Most college students want to make the best grades possible, but some find themselves challenged due to a wide range of variables. These often include poor study habits, procrastination, and many others. Read more to find tips on how to meet and overcome some of the top challenges online students face.
In my experience as an online instructor, I discussed with my students what types of issues they faced in their efforts to succeed as online students. While every student is different and faces particular challenges, I found, as a whole, that many students deal with similar issues.
Develop Better Study Habits
Many individuals graduate from high school without ever having developed good study habits. While this is common among younger students, it is practically impossible to succeed in more advanced learning situations without improving one’s study habits. This is true because of the level of work required and the time it takes to keep up at the pace necessary in college classes.
As a student, the first thing you should do is identify your primary learning style. Most people fall into one of these types of learning: visual, auditory, reading/writing, or kinesthetic (hands on).
In a perfect world every instructor will include activities that incorporate all of these types. In the real world, that may not be the case. Also, when you are learning online, a great deal of the responsibility means a lot of reading on the part of the student.
Your classes will likely include videos and possibly pre-recorded lectures as well as assignments that require you to read textbook material and understand it.
Tip: Regardless of your preferred learning style, in the online classroom, your best bet is to read, read, read! Read your syllabus, read the assignments thoroughly, and read the textbook material before you begin trying to complete any assignment.
Allow Yourself Plenty of Time for Study
Enrolling in college as an adult means adding a lot of additional responsibilities to your already-busy schedule. Therefore, to be successful, allocating enough time for studying is a must.
The wonderful thing about going to college online is that you do have more flexibility in creating a schedule that fits in with your lifestyle — including family and work. However, you need to stay committed to your schedule so that you don’t get behind.
Tip: Pad your schedule with additional time each week to offset any unexpected time-consuming events. You never know when a child might get sick or you have to work overtime on some project.
The biggest enemy of success in the classroom is procrastination. And, remember, when you’re in the online classroom, you are in charge of your learning and preparation. You won’t have a teacher reminding you every day of what is due and when. Instead, it will be up to you to utilize your course syllabus and your course calendar to help you stay on track.
Tip: Determine what needs to be done day by day and week by week to help you complete your assignments on time.
Without a doubt, the benefits of online learning outweigh the challenges, but it is important to understand that you have to stay on top of your schedule and remain self-motivated to succeed and do your best in the online classroom.
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