Ten success hacks for online students | Part 2

July 30, 2019

Taking online courses allows flexibility and control over your individual learning experience. Although there are some innate challenges in being an online student, you can be successful and achieve your educational goals through strategic planning. Here are some tips to help you succeed.

 Find a suitable workspace

It can be difficult to find a quiet workspace that is dedicated to your online learning yet, having a learning space can help with our focus and build study habits. At the start of the semester, locate a designated place to study, preferably a quiet location with a door that shuts. You might even decorate it with special books or pens to serve as a reminder that this space is separate from the other parts of your life.

 Build your strengths as a student

Each student brings unique strengths to the classroom. It’s most helpful to identify your individual strengths early in your educational career so that you can capitalize on them. For example, if you are a focused student who is good at planning and details, read the syllabus and course material early and then create a plan for your semester including when and how to complete each assignment. Maybe you even use different colored pens to designate various assignments and due dates. If it’s difficult for you to focus, consider a more creative approach to studying. For example, maybe you complete assignments and readings on your cell phone when taking a lunch break at work or maybe you complete tasks while carpooling to work.

 Know how to ask for help

Online learning, while engaging and rewarding, can be overwhelming. It is normal to feel stressed at the start of a semester and when beginning something new. Know that you are not alone and be willing to ask for help. Make note of who you can contact for what issues and be brave enough to reach out.

 Stay physically and mentally healthy

Academic success is not possible without physical and mental health. As an online student, make sure that you are fueling your body with healthy foods and adequate sleep. Make self-care a priority to help keep stress in check. For example, schedule 30 minutes of 'you time' each day and engage in hobbies that bring your relaxation, such as reading or spending time in nature. Remember that school is only one part of your life.

 Stay motivated

Online learning is like a marathon and requires endurance. Find your unique pace and then sustain those practices throughout the semester. Maybe you break up assignments into small chunks or designate two hours each day to that class. Once you identify your pace, persist.

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