Study Tips for Distance Learning Students

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e-Learners have it a little tougher than students at brick-and-mortar schools when it comes to studying. When you've sat in a lecture hall all day listening to your professor speak, it's easy to tell which points he finds most important and which concepts can be skipped over. When you take courses online it can be harder to make that distinction. That's why you need to develop effective learning methods specific to distance education.

Eliminate Distractions

Taking distance education programs means that you have to be online. That's pretty obvious. It also means that you're susceptible to the millions of distractions available on the net. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can become an addiction for students. Also, there are fascinating blogs, news available 24/7, movies, music and more. If you find it difficult to stay away from it, unplug your internet connection or disconnect from WiFi.
Preparing for online education

If your instructor posts his lecture notes online, or you need to read an e-book, print the lecture slides or e-book, so you no longer need to use your computer. If printing off your study material isn’t feasible, use one of the many web services such as FocalFilter and SelfRestraint to block distracting sites. Once you've eliminated the obstacles, you'll find distance learning much easier.

Set a Timer

Sometimes, the problem isn't distraction, but a dread of studying. This is a common problem considering that it is usually an unpleasant or boring experience. Most of the time however, the thought of studying is worse than the act itself. Just like house chores, going to the gym, or anything else we’re not typically excited to do, the hardest part is starting the study process. Once you start, the tough part is over – not to mention you’re closer to being done.

Committing yourself to reading a certain amount of time is a good strategy. For example, set a timer for 30 minutes and take a quick 5-10 minute break afterward. Keep repeating this cycle for about three hours. A lot of people start to lose momentum after 2-3 hours, so take a longer 30-60 minute break at that time. You'll find that the timer helps you focus because you know you're rewarded with a small break after each reading session.

Don't Forget the Supplemental Materials

When reading, many students concentrate on the textbook, but the textbook may or may not contain information that the professor feels is most relevant. If a professor gives a lot of supplemental materials, you can be fairly certain that he or she feels the textbook is insufficient for some topics. For those topics, pay closer attention to the supplements than the text.

If this isn’t your first test in the class, you have a better understanding of what the teacher focuses on in the test. Are the questions based on facts, or are they more critical knowledge-type questions that require you to apply what you’ve learned to a certain situation? Paying attention to how your educator teaches, or the style of previous tests can give you a better understanding of what to expect on your exam, and therefore a better idea of what to study.

Get Rid of Clutter

Clutter is distracting for any student, whether online or traditional. Clutter is stimulating to the mind but in a bad way. It over-stimulates the brain and makes it difficult to focus. Do you have so much jumble on your desk that all the used utility trucks in Florida couldn't haul it away? You don't want to get caught up in a lot of cleaning when you have a test coming up, but clearing the mess out of the room you're studying in can vastly improve your ability to concentrate.

Hopefully with the above tips, your online course will be easier to handle and more valuable.

Author Info:- Michelle is a freelancer writer and she loves blogging about various topics.  Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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