Did you know that studying for too long can have serious consequences?
It’s hard to ask for help. However, if you remain stuck during your online course, you must speak up if you want to get the full value of the education. We all struggle with study materials sometimes, and depending on your preferred learning style, you might have better luck with some modules than with others. If you need clarification, communicate with your instructor or other students. Many teachers set up preferred communication channels, whether it’s email, instant messaging, or direct messaging on social media. Try to use that channel to get answers to your questions. Just remember to phrase your question politely and to give as many details as possible. For instance, you might say, “I’m struggling with the section on [topic]. From the video, it’s not clear how I [perform a specific action]. When you have time, could you elaborate about [specific list of details] so I might understand it better?” Fill in the blanks with details pertinent to your course. If your course involves interactions with other students, befriend them. Learn to ask one another for help. In most cases, you’ll struggle with different parts of the course, so you can help each other through the rough patches. Of course, you can also seek guidance in the real world. Maybe you have a friend or relative who has experience with the course material. Getting help from someone you know might feel less uncomfortable, especially if you’re new to online learning.
Now it’s time to get serious about your actual study sessions. If you have a written, stable plan, you’ll be more likely to stick with it after you start your course. There’s no right or wrong study plan. The right one will work with your schedule and allow you to fulfill your other responsibilities and obligations. However, don’t be afraid to push yourself. If you’re constantly striving for better results, you’ll get through the course faster and feel more fulfilled at the end of it.
Earlier, you decided what you wanted to get out of your online course. Now you need to learn your instructor’s objectives and goals. This is important because it will inform the course’s direction. If a professional creates an online course on fitness, he or she could have several goals for students:
You don’t need to replicate your third-grade classroom in your home to participate in online learning. However, you do need a comfortable place to work. When choosing a place to learn and study, look for a few essential qualities.
In preparing for the MCAT, quality is better than quantity. Even if you’re spending countless hours on review and practicing thousands of questions, if the quality of your instruction and materials are not that good, then you’re not reaching your potential. If you’re aiming for a very high score, chances are you’re taking MCAT classes or a prep course. If that’s the case, you should look for these qualities in your prep course:
If your internet access isn’t reliable, you might get interrupted throughout your course. Worse, you’ll waste your time and resources. You can often find excellent WiFi at a coffee shop, internet cafe, or similar public space when you can’t rely on your home’s connection. While the occasional storm and outage are beyond your control, you want the best chance of not getting disconnected. These days, online instructors often use live forms of teaching, such as webinars. If your internet goes out during one of those events, you can’t participate in the conversation along with your other classmates. Signal boosters, extra modems, and other technological fixes can help improve your access to reliable internet at home. Additionally, consider using your desktop computer if it’s wired to your modem instead of relying on a laptop or mobile device that depends on a wireless connection.
Many people jump into online courses with a lackadaisical attitude. If you take that approach, you’ll cheat yourself out of valuable content. Approach online courses and studying just like you would if you were sitting in a classroom, right under a professor’s nose. In fact, you can pretend like a professor is standing over you while you study if that helps. Next, figure out what you want to get out of the course. You know you’re going to pay attention, study, and take the course seriously, but what end result do you desire?
Your brain can only take so much. Give yourself time to relax and refresh every so often to come back to your study material with fresh eyes. While you’re breaking, eat a healthy snack (like nuts and dried fruits) and watch that funny cat video your friend sent you earlier. Don’t feel guilty about it — taking brief breaks will actually help you in the long run. A burnt out brain just doesn’t work as well.
Don’t be afraid to spice up your study life. If your eyes start to glaze over as you stare at those practice questions on your screen, mix it up! Make some flashcards to memorize vocab or have your friends quiz you on important information. Find ways to make it interesting and fun to retain more information.