Google+

5 Tips for Studying While Completing an Online Degree

studying proctor

The biggest advantage to taking classes online is the flexibility you get with this approach to learning.

It’s certainly a plus for working adults trying to balance career and family responsibilities while acquiring some new skills or working towards a degree. No matter how high-tech education gets, however, you still have to find time to study. You still need that self-motivation to get started, but it’s not an obstacle you can’t overcome. Here are five tips for studying online:

Keep Distractions to a Minimum

It’s inevitable. You sit down to study and the phone rings or the kids need you to settle their latest dispute. The key to successful studying is to keep distractions to a minimum. Don’t study in Grand Central Station. Find a place that’s quiet. Wear noise-canceling headphones to increase concentration while you are watching lectures or presentations. Take notes so that if you are interrupted, you can refer to them to see where you left off, and then go back and watch it again from the beginning.

Set a Realistic Schedule

It’s great to jump in full throttle and be dedicated to make the most of the online learning experience, but reality should play an important part of your scheduling efforts too. You may want to squeeze in an hour of study time when you get home from work, but if this is when the kids come home and it’s time to get dinner ready, it’s not going to work. Set aside times that you can realistically get some studying done. Make your study schedule known to those around you and inform them that you’re not to be disturbed, unless it’s an emergency.

Take Study Breaks

You’re not trying to broker Mid-East peace talks, so take a break now and then. Schedule regular study breaks or take a break when you get stuck on something or you are frustrated with trying to grasp a concept. Give yourself something to look forward to when you’re done studying, such as a movie night or dinner out with your friends. A potential reward helps keep you focused and motivated.

Build a Support System

Studying online doesn’t have to mean a solitary existence. Connect with fellow classmates via social networks and online forums or schedule group study times. This gives you a chance to share ideas and ask questions. Schedule one-on-one sessions via video conferencing with your professors. This gives you a chance to ask questions directly and clarify things you don’t understand. Build an additional support system with your friends, family, and co-workers.

Set and Review Goals

Determine what it is you want to accomplish with your online studies. Are you just looking to brush up on your current skills? Are you trying to earn that promotion? Do you want to get into an entirely new field? If you have a clear understanding of what you want and you have a goal to work towards, you will be more motivated to study.

You will only get as much out of online courses as you put into them. Granted, you have more realistic distractions now than you did in high school, but it’s still possible to squeeze in some productive study time. Remember, it’s quality over quantity. You can try to study for a few hours with a bunch of distractions and come away with very little in terms of retention. Conversely, you can get in 20-30 minutes of productive study time and come away with a better understanding of the material presented to you.

Kristin Lee blogs about higher education, including online degree programs. If you are interested in earning an online MPA, you might consider applying to onlinempa.usfca.edu or www.northwestern.edu.

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) negotiate a dangerous gauntlet en route to the Hague where he's set to testify in 24 … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on various issues, but it is the King of the Jungle who will be taking center stage. For those who are … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a rod and reel and who’s always looking for ways to tweak a lure or find a stronger knot would spend a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness stunning landscapes, mixed with amazing history, while dining on acclaimed regional cuisine and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Business

Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]