Is Online Learning Harder? Study Tips for Online Courses

Online learning opportunities have revolutionized the way adults can continue their education. Online programs make it easier to take courses while working a full-time job, being a stay-at-home parent, or even while living far away from the university. However, some students fear that online learning will be more difficult because of the online format. Set yourself up for success with these simple study tips for online courses.

Tips for Studying:

1. Schedule a time and place to study. Even though you don’t have to be in a classroom at a set time, it’s still helpful to schedule your coursework. The time can fluctuate from one week to another, but it helps to block off enough hours to get your studying done. Online courses do have deadlines, and you may miss them if you don’t set aside time every week for coursework.

2. Avoid distractions while on the computer. Multitasking is common these days, and you may have developed habits of watching TV, monitoring social media sites, checking email, or catching up on news while you’re on the computer for leisure. However, you need to have focused time to effectively learn the course material, so you need to be disciplined about avoiding these distractions. Apps like Cold Turkey block social media sites for a time period so yo ucan get stuff done.

3. Participate regularly in discussions: Online courses use discussion boards to mimic the experience of classroom discussions, so make these a regular part of your interactions. Don’t just log on to make required posts, but take the time to read and respond to your classmates’ thoughts. You’ll absorb the material better if you’re thinking critically about it every day.

4. Ask for help if you need it: Nobody can see a puzzled look on your face, so you’ll need to be assertive if you need assistance. Have someone at home help you with the technical side if you need it, and don’t hesitate to email your professor if you have a question about the class. In addition, it never hurts to have the phone number of a classmate to call with questions.

Getting an online degree is quite possible with discipline and hard work. Many students who follow these tips actually find that online courses are easier because they’re structured and it’s easy to fit the classes and assignments into a busy schedule. At the end of the day, the degree is the same, whether it’s earned online or in person.