2015 has seen the launch of two new online business courses from the University of Birmingham. Learning off-campus takes commitment, testing your time-management skills and ability to remain undistracted by home comforts. Here are some good study habits to help students thrive within the world of online learning:
Obviously, putting your deadlines into a diary is a good start. However, you will also want to weigh each deadline against your other commitments outside of study, and work out the conflicts that arise. Adjust your hand-in deadlines accordingly, and treat the actual deadlines as useful trivia – you should aim to have handed your work in days before.
Before the beginning of term, draw up a one week spreadsheet and block out all your known commitments – work shifts, family time, sleep. Plan your term around these, but be realistic: if you work best studying in short bursts, don’t place all of your study time into a single day-long block. Where possible, you may want to try scheduling learning on the same day and time every week to retain the structure of an offline course.
There is no one-size fits all study space. What’s important is that you find any quiet room with comfortable amounts of space for a desk, office chair, good lighting and internet access. Keep things organised, and give yourself the necessary storage to enable tidiness. One of the biggest challenges as an online learner is that your primary learning tool (i.e. your PC) is also an access point for every distraction imaginable. In lieu of simply having a second device, ensuring that you go to a specific study space to work creates a useful mental separation that will get you in the mood for learning.
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