time, because some professors penalize overdue tasks. Even in cases where there are penalties for submitting after the deadline, being on time communicates that you respect your teachers and shows that you are committed to your education. Completing assignments on time also boosts your confidence about completing your degree.

A study routine is one way of ensuring that you submit your assignments on time. People have different preferences and approaches to learning, and online study allows you to implement the strategy that is most productive for you. Setting regular and dedicated study sessions can help you sustain the mindset needed to learn. Some people prefer to have a few long study sessions, while others favor having them in many short bursts. The number of hours allocated for each study session should be guided by the workload, the subject’s estimated study hours, and work/family commitments. If you need assistance with developing a suitable studying strategy, you can consult remote tutors for help on how to design the most productive learning method.

Breaks are critical to high performance. Study schedules should factor in regular breaks to boost concentration. Breaks can include interacting with a friend, walking, or taking a shower. For instance, talking with friends while on a break can bring fresh ideas and re-energize you to tackle a challenging assignment. Still, make sure to set limits on the number of breaks to take during a study session, otherwise, it could turn into a Netflix binge-watching session. If possible, you should avoid screens during breaks. The most productive breaks are taken away from the study area.

3. Use Tutoring

Let’s face it, online learning can be challenging, especially when you have exams and tough deadlines. Between all the tests and homework, it’s easy to fall behind or have no time to focus on the subjects you like. If you are wondering how to maximize your marks, you may want to consider tutoring. Many online learners see tutoring as a last resort, but in reality, it is very helpful to students at any stage of their studying process.

Getting tutoring outside your online class can help you improve your time management, make online learning easier, and improve your confidence. Students can choose tutoring in person or online tutoring. Tutors allow you to choose a convenient learning environment that suits your needs. Most students taking online courses prefer virtual tutoring because tutoring websites are readily available, the students already have consistent internet access, and the online service offers convenience and flexibility. Virtual tutoring services also offer you an opportunity to analyze the many tutors available online and choose the one with the best experience.  

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when struggling to learn and understand a topic. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness; rather, it indicates your courage to accept your limitations and willingness to learn. Online tutors offer homework and assessment help programs in which students can ask questions about homework and seek support with writing speeches or essays. Online tutoring websites will often offer online writing services to help you with difficult tasks and maximize the marks on your schoolwork. An academic expert is a useful resource when you want help with finishing or revising your paper before the deadline.

4. Stay Organized and Track Your Progress

Organization skills are key in online learning. Online courses can be difficult because there is not a lot of routine or structure like there would be in a physical class situation. It is up to the student to develop a structure and start being organized. A calendar is very useful in organizing your learning. Every student should have all the important course dates and deadlines marked on their calendar. Equally, maintaining a to-do list is a great way to help students become efficient and stay on top of their tasks.

Effective online studying requires that you organize different aspects of learning as if you had to teach the information you are studying. Make sure to create outlines, charts, study guides, concept maps, flashcards, and chapter maps to organize your courses. Creating practice exams is easy when you have your study materials well-organized.

You should have a dedicated space for your online writing class and studies. Ensure that all the organizational tools in the study area are arranged well. The space should be kept tidy to avoid distractions. Make sure to take about fifteen minutes to tidy up your workspace before starting your online class or private study session.

It is normal for the transition to online learning to be a bit frustrating for students. There is a lot of personal organization and structure required to maintain an effective online learning experience. If you have difficulties organizing your education and keeping up with important course dates, you can visit online tutoring websites for help on how to overcome your struggles. Always seek clarity or help when needed. Participating in online student discussions will also enlighten you on how other students are managing to plan their studies.

5. Block Out Distractions and Avoid Procrastination

Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers in online study, and our homes are full of them. Common distractions include social media, family, games, video streaming, and many more. Overcoming distraction is easier said than done, but there are tips that can help you. Firstly, don’t bring your phone to the study area. Your phone should be out of arm’s reach or in another room. Secondly, use web blockers, such as Cold Turkey, Freedom, and Focus ME to minimize internet distractions. Always inform the people in the house that you are studying so that they give you privacy. Lastly, don’t start your study sessions on an empty stomach.

Distractions fuel procrastination. Many online students put off work for later, leading to their failure to give their best. The tendency is commonly seen in skipping classes or failing to complete assignments. When working on an assignment from an online class, students can be struck by the thought of checking their notifications on social media. After that, they can wander off from the task and fail to complete it. Working on assignments in small groups is a great way to overcome procrastination. Next, begin your research early and note down the main ideas so that you know where to start. Always schedule the day before the deadline for proofreading and reviewing your work.

Tracking your progress is a great way to eliminate procrastination. Tracking involves evaluating tasks on your to-do list versus what you have achieved. Make sure that the daily tasks are achievable and you have time to relax. Keep the progress list close to you to remember all the things you should be working on. If you fail to achieve your study goals, do not beat yourself up, because online tutoring services can support you in accomplishing those milestones.

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