There is no doubt that top-quality online learning programs — like the online classes we offer at Vista College — are excellent ways to prepare yourself for an exciting and rewarding career.
Online training allows students to study at their own pace without the pressure of typical classroom environments. Plus, students get the benefit of studying anywhere and at any time that is most convenient for their daily schedules.
But, like all schooling, online courses pose a unique set of challenges — especially if a student is accustomed to learning in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom setting. Here, we will outline a few tips to help you avoid common online school pitfalls and maximize your learning experience.
The Benefits of Getting Your Degree Online
During the fall semester of 2018, there were 6,932,074 students enrolled in online courses. Almost half of these students — 47 percent — opted for online courses because of other commitments, such as work or family obligations. Furthermore, 21 percent of learners chose online degree programs because they could not find their field of interest anywhere else.
Online learning opens doors for students. Traditional colleges have high student requirements, which some aspiring scholars’ schedules simply cannot accommodate. Online college benefits these learners by delivering a meaningful education that complements their individual schedules. Every person has the right to quality education, and online college delivers just that.
Tips for a Successful Online Academic Career
Consider integrating these study tips for online college students into your schedule for optimized learning potential:
1. Manage Your Time
One attractive quality of online schooling is the ability to balance other responsibilities. If you are a busy student, ensure you allot time in your daily routine for uninterrupted study time using effective time management skills.
As a good time management study tip, sit down with your family and design an education schedule. That way, you can rely on a healthy routine where you have time to study without neglecting your loved ones’ needs. Also, take this time to work out any logistics. For example, if you have only one computer in your household, allot a time frame when your family members know it is reserved for your school use.
If you are both an employee and a student, finding a healthy lifestyle balance is crucial to preventing burnout. Create a daily schedule where your two worlds will not collide. Designate a certain number of hours to your career, and reserve the remaining time for your education.
2. Upgrade Your Equipment
Constant technical issues can derail your online learning experience. If you are using an outdated computer that does not meet a course’s or the learning institution’s technical requirements, strongly consider upgrading your equipment to the latest features, programs, and more.
Also, consider upgrading your monitor or screen to a larger model. Having a larger monitor will make it easier to view your online educational material. Similarly, consider enhancing your computer’s sound system to make following your instructor’s lessons easier and more clear.
3. Find the Right Study Spots
A great benefit of studying online is that it offers a mobile learning solution. If you own or have access to a laptop computer, consider changing your learning environment for more conducive studying.
Options include the local library, an internet cafe or coffee shop, or anywhere else you can find a quiet spot that offers internet access. You do not have to pick just one spot, either — experiment with several locations until you find a mobile routine suitable for you.
4. Rewatch Lessons
Unlike traditional classroom settings, online learning allows students to repeat lessons as often as needed. If you are not comfortable with your level of understanding after a particularly challenging lesson, go through it again until you have mastered the material.
Repeating lessons is also a great way to prepare for upcoming quizzes or exams. If, during your lecture, your professor strongly emphasizes a certain topic, make a note in your lecture notes, and revisit that subject before your exam.
5. Engage With Your Instructors
Your instructors exist outside of scheduled lecture times. Instructors — like the knowledgeable and passionate ones at Vista College — have a strong academic background and plenty of hands-on, real-world experience they are willing to share with you. All you have to do is ask.
Use available online tools to engage with your instructors. Discuss lecture topics or ask questions about areas you are struggling with. Additionally, by enhancing your learning experience through added instructor engagement, you can help yourself overcome feelings of isolation that sometimes accompany online education.
6. Take Advantage of Supplemental Learning Materials
Many courses, including those offered at Vista College, include textbooks and other “hard-copy” materials to supplement online learning material.
Take advantage of these supplemental learning materials. Use them as valuable studying aids. Or, rely on them when you do not have computer access, like during lunch breaks, while waiting for an appointment, or while exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle.
7. Switch Between Courses
Most students take multiple online courses at one time. If you are one of those learners, it may be helpful to switch between classes during extended studying periods. Doing so breaks up the monotony of long study sessions. It also keeps your mind fresh, active, and engaged, ensuring you are not devoting too much or too little time to a particular course.
Be sure to take short and frequent breaks during a study marathon to help you stay alert, avoid eyestrain, and prevent burnout. Even a five-minute break every hour can do wonders for your attention span.
8. Take Extensive Notes
Online learning provides you with constant access to course materials. Instructors cover crucial information during lectures, filtering the mass amount of knowledge available to you. Jot down these crucial learning points during lectures.
The simple act of writing something down reinforces what you have learned and further embeds the materials into your memory. As with hard-copy study materials, you can use your notes as an effective review tool whenever you are studying, which is especially beneficial when you are not near a computer.
Learn More About Vista College Online Degree Programs
At Vista College, our mission is your success. We know from personal experience how challenging traditional college learning is, which is why we offer a more accommodating form of education for our students — online degree programs.
Just because our degree programs are online does not mean you have to forfeit quality education. Our programs are high-quality and hands-on, providing comprehensive training to help you be successful in your field of study.
If you are looking for an education that works with you and your schedule, learn more about the degree programs we offer. Or, fill out a request form for more information, and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.