Online learning allows you to study when you want, without the limitations of a classroom. It also makes it possible to fit your studies around your work schedule and other family obligations. All this flexibility and convenience leaves you with many choices for where, when and how you study.
You won't be able to meet face-to-face with your professor or other students so you will need to stay on top of things. These organizational tips will help you keep track of your online learning and ensure that you are able to balance work, family, and online classes.
Search for a quiet space to attend class
Online classes can be taken wherever you are. It is important to find a quiet, private place where you can take notes on your computer, or hand. An electric outlet may be needed to charge your device while you are logged into class.
Live classes can be recorded or live. In a live class you might be asked to turn on the microphone or webcam during participation. Online classes offer the convenience of being able to attend from your own home. You will need to be attentive to what the instructor and other participants see when your webcam turns on.
Create an Effective Work Environment for Studying
It's tempting to relax a bit when it comes to creating a space for school work. It's not ideal if a potential study area is already associated with eating, sleeping, or watching TV. Choose an area that you are already familiar with learning. Spend more time in the space, and the stronger your association will be. You will eventually feel more focused once you have entered the space.
You can store school materials in a backpack, rolling cart or other easily transportable item if your space is limited. You will be able to quickly transition from studying to work if you have everything organized. You will be able to continue your studies or attend classes away from home if you keep your computer or phone charger handy.
Make sure you have a comfortable space
One of the most important aspects to consider when designing a study area is ergonomics. Your study table and chair must allow for good posture. When you sit down, the top of your desk should be between your chest line and your rib cage. You'll be able rest your elbows on your desktop without having your shoulders bent forward. The chair must be adjustable to the height of your desk, and should allow your feet flatten on the ground.
Organise Your Files
You should always have access to your course materials at all times. You can choose to work with printed copies or you can opt for a digital filing system. Online students have the flexibility and ease of working digitally. To make it easier to identify your files, organize them in folders.
Schedule Your Times
To avoid any unpleasant surprises later, make sure you are familiar with the course requirements, syllabus and due dates before enrolling in an online course. Once you have the syllabus, hang a calendar up on your study wall and start filling it out. You can also use an online calendar to set alerts. Not only will it help with your studies, but it will also allow you to make time for other aspects of your life.
Stay Organized Online
You can bookmark sites you use often in your research to make it easier for you to find them again. You may also find study aids created by other students on the site.
Although working online can be beneficial for students taking web-based classes, it can also prove distracting. There are many apps that can help you if you find yourself constantly checking Facebook, watching Netflix, or wasting your time on the internet when you should be working. You can use online tools such as StayFocusd to limit the time spent on distractions.
Create a Routine
You will be more likely to stay organized and not let deadlines slip by if you have a routine. After you have created a syllabus and know what you are expected to do, create a study plan for each class. Blocks of time should be set aside for reading and study, and extra time should be given to study for projects and tests.
If you prefer a paper planner, you might consider using My Study app. This allows you to store your schedule in the cloud and you can access it from any device.
Create a Support System
To help you keep on track with your online education, get the support of your family and friends. Your friends and family can help you focus on your coursework by helping you understand your time and commitments or by encouraging your household members to do the chores.
It can seem isolating to take online classes, but it doesn’t have to. To help you stay organized, connect with your fellow students online or meet up in person.
Study groups are a great way to stay on track. If you have any questions or need assistance from your professor, please don't hesitate. Being proactive is key to staying organized, especially when you are learning online.
Online classes can be easier if you are organized and have a system in place. These are just a few of the many strategies you can use to make online classes more successful. Let us know if you have any other suggestions!
Are you looking to return to school? The University of Texas at El Paso offers many 100%-online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs. Explore our online programs to learn more about what it takes to take the next step in your professional career. Reach out to learn more about our online programs and UTEP Connect. A counselor will contact you.Related Resources: