The average distance learner is older than the traditional, on-campus student, and some students will be "returning to the classroom" after some break in their education. Use these easy course organization, scheduling and study skills tips for becoming a successful distance learner.
- Get familiar with the course.
- Read the course syllabus.
The distance learning course syllabus contains all of the information a student needs to progress through a distance learning course.
- Identify the tools required to complete the course.
Make sure you have access to all of the technology requirements to take the course. Check with each department on their recommendations for computer requirements and internet access.
- Develop a regular schedule for doing assignments.
- Avoid distractions and interruptions during the time your have reserved for studying.
Turn off IM and cell phones... find a place to study that is free from distractions.
- Actively keep in contact with your instructor.
Instructors are available by phone and email. Some may even keep regular on-line office hours. Contact your instructor regularly, especially when you have trouble understanding course content.
- Find study partners.
Distance learning students sometimes feel that they are missing interaction with other students that they might find in a traditional classroom environment. Identify an individual or small group of people to study with.
- Prepare assignments and tests.
Course assignments can involve the use if different mediums - print, video, audio or the Internet. Develop a thorough set of notes and review the components from each medium before taking tests.
- Set interim goals and deadlines.
Keep a calendar showing the number of weeks in the term and mark the assignments due and tests to take each week. Stick to the schedule and don't fall behind in your work!
- Evaluate your progress regularly.
Re-read the course objectives and your schedule of goals to see how you are progressing with them.
Relaxation techniques can benefit learning in a number of ways including heightening concentration and lessening anxiety. Try taking deep breaths, stretching or soothing music to help you relax while studying.