28th October 2021
Studying online and distance learning, in particular, has certainly become more prevalent in the past 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and whilst it certainly has its advantages there are also hurdles to overcome.
Whether you’re studying whilst on break at University or you’re attending online classes, having a plan in place for online learning will certainly help to ensure that you stay on track.
There are many advantages to online learning, such as being able to set your own schedule, working around home and family life, and even getting the chance to study at schools that you might not otherwise have been able to travel to.
Online learning however can have its challenges, especially if you’re not in the right mindset to get it done. It’s important that you take the time to become accustomed to studying online.
Below we share our top tips for online learning that will help you to study effectively whilst at home.
If you’re studying at home it can be easy to simply roll out of bed, or even grab your laptop whilst you’re still there and begin studying. But it’s important that you still treat your online learning like attending class or your mind won’t be focused. It’s important to go through your normal routine and do things such as getting up, taking a shower, putting on clothes that you’d be happy to wear outside (ie. not your new pyjamas), eating something and showing up on time with a clear mind.
Studying in bed is not conducive to learning, you can’t do it whilst you attend lectures or seminars, so don’t do it at home either.
One of the great benefits of studying online is that you get to set your own schedule that suits you. However, one of our top tips for online learning is to set a routine and do your best to stick to it. Just as you would a class schedule, make sure that you have your week of studying planned in advance. It’ll be easier to stick to this routine once you’ve got it written down.
Try planning your week out each Sunday morning. That way you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to achieve during the week. This schedule isn’t set in stone, but it will give you an indication of when you need to get your mind ready for learning.
It’s important that your online learning isn’t hindered by the fact that you can’t connect to classes or anything else that you might need to help with your studying.
A good internet connection ensures that you don’t have the excuse of blaming a slow download speed on the fact that you’ve achieved nothing in your last hour of study time.
Whilst working from bed or sitting on the couch might seem like the comfiest option, it’s not the best way to keep your mind focused on work.
Designating a specific space to your studying will help you to stay in the right mindset. It’ll have the same effect as walking into a classroom or lecture theatre.
It also means that you’ll be able to relax when you move away from the study area. If you sit on the couch learning all day, and then simply put the laptop away, you won’t get the same enjoyment out of your chillout time, which is one of our crucial tips for online learning.
Carrying on from the tip above, it’s important to have a study space and it’s vital that you keep it tidy and clean at all times. Take a minute or two before you begin studying to declutter and clean the area. This will also stop you from being distracted and letting your mind wander whilst you figure out what those crumbs could possibly be from. Keep it clean and tidy and you’ll feel much more focused on the tasks you have to complete.
Having your schedule and tasks set in place for the week is one of our useful tips for online learning, but it’s also important that you take a look back on the week and hold yourself accountable for anything that you haven’t done. Each week look back on the tasks you’ve set yourself and question why you might not have completed them.
It’s important that you’re organised and proactive with your learning.
The great thing about studying online is that you get to determine how you work best. It might take some trial and error, but you’ll soon get into the groove and find out if you’re more productive in the morning or later on, whether it benefits you getting a workout or some fresh air before you begin studying, etc. You can also determine whether it’s best to work in silence or with some background noise.
There are plenty of distractions that can derail your studies, so one of our tips for online learning is to reduce distractions and ensure you have the ability to focus on the tasks at hand. Find a strategy that works for you, whether that’s ensuring there aren’t any dishes that need doing, laundry that needs putting away or emails that need answering.
Distractions are individual to you, so it’s important that you work out what the biggest ones are and eliminate them.
It might be that you need to put your phone in another room, switch off the television or even use a website blocker that will help you avoid scrolling through your favourite sites when you should really be studying.
When you’ve got a day of studying ahead of you, it’s important that you schedule in breaks. This can make it easier to keep a steady workflow.
A break from studying can help to clear the mind and give you a fresh set of eyes when you return to learning.
Another one of our top tips for online learning is to participate in your classes if it’s possible to do so. Pushing yourself to participate will help you to hold yourself accountable for your learning and encourage you to question and debate the topics at hand.
It can be easy to retreat into yourself when you’re focusing on studying, but when you’re learning online you might find that you don’t speak to another person face-to-face all day long. It’s important for our wellbeing that we get social interaction, so make sure that you talk to people around you when you’re spending hours learning remotely.
Sleep is vital and one of our ultimate takeaway tips for online learning is that you make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Sleep helps to boost your productivity levels and reduces stress too.
Whilst the temptation to have a nap in the day can be strong, it’s important that you stick to a normal sleep schedule to keep your focus in place. Have a set bedtime, avoid caffeine later on in the day, get plenty of fresh air and exercise and ensure that you put your screens away at least an hour before bed. All of these tips should help to keep your bedtime routine as normal as possible.
Finally – reward yourself. There are plenty of tips for online learning, but one of the most important ones is to take the time to celebrate what you’ve achieved and reward yourself regularly. You’ve managed to stay focused and concentrate on your studies whilst at home and this is a great accomplishment.
Small rewards can also act as a great incentive to work towards a goal and help ensure that you achieve it within your set time frame.
Studying remotely certainly takes some time getting used to, but with our tips for online learning you should be able to master the skill and get your routine set perfectly in place allowing you to flourish with your studies.