Online classes used to get a bit of bad rap – but more and more people are finding them to be one of the best ways to get continuing education, an a predictable and more affordable price structure. This is great news for both the online class providers and the students – more people who are attending and paying for online classes means more revenue, which is often funneled right back into the course to develop more innovative ways to teach and provide information. It’s a win-win for both parties, and is a big reason why online classes are all the rage.
But there can be a bit of a disconnect when it comes to actually retaining the information that you’re provided with online classes, and that’s why we’ve come up with some study tips for online classes. You see, unlike in a traditional teaching environment, you and you alone are in charge of not only the pace of instruction, but also how focused and motivated you are to really hunker down and learn. This can be a blessing and a curse – fantastic in the fact that new internet technologies and communication tools make it possible for you to learn anything just about anywhere on the planet, but also a negative in that you’ll be undoubtedly bombarded with distractions you just wouldn’t have otherwise. Hopefully these study tips for online classes give you the edge you need to really succeed.
Setting up a proper learning space
When you go to a traditional college or take classes somewhere, the environment that you’re learning in might be the farthest thing from your mind. You more than likely have no say in how it’s set up, you just report and get down to learning. Online classes on the other hand were designed to be portable – meaning you’ll be able to take them anywhere you can go with a laptop computer. The most important thing for you to do right off the bat is to get yourself a dedicated learning space set up so that you’ll be best equipped to learn.
The first thing you’ll want to do is select a place that’s comfortable. Someone once said that the mind can only learn for as long as the behind can endure – meaning if your body is uncomfortable you won’t be able to focus on your task, which is learning the material. Find a spot with good lighting and somewhere you won’t mind spending a couple of hours in.
Next you’ll need to make sure that you block out all distractions. It’s very, very easy to get off track when you’re environment is throwing things at you left and right – so cut out the TV, turn off the cell phone, and if music throws you off, silence it. It’s also helpful to have a closing door so that people know you’re busy and not to be disturbed.
Take useful notes
Another of the most important study tips for online classes is to take notes. And not just any old notes, but actually useful ones that you’re going to really use and refer back to. This is mission critical, and your particular method of note taking is probably not important, so long as your method is effective and you’ll actually use your notes, any method will do.
There are pros and cons of taking notes by hand or typing them up and storing them on the computer. Some studies have shown that actually writing out the content better engages your brain making it easier to recall important information. The downside here is that if you lose your notes you’re in trouble, it can become a bit of a pain to tote around a bunch of paper, and they aren’t easily searchable. Computer notes on the other hand are easily portable (they live on the same machine as your online classes), can be shared easily for collaboration, and are quickly searchable if you want to find the correct information in a pinch. It’s really up to you, but you may want to even employ a hybrid method – write the original notes out by hand and then use your review time to transfer them to the computer.
Put It All Together
It’s important to remember and use these study tips for online classes. You’ll find that your ability to retain the important information you’re trying to learn will continue to improve. While these study tips for online classes may not seem groundbreaking or hip, they are incredibly effective ways to make sure that you are getting everything out of your online class experience. Online classes can be one of the best ways to quickly learn new information or a skill, and are blossoming in popularity. If you find yourself taking online classes any time soon, tap into these study tips for online classes for the very best results.