Tips for Studying for an Online Course

If you’re taking an online class, it’s important to find the study method that works for you. Online classes can require a lot of self-motivation, which is why you need to find out how to maximize your study time and figure out how you learn best. Taking an online course isn’t the same as sitting in a classroom. But not to worry — we’ve got some tips to help you study for your online classes. 

6 tips to study for online classes

  1. Get organized and read the syllabus. 

First things first: you have to make sure you know what’s expected of you. The course syllabus should outline the course objectives and assignments. Keeping track of the due dates of various homework assignments — not to mention quizzes or exams — is vital. Make sure that you’ve thoroughly reviewed your syllabus. 

Though your professor and classmates are available online, you don’t see them in-person several times a week like you do in a classroom setting, so there’s no classroom buzz or in-person reminders about assignments. That’s why you need to take it upon yourself to get good at staying on schedule. 

To help you keep track of the dates of important tests or exams, you can either get a day planner or use something like Google Calendar — whichever you prefer. Having some sort of calendar can help you plan out your day and keep on track with the tasks you’d like to accomplish. 

  1. Find a study method that works for you. 

Everyone learns differently, and everyone has a different method of studying that works for them. The trick is to find which one is best for you when you’re studying for an online course. Are you the kind of person who does well by making flash cards? Do you prefer to read your notes out loud to yourself or listen to lectures? Maybe you have a hard time sitting still and prefer to be walking around as you review your notes and study. You have the freedom to study and review in the manner that suits you best and you can do your coursework at your pace. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

Your professor is there to help you. Even though you’re not in a classroom with them multiple times a week as you would be in a traditional setting, you can still reach out to them with questions or concerns at any time. Find out what options you have for speaking with your professor. Is email a good method of communication? Can you message them? Would you be able to schedule a video call? If you’re studying for your online course and you hit a bit of a roadblock and have a tough time with a concept, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. You don’t have to go it alone. 

  1. Track down a good study setting. 

It’s also important to have the right atmosphere for doing your online coursework. Some people need absolute silence and quiet to minimize distractions, while others prefer playing some quiet music while they work. Others might like to go somewhere like a coffee shop or library to study. It all depends what works best for you. However, it’s probably a good idea to try to minimize distractions as much as possible. If that means hiding away in a room by yourself for a while, that might be what you have to do. Your study spot should be somewhere that you feel relaxed and calm. 

  1. Try not to procrastinate. 

One of the reasons why it’s important to keep track of when things are due and when big exams are going to take place is so that you can give yourself ample time to prepare. When you’re studying for an online course, you can take things step by step if you plan out your time wisely. For example, if you know that you’ll need to do four hours worth of course work, you can split that time over two days so that you don’t get burned out. Make sure that you’re looking ahead for what’s coming up in the course so that you’re not caught off-guard by an assignment or an exam. 

  1. Take care of yourself. 

Of course, the goal of taking an online course is to learn and grow in knowledge. But while you’re feeding your brain, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, and make sure to factor in some time to decompress and have some breaks. 

Studying for an online course can seem overwhelming, but the trick is to find a study method that works for you — and to give yourself the time you need to study. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your professor if you have questions about the course material or if you need some additional resources to help you understand a concept. And of course, don’t forget to take care of yourself!