1. Have a Quiet Place to Take Classes
Dedicate a place in your home for taking online classes. This will likely be the desk in your bedroom, but it could also be your kitchen table or even a study area elsewhere in your student housing. However, it shouldn’t be your bed because this won’t put you in the mood for studying.
2. Create the Right Environment for Studying
Once you’ve chosen a primary place to study, set it up in a way that will keep you productive. For instance, it may help to keep your cell phone out of reach and to tell your roommates not to disturb you while you’re in class.
3. Make Sure You Have All the Necessary Equipment
For in-person classes, you need things like a laptop or tablet, notebooks with a range of stationery, and textbooks. For online classes, you need all these things plus a few extras. In particular, a fast internet connection is a must (especially if your classes are live), you may need to upgrade your laptop if the one you have is several years old, and you may need some specific software.
4. Adapt Your Note-Taking Practices
Note-taking for online classes is different from taking notes in person. For instance, you’ll be able to take screenshots to accompany your notes instead of needing to write everything down yourself. If you’re watching the class live and miss something, you may be able to come back to the recording for clarification. If you’re watching a recording from the start, you can pause and rewind the video during difficult parts and increase playback speed if the professor is talking too slowly.
5. Stick to a Schedule
You’ll never be as productive as you could be if you just go with the flow. Create a schedule where you’re as specific as possible about how you’ll use your time. Decide what to work on according to when you focus best. For example, you may find you need time to wake up in the morning or you may do your best work early in the day.
6. Focus on One Thing at Once
Trying to multitask can make you feel more productive, but it actually means you’re not fully focused on anything. As a result, you retain less information and your output is lower quality. For this reason, you shouldn’t try to do anything else when you’re in an online class and you should avoid jumping between tasks when studying.
7. Know How You’re Using Your Time
Make sure you’re sticking to your schedule and using your time productively by noting down how you use your day. Write down how many hours you spend on online classes, study sessions, and breaks. Use this to improve your schedule and find ways to become more productive.
8. Reward Yourself for Your Achievements
It can be difficult to stay motivated with online classes because you lack interactions with other people. Incentivize yourself to work hard by coming up with some rewards to give yourself for meeting your goals.
If some or all of your classes are online, it’s important to make sure you’re having the full student experience while at university. A more affordable alternative to Brock University residence is Regent. You’ll have your own room with a desk and chair where you can study without distractions. When you need a change of scenery, you can use the community room. Book a tour to see where you could be living.