Time management is an important part of studying online. Many students choose to study online because it’s flexible to work around busy schedules. The great part is, not only do students finish with a new qualification, but they also have a leg up on how to efficiently manage time.
However, it can still be a tough task fitting everything in, so we’ve compiled some tips from our students and staff to help make online study that little bit easier:
1. Break up your environment. Dedicate a space for studying. If you can, allocate a room or desk to study at, so when you enter that space your brain thinks ‘I’m at uni’ rather than ‘I’m at home’. This way you can lessen distractions and get right into a study mode.
2. Student tip, be consistent. “I have found logging in at a consistent time each week to get the study notes helps with organisation.” Logging on consistently will also help you stay on task and help you get into a study schedule.
3. Student tip, get social. “I communicate online with students via Facebook for encouragement, gauging my progress and to put names to faces.” Swinburne Online has dedicated Facebook groups for each area of study and we also have our main page for updates and news. So it’s easy to connect with other students off the Blackboard.
4. Set some boundaries. If you schedule your study times, make sure you let the rest of your household know about it. That way everyone knows when you are busy learning and not available to do chores, play or partake in any other activities.
5. Student tip, change it up. “I find to retain the info, I need to take notes for the subject rather than just read it online, and for me it helps it to stick better.” Try different ways of learning, like handwriting key notes or using flashcards to memorise terms. You may be studying online but that doesn’t mean you can’t try some old school methods!
6. The rule of three. To reduce your load, try keeping three lists of three. One list can focus on the three things you will do today. Another will be on three things you want to get done but aren’t crucial. The last can be three things that need to be done at some point. These lists can help you organise your time but also give you the satisfaction of ticking off boxes.
7. Student tip, utilise technology. “If reading isn't working, I look on YouTube for documentaries. Behaviourism made more sense to me after watching Skinner himself explains it in a video!” Everyone learns differently so use the internet to your advantage to find new ways concepts are explained.
8. Student tip, get involved. “Posting on the discussion posts is very helpful - the more it’s done it benefits everyone as more people get involved and this helps to learn and not seem isolated.” If you have a question just ask, chances are other people are wondering the same thing. Engage with the community, they will help you understand the content better and are a great part of studying online.