Businesses want to employ people who have specific qualifications in the field. Often, a certain qualification such as a degree in business is a pre-requisite for any promotion into the management arena, so even people who have been in the industry for many years are going back to university. Few adults have the time and resources to study at university as full-time students, especially if you have a family who is depending on your income. Studying online gives you the option of studying for the qualification in your own home and at your convenience. However, studying online does have pitfalls that can trap the unwary student, so these tips should help you to make the experience of studying online fulfilling and easy.
1. Plan Your Time
Even though you can study at home and whenever it is most convenient, you should plan your study time. Don’t think you’ll be able to study until 3am and then get up at 6am for work again. Be realistic in your time planning. Consider how much time you genuinely have to undertake a study program and plan your time accordingly. You may need to give up some other activities, like watching television programs in order to have enough time to complete your studies.
Most people find it best to study in one or two hour blocks. This gives you enough time to learn something without the study becoming tedious. If your course requires six hours of study a week, allocate yourself three two hour blocks each week for your study at times you can regularly commit to (as if you were attending a lecture or a class).
2. Allow Time to Complete Assignments
Give yourself plenty of time to complete the assignments. You may need to complete some of the assignments over weekends, even though you would rather be playing with your children at the time. However, if you plan your time well and plan your assignments as soon as possible, you should be able to complete your assignments without staying up until all hours on the day your assignment is due.
If you have an assignment due in four week’s time, allocate one quarter of the tasks to complete the assignment to each week. If you can, complete the tasks within your usual allocated study time, but be prepared to spend an extra couple of hours on an important assignment if you need to. If you complete the assignment in stages, it is much easier and you are less likely to miss your deadline.
3. Commit to Completing the Study Requirements
There is little point in starting a course of study if you give up after a couple of months because it is too tough. Commit to completing the entire course. To do this successfully, you will need the support of your family and friends. You may have to make some sacrifices in order to complete the study program, such as limiting time with friends or family. You may ask your family to leave you alone for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning, so you can complete your studies. Plan your time well and allow for the course of study to become part of your lifestyle.
If you can integrate your study into your lifestyle and everyone knows you are studying, you will find it much easier to commit to completing the entire course. Keep yourself motivated to complete the course by remembering the reasons you undertook the study in the first place, like the promotion you want.
4. Use the Resources the University Offers
The university offering online study courses will have many different resources for students. Many students who fail an online course do not take advantage of all of these resources, such as online tutors and forum discussions that can add clarity to the taped lectures, practical tasks, and assignments you have to complete on your own.
If the university offers an opportunity to discuss your assignment with a tutor over the phone or the internet, take up the opportunity. You’ll make it easier for yourself if you take advantage of all of the offered resources and will find that your study is less onerous. One of the disadvantages of studying online is that you have to learn alone, but you can take advantage of the forums and discussion groups that make the learning experience better. Someone else may ask a question that is bugging you too and you’ll be able to bounce ideas off each other, as you would do in a classroom situation.
Studying for a qualification can be challenging and rewarding. Today, many businesses expect staff to be continually learning and upgrading their skills and qualifications, so there are many reasons to study. Studying online can be a challenge, but it could be the most convenient option to fit your study into your lifestyle.