UJ blog - Study skills for online learning

Study skills for online learning


If you have embarked on the online study journey, or you are planning on it, you will expect it to be a bit more challenging than the normal study route simply because you are in charge of your own schedule. There are many challenges that could arise from studying online, so we have outlined a few tips and skills that will ensure the best results for your future self and your career.

Personalise it

Since you don not have to physically attend lectures when studying online and there are no rigid structures in place, you have the luxury of personalising your schedule to suit your needs. You can plan your study times around when you’re most productive in the day (or night). If you’re working and studying concurrently, this is especially handy.

Take note, however, that several aspects of your online studies won’t be that flexible, including live lecture videos, online discussions that occur at designated times and dates, and the deadlines that have been set for assignments. These are usually cast in stone, so it’s important to include them in your schedule first, and then plan the rest of your time around that.

Be disciplined

Creating your own study timetable and not having to adhere to strict lecture times is great, but this can also lead to missing important details here and there if you are not following a disciplined approach. If you’ve done your preparation and you’re organised, all that is left to do is to stick to what you have planned for yourself. If you are not working or you have taken a sabbatical, make the workday your study time – treat it like a full-time job – and you’re bound to see the results.

To make being disciplined a little easier for you, effective time management and being organised is important. Working on these skills will only help your future self!

Lecturer/student forums

Most online courses or degrees have forums where you can go to chat or discuss everything from assignments to general topics in your study field with other students or lecturers. This would be a similar experience to going to tutorials or chatting to your lecturer after a class, so it’s a good idea to keep tabs on what is happening in these forums.

If you have missed a live lecture because of work or life commitments, you will be able to catch up on this by reviewing the recorded lecture and by chatting to people in these forums.

Studying online can be tough but it can also be a great experience, especially if you are prepared and manage expectations, both yours and others’. Tailor your degree to suit your needs and stay on top of forum discussions and you will be well on your way to completing your degree!

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