Online Learning Study Techniques

By: Staff Writer

Studying effectively for an online degree requires a different approach than for standard schools and universities. Understanding these techniques will prove important for succeeding in your online learning pursuits.

Online Learning Study Techniques

Online Learning Study Techniques

There is no doubt that one technique to gain effective studying habits does not exist and work for everybody in the same way. We all learn and understand things in different ways, however, there are some general guidelines when it comes to studying academic subject matter that can help just about every student. No matter what techniques you apply one thing is for certain, good study habits require work. But the rewards for your hard work will undoubtedly pay off in the end. Effective study habits begin in the classroom, not the library.


  • Begin – Divide homework assignments and large writing projects up into manageable pieces that can be worked on a daily basis. The old saying that for every hour of class you should complete two hours of homework is important. However, if you have four hours of class everyday, how realistic is doing 8 hours of homework a night? There is a difference between studying smart and studying just for the sake of studying.
  • Schedule – First, when planning out your day include blocks of study time that will not get interrupted by other events of the day that you are aware of. Appoint an appropriate amount of time for each class so that you don’t get behind. Having set blocks set forth will not only guarantee yourself the time you need to get your assignments done, but will help you form good study habits that you will find are hard to break once you get a system in place. If your current schedule doesn’t work, revise it until you find a schedule that works for you.
  • How to Study – Study smart. Most people think if they put in the time that they will magically understand the material they are studying. This is seldom the case. Smart studying begins in the classroom by taking good notes, asking questions, and actively participating in class. However, since online classes do not offer this type of learning environment it generally takes a more proactive approach to ask questions and understand the material since you don’t have the benefit of a live class with a teacher and other students. You will have to email or call the professor with any questions or concerns you might have. This makes it all the more important that you actually read the assigned material for class and take notes. By taking notes and writing questions down you will be able to email your professor and get the help you need if you are confused about some of the class material. Being smart about studying will save you a lot of stress and anxiety when it gets closer to the exam.
  • When to Study – Effective study time differs for everybody. Some can study better at night and others in the morning. Whatever your preference, it is important to remember a few things. Don’t study directly after eating a meal. Most of us tend to doze off when we are sitting stationary at a desk doing something that doesn’t exert any real physical activity. The most effective time to study is when you are attentive and rested. This also plays a crucial role in your study schedule. As your body gets used to your planned daily study schedule you will be more likely to be alert and rested and thus be able to study more effectively.
  • Where to Study – It may seem obvious that studying during the middle of a loud rock concert is a bad idea, but many students still choose places to study that are not conducive to learning. Often times studying at home seems to be the most convenient for obvious reasons, nevertheless, home is also where most of the distractions are. TV, video games, Internet, food, roommates or family members are all potential distractions from effective study time. One of the great benefits of to going to a campus university or school is the use of the library. School libraries are quiet, have countless resources for research, and provide comfortable surroundings for studying. However, this poses a problem for those taking online courses since the use of a school library is not practical. If it all possible take the time and spend some time at your local public library to study. Most of these libraries have study areas that are quiet. If that is not an option then choose a secluded or quiet room in your house that you won’t easily be disturbed in. Studying in your own bedroom can be counter-productive especially if you have a TV, video games, or other things that can be distracting.

Put things in perspective. Taking the time to study right now instead of waiting until the last possible minute will serve to benefit you for years to come and give you more time to enjoy more leisurely activities in the future.

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