Remote learning is extremely popular, with a wide range of degrees on offer from institutions worldwide. While it’s certainly more convenient and flexible than attending a bricks-and-mortar college, students can still face the occasional difficulty. These tips should get you up and running on a successful online degree course.
#1 Segregate your learning space
This is the most important tip of all because it implies a psychological separation between home and academic life. That occurs naturally when you attend campus, but boundaries can blur when you study purely from home. Inadequate separation of the two leads to distraction and can make you less productive. Online degrees like the Merrimack College online bachelor’s degree let you study wherever you want, but always try to find a quiet place to work. A study or office (or any room where you can close the door) should be enough to ensure that all-important separation.
#2 Stick to your timetable
Flexibility is a double-edged sword. Setting your own hours to learn means that you can balance education with family and work life, but it can also set you back. If your timetable is endlessly shifting or your degree feels like a secondary priority, then your studies will inevitably suffer. Instead, try to incorporate fixed study hours into your timetable. That might be in the morning before work, it might be in the evening, but affording your degree a set time makes it feel more significant. Of course, you can make changes as and when necessary, but try to maintain the timetable as far as possible. Remember why you chose to take the degree and why it should be one of your priorities.
#3 But take regular breaks
Following on from the previous point, there are lots of psychological advantages associated with taking routine breaks from your work. It can be tempting to study hard, but doing so only means decreased levels of concentration and lower cognitive function. No matter how congested your timetable is, always schedule in some downtime. Rather than just scrolling through a newsfeed or flicking through your smartphone, go for a walk or a run so that you feel energized when you return to your studies. Being cooped up inside for hours at a time is bad for mental health and certainly won’t help you get the best out of your degree.
#4 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The remoteness of online learning can make help seem far away, but that’s never the case. Professors and staff will always be on hand to assist, and you can usually contact them via email, perhaps even scheduling a video chat to work through any issues. There’s no shame in asking for help and, rather than slowing you down, going more in-depth on a question can actually make learning easier. The same applies to non-curriculum problems. If you’re feeling stressed, always reach out for help rather than suffering in silence. Online learning doesn’t have to be a remote experience, and it’s important to remember that a solid support network remains in place.