5 Study Tips for Succeeding in Online Courses

Published on May 2, 2016 by arothstein

Taking online courses can be a great way to work towards your degree, or even complete an entire degree, while giving you more possibilities for working remotely and on your own schedule. But if you’re used to taking classes in a traditional classroom, it might be hard to adjust to studying for the online class format. If you’re struggling to study for online classes, here are five tips that can help you succeed:

online studying photo

  1. Create A Study Schedule: Online courses offer unprecedented flexibility, but that doesn’t mean you should be lackadaisical about your study skills. At the beginning of the semester, look carefully at the course requirements, and block out chunks of time for meeting those requirements around your other responsibilities. Planning out your schedule carefully will help you meet deadlines with ease, and will decrease your stress level overall.


  1. Contact the Professor: It might seem less important than in a face-to-face classroom situation, but you should still treat your professor as an important resource when taking an online course. Introduce yourself early on, and then don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek further feedback on your assignments. This kind of initiative will help you get the most out of your class as you can.


  1. Make Your Own Classroom: Choose a dedicated workspace in your home where you can work on your online courses, even if it ends up being on the kitchen table. Try to keep this workspace as clean and organized as possible. If you don’t have a desk, make a “portable classroom” by putting together a small tray or tub with necessary work supplies, like a notebook, pens, and highlighters for taking notes. Make a ritual of pulling out your “classroom,” so that you can enter a mental space of focus. Let your family know that this signals a time when you shouldn’t be disturbed.


  1. Create a Virtual Study Group: Just like with face-to-face classes, enlisting peers to help you study can be a huge boost to your understanding of the material. Better yet, it can help solve some of the isolation that can come with online courses. Put together a group calendar for periodic study sessions, and stick to it. Share your study calendars, and help each other stay accountable to deadlines.


  1. Don’t Forget Pen and Paper: You might be taking an online course, but it’s okay to go analog with your study skills if that’s what works best for you. Studies show that we remember material better by handwriting notes than by typing them on the computer. Many people still prefer reading books on paper rather than a screen. Study methods like flashcards and outlines still work as well as they ever did. It’s okay to mix high- and low-tech when it comes to learning!


If you’re interested in online classes, Broadview University offers a number of online degree programs, including in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Health Care Management. If you’re interested in pursuing one of Broadview’s online degrees, you can request more information

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