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Study Tips


Studying for an online course is different than in a traditional, face-to-face class. Time flexibility and working independently are two of the advantages of online courses, however, you'll need to manage your time properly to be successful. Try using the following tips to adapt to studying online and by yourself.


Make a Plan

 A good study plan is the key to studying online. Your study plan should include time for:

  • Online Classes: readings, lectures, slide shows and anything else your professor posts on LMS

  • Assignments: estimate how long you need to work on each assignment, and give yourself plenty of time before the due dates.

  • Review: start studying material well before quizzes and tests to make sure you're prepared.

  • Tests/Quizzes: these will be scheduled by your professor. Mark their dates and times so you don't forget.


Schedules and calendars can be a good way to keep everything organized. Dates for assignments, tests and quizzes will be determined by your professor. Marking these down in an accessible location will help you keep track of them. Both physical calendars and electronic ones are good options, you'll just need to find what works best for you.

While you're writing in due dates, try scheduling your class time.  Much like normal in-person classes, a consistent time to learn will help you stay on track. If you liked your schedule before, keep using that! If not, you can make a new one, but be sure to dedicate the same amount of time to each course as your former schedule had.

You can be flexible with your time for assignments and review, just as you would be during regular classes. Remember to refer back to your calendar to be sure that you have enough time to complete everything. 


Take Notes by Hand

Writing your notes with pen and paper can help you better remember the information, as opposed to typing. This also allows you to dedicate your entire computer screen to just lectures or readings - no space needed for a word document!

If you want to have an easily searchable document of your notes, try typing them up later as review. The repetition will help you better learn the material!


Make Flashcards

One of the issues to studying by yourself is how to prepare for quizzes and tests. Flashcards can solve this problem. 

Making flashcards yourself is very easy. You don't need any fancy cardstock paper - whatever you have will work. On the front of each card, write a question or a term, and on the back, write the answer or definition. If you're worried about seeing the answer through your paper, use pencil - it's much lighter than pen and will be harder to see from the wrong side. Physically writing out the cards will help you remember the information, much like writing out your notes does. 

When studying with flashcards, you'll get a clear view of what you know and what you need to focus on, based on which cards you can answer quickly, and which ones you need to think about.


Take Breaks and Change Topics

Burn out is very real - your brain can only stay focused for so long. To help keep that focus, you should do two things: take regular breaks, and change up your study topics.

Change Topics:

Instead of dedicating one day to each course, do work from each course every day. You'll remember more material, and you won't get as bored as you would cramming one topic. 

Take Breaks:

Remember to take a five minute break every hour: stand up, walk around, stretch, etc. Be aware of how long your break is, though: five minutes is enough to feel refreshed, going to watch a tv episode might be too much.


Ron Doyle Library
Sault College
443 Northern Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6B 4J3
(705) 759-2554 ext. 2711

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