4 steps to help online learners create a solid study routine
Stress is a part of student life. Taking courses while trying to juggle a job, family, and other responsibilities only adds pressure. To find relief, you need a plan.
Building the right study habits and a solid routine can help you not only succeed in your academic endeavours at Athabasca University (AU), but also maintain balance in your life and safeguard your mental health.
1. Create a workable schedule
Time management and building a study routine are key to being a good learner—especially when you’re an online learner. For every hour you spend in class, you should aim to set aside at least two hours outside of class to finish your reading and assignments. Try to pick a time of day when you feel the most alert. Consider having a 30-minute buffer zone around each scheduled study time just in case you occasionally have more you need to do.
Keep in mind that a study routine only works if you’re making adequate time for all your other priorities. Otherwise, you may find yourself stealing time from the hours you have set aside for schoolwork to finish your ongoing to-do list. Plan each day so that you have the time you need for everything you do.
2. Know your learning style
Not everyone learns the same way. For example, flashcards may be a great study tool for kinetic learners, but auditory learners benefit from reading class notes aloud or reviewing tutor notes, rereading assigned chapters.
Don’t get discouraged if the methods others use don’t work well for you. You just have to find the process that does. Knowing the tools that help you retain information the best can make each study session more productive.
3. Sharpen your online study habits
An online learning environment can be a challenge to students who are not used to it. You must adjust to the reality that, while there may be opportunities for some collaboration with classmates, there’s not much of a social component to online study. Safeguard your mental health by taking frequent breaks, rewarding yourself for completed tasks, and creating a special study space that inspires and motivates you.
Deadlines are an important part of any study program, but online classes add a few challenges to the mix. You may experience glitches with even the most reliable internet service, so make sure you have a backup plan such as a favourite coffee shop with excellent Wi-Fi. Give yourself extra time on assignments by scheduling a soft deadline that is a couple of days before the work is actually due. Push yourself to finish assignments by the earlier date to counteract the effects of unforeseen issues.
4. Bring it home
Each learner at AU has unique needs. Finding a good study routine that works for you is important, and it probably won’t look like everyone else’s plan. Understanding what you require to be successful in your classes helps you create a schedule and find tools that support both learning and good mental health.
While we're here
Some people enjoy music while studying, some don’t. With the Athabasca University Spotify account, you’ll be guaranteed to find something new to jam out to—that’s the perfect soundtrack to whatever you’re doing. Look out for some great study beats and jams for moving your workday along. We’re here to help!