Jun 10, 2020 10:05 AM EDT
4 Skills That Will Make You a Better Remote Student in 2020
More and more students are actively choosing online courses than the equivalent offline counterparts. Both full-time students and professionals are taking advantage of the extra flexibility offered by remote studying and online programs. More importantly, top universities are also opening more of their courses to online students.
If you think the extra flexibility offered by online courses makes taking them easier, however, you are mistaken. There are still challenges to face when studying online - even more so compared to when you have scheduled classes to attend - and you have to go the extra mile to succeed. With these four skills we are about to discuss in this article, you can be more effective as an online student.
Time management is a crucial skill to have if you are studying online. Whether you are taking an online engineering course or taking one of the best accelerated nursing programs from Baylor University, you will have to manage your time meticulously to be able to complete the course at a suitable pace.
Time management is a skill that can be mastered. You can always measure the workload that you have to handle - such as the course materials to go through and assignments to complete - and you can allocate more or less time depending on that workload.
Alternatively, you can set aside a predetermined amount of time and stick to a strict schedule. This approach is perhaps easier since it allows you to turn online studying into a routine. You no longer have to struggle to find time to study.
If you want to be better at managing time, there are a few things you can try.
Create a schedule and allocate time for different activities. As cumbersome as making a daily schedule may be, knowing when to start doing certain activities and getting a reminder for your schedules help a lot.
Prioritize tasks and build your schedule around top priority ones. You cannot expect to do everything, but you can always prioritize certain tasks like studying to maintain a balanced schedule.
Leave time for rest and leisure activities. In fact, add them to your daily schedule. The goal is not to study all the time, but rather to maintain the right balance between studying and the other activities you have on your to-do list.
Internet proficiency is another thing you want to master to be a more effective online student. You will be spending the majority of your time researching, accessing the online learning platform, and performing other tasks. Knowing your way around the internet is a huge plus.
For example, using Google Scholar to search for citations and references is a lot more effective than using the conventional Google search. The former is designed to find articles, journals, and other scientific materials to help you work on assignments.
The same is true with knowing how to work on documents and spreadsheets online using Google Docs. You can always have the information you need no matter what device you use when your documents are stored - and made editable - in the cloud.
The internet is filled with resources that you can use to be more effective as a student, but the top tools you want to add to your bookmarks are:
Google Scholar, as mentioned earlier.
Koofers, a website that lets you create flashcards and learn for exams in a more effective way.
OpenStudy, an online community of college students where you can get help, connect with fellow students, and do many more things.
Audible, the center for audiobooks. If you don't want to spend days going through textbooks, picking up the audiobook version of them will certainly help.
Mint, a tool that lets you manage your personal finances like a pro as a student.
We really cannot talk about essential skills for students without talking about writing. You will spend the majority of your time as a student doing a lot of writing. Everything from course assignments to exams needs to be submitted in writing when you are trying to complete an online course.
Writing effectively means conveying what you are trying to say in a way that makes your points easy to understand. Academic writing is more formal and has certain rules to it, so make sure you take the time to improve your ability to write.
Just because you are taking an online course, it doesn't mean you will not be communicating with others. You still have access to your lecturers and fellow students. Some assignments may even require you to work together with other online students.
Good communication is key. This is a skill that you want to master now, simply because it is a skill that will continue to help you further down the line. By knowing how to communicate effectively, you are also gaining another big advantage: the ability to build a professional network while studying.
So, what can you do to improve your ability to communicate? These tips are the ones you want to try.
Listen to understand. The majority of effective communication is actually listening. Pay attention to the information being conveyed to you before you communicate a reply.
Simplify and limit your key messages. If you really understand what you are trying to communicate, you will be able to communicate those points in simple and easy-to-understand terms.
Watch your body language, even when communicating over conference calls. Your body language affects the tone and intonation of your voice, and the person on the other end of the line will notice those changes.
Learn to engage your listeners and keep them interested in the topics you are discussing through questions and interactions.
Take your time. Don't rush through sentences. Add pauses, be mindful with what you say, and make sure you communicate at a pace that is comfortable for the audience.
These are the top 4 skills to master if you want to be a more effective online student. With these skills under your belt, you will have no trouble at all overcoming the challenges you will come across on your way to an online degree.
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