Make the Most Out of Your Distance Learning Degree Program
With a large number of people at home avoiding the spread of the Coronavirus, millions of students working towards a degree have suddenly become part of online distance learning programs. While online classes are nothing new, for many students, a full-time distance learning program presents some challenges that are different from in-person classes. If you want to continue to make progress with your degree, you may need to adjust the way you learn and your studying habits. Here is how you can make the most out of your degree program and succeed.
Create a Study Spot
The first step you should take with an online degree program is setting up a work spot. While it’s true that taking an online class gives you the flexibility to learn anywhere at any time, the most successful students create their own study spot, away from distractions and other people in their homes. If you share your home with roommates or family members, it’s best to create this private space away from everyone else. Stock up your area with a desk, a comfortable chair, materials for learning, and a clutter-free environment that helps you focus more on learning.
Have the Right Technology
Taking a class online also means you’ll need to be equipped with the most effective technology tools to access information. For most online courses, this means having a laptop or a desktop computer that has internet access. Accessing course content with your phone may not be the most effective way to get your work done and complete assignments.
Connect With Other Students
It’s also helpful to engage with other students during the semester or course study to increase your chances of success. During this time period of social distancing, it can feel lonely and isolating. Reaching out to other classmates may help curb that feeling of isolation and give you more incentive to stick with your coursework and continue to work hard. Connect with other students with online study sessions, video chat groups, email chains, and social media so you feel more like you’re part of a community of support.
Make a Schedule
The next tip for success is to make a set schedule for your online learning and coursework. Just like going to a physical class, it’s important to set up a dedicated time to attend your online classes. Most online programs offer lots of schedule flexibility but it’s up to students to complete assignments on a schedule that works for them. That means, if you’re more of a night owl, you may want to schedule yourself to work on classwork in the evening. If you are an early bird, make your schedule reflect that with morning studying time.
Keep in Contact With the Instructor
Online students should also maintain regular communication and contact with their instructors. Don’t be afraid of sending an email or a chat request to your teacher if you have a question. Studies have shown that student performance is connected to the rapport between the teacher and students in an online course. Students that don’t engage in communication with the instructor may have a tougher time meeting deadlines and completing the requirements of tough assignments.
Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Additionally, be sure to make a list of short-term and long-term goals for your online classwork and degree program. Most students start with long-term goals, such as their ultimate career goals. Partner with your college advisor to make sure your online classes align with the long-term career choice you have in mind. Short-term goals are also essential when completing online classes. Focus on specific skills you may want to develop through your courses, such as critical thinking, writing, and research for the short-term.
Lastly, make sure your daily schedule and long-term course of study include plenty of breaks. Working nonstop on school work and intense assignments isn’t a great plan for long-term success. Schedule plenty of short breaks throughout your day to give yourself motivation and small rewards as you complete tasks. After an online semester ends, be sure to take a few weeks off to recharge your brain and ready yourself for the next stage of your degree program.
Online learning through a distance degree program is a little different from a traditional college course of study. Make some adjustments to the way you work and study so you can finish your degree and go on to the career of your choice.