11 habits of online students

11 Habits of Effective Online Students

Becoming a highly effective student starts by examining the current habits of successful online students. What are they doing, and how are they doing it? While there are many benefits to online learning, there are also some challenges that come with it.

It’s essential to understand and, more importantly, accept what challenges you may face when taking online courses instead of having the traditional classroom experience.

Here are some excellent habits successful students practice to achieve their academic goals.

#1 — Commit With Your Heart & Mind

Proverbs 4:6-76 “ Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.”

Your mental state is powerful. Pray for guidance and honor your online learning journey, even when things get challenging. Jesus laid your path and is walking hand in hand with you, so continue to be intentional about being a great student and light and inspiration to others. Asking God for patience and perseverance through your studies will help you maintain a positive and spiritual mindset to reach your maximum potential during your online learning journey.

#2 — Prepare for Your Study Sessions

Preparing for your study sessions requires you to be highly organized and maintain a high level of self-discipline. Setting specific goals for each session can keep you focused and help you stay on track. Have specific coursework or lessons you will review during your particular study session ready and on hand. Knowing what you plan to study helps you to develop effective study habits from the get-go and is a game changer in the long run. And lastly, before starting your study session, say a quick prayer to get you in the zone!

# 3 — Start With The Most Difficult Subject First

Brain fatigue is a real thing! So help yourself out by starting with the most difficult subject first. More complex topics require the most effort and mental energy, so you will thank yourself when the latter part of your study session seems easy!

# 4 — Always Review Your Notes

One of the most crucial things to remember throughout your journey as an online student is that it is not a sprint- it’s a marathon. Cramming all of your studying into one night before a final will not cut it. Instead, refresh your brain each week on what you learned and make sure you are detailed in your note-taking so that when you get your weekly notes out to review before your exam, it won’t be the second, third, or even fourth time you’ve seen them. Repetition is key! You can even break out the syllabus to look ahead and get a jumpstart on the following week’s lessons.

#5 — Put Away Any Distractions

Everyone is different when it comes to studying. Some people like listening to music, some can learn in a noisy environment, and some need complete silence. Identify what your biggest distractions are- electronics? Family? Is it too quiet? Find the perfect study environment so you don’t get distracted and lose your train of thought. Regaining your focus from distractions wastes time, so save valuable time and frustration by identifying early what enables you to study effectively.

#6 — Use Additional Study Sources

Most of the time, many additional learning resources are available to online learners. For example, the CCU digital library has many titles supporting the curriculum. Utilizing a library database helps your knowledge of a given topic and strengthens your ability to research. In addition, online apps and plugins, such as Grammarly, are powerful tools that help you write clearly and sound knowledgeable.

# 7 — Assess Yourself Regularly

Assessing yourself may be the most challenging task to tackle! Only some people are great at everything; a successful online learner will understand this quickly. Take time to assess where you are, whether on a weekly or a monthly basis. What is going well? Has your time management been effective? Where could you improve? Do you need a different online environment? If you can be fully aware and mindful of these things and where you need to improve, you will also quickly be able to identify your strengths, allowing you to become a more effective student.

#8 — Ask for Help When You Need It

Getting an online education can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be! If you are stuck or struggling- whether it’s a technical issue, course material, a specific equation, or an entire chapter that has your head spinning, reach out to your professors or even other students in your class through the online class forum, by email, or even by phone. And don’t put off asking for help! Procrastination only makes things worse. So use the tools and people available to you and that are there to help.

# 9 — Keep Up The Inspiration

Maintaining your focus and staying motivated and inspired can be challenging during your online learning journey. First, remind yourself WHY you are on this path. God put you here, and you have an ultimate end goal. Remind yourself what that goal is. Whether pursuing a higher education or going after a specific job, you can keep yourself inspired by keeping up to date on current events and news in your field.

A great way to stay inspired is by creating a visual representation of your progress. Making a spreadsheet for your classes, assignments, and exams is an excellent way to see how much you’ve accomplished. By creating this visual task list, you can check each milestone that brings you closer to your degree.

Research the specific areas that interest you the most and connect with key figures in the field on social media. All these things will help you continue to feel inspired during your online learning experience to keep pushing yourself even through the most challenging times.

#10 — Use Technology to Your Advantage

Many students make the mistake of not using all the great resources available. Before you even begin your online class, ensure you know your resources and how to use as many as possible. For example, students attending CCU Online have a "Student Resources" section of their online class where all the applicable resources are easily accessible with just a click.

Other online resources are also always available at your fingertips with the internet. Are there apps that offer additional help and give you extra time in front of your topic or subject? Check out practice problems, instructional videos, and published texts that you can search on Google!

And, of course, ensure you have an excellent internet connection. Nothing is worse than trying to finish a paper for your last online program of the semester with a bad internet connection!

#11 — Put Academic Integrity First

Don’t be tempted to take a shortcut. While fast access to abundant resources online can be great, it can sometimes draw students to take shortcuts. Keep your integrity, and don’t just look for the answers online, as you can find them easily! Enrolling in online classes means holding yourself accountable and being honest even when no one is watching. No matter how small, cheating will only hurt you in the long run.

With these 11 habits, you can become a highly effective online learner. Whether you have already implemented some or none, start now and stick to them; in a short time, you will see an incredible difference.

Check out how other students have done it! Visit ccu.edu/stories for more inspiration.

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