Study skills for the online adult learner

02/20/2013   
 

Courtesy Military.com

Imagine completing your college degree while sitting in front of your home computer, wearing your favorite pajamas. You accomplish this feat entirely online, at night and on weekends, all while serving full-time in the military. Is this a dream? Not anymore. Distance learning is reality.

The Five Online Study Success Factors

You can pursue a college degree or professional certificate at home, at sea, or from a remote duty station with online education. The virtual classroom allows returning students to balance their studies with career and family. While successful e-learning requires self-discipline, distance education can work if you have the right technological know-how and e-savvy study skills.

  • Students must be comfortable with course technology when education takes place in cyberspace.
  • Whether course content is delivered by Internet, video, audio, or print, test all class components before the term starts.
  • Know where to get technical support.
  • Keep hard copies of course materials in a binder, including lectures, exams, office hours, and discussion groups.

Prepare Yourself

When you bring the classroom into your home or berthing space, it can be challenging for you to take learning seriously, let alone your family or coworkers. To overcome this pitfall, create an environment that helps you excel.

  • Find a quiet space and tell roommates not to interrupt. Study at night or get childcare if you need it.
  • When you’re in your virtual classroom, act like it. Ignore everything outside of class, and don’t get sidetracked.
  • Order textbooks in advance and survey course material before classes begin.

Time Manager

Effective time management can make the difference between success and failure when you juggle education with family and work.

  • Plan regular periods throughout the week for your coursework. Commit to this schedule as if you were attending an actual class.
  • Develop a course study plan. List assignments and deadlines on a calendar and check them off as you complete them. Don’t procrastinate.

E-Savvy Studying

Distance learners need to adapt traditional study habits and develop good study skills designed for online learning.

  • Follow a regular study schedule that includes short breaks to reenergize.
  • Use an effective study system to process course information. ThePQR3 reading method improves comprehension and retention by teaching students to preview, question, read, recite, and review as they study.
  • Participate regularly to enhance learning. Stay in touch with your professors, use discussion boards, and join a study group.

With distance education, your dream is only a mouse click away.

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