Studying online can seem like a daunting idea. You might be concerned by the idea of not entering a physical classroom, or wondering how you’ll balance your career, your study, family time and your social life.
Once you get into the swing of it, you’ll likely forget all about these concerns. You’ll find that studying online isn’t fundamentally different to other forms of study, and the flexibility of an online postgraduate degree will give you added freedom to study where, and when, you want to.
Here are our five top tips to help you get the best out of your online study experience while balancing the other priorities in your life.
1. Be your own cheer squad
A lack of motivation is something that often tends to happen to those studying entirely online. It takes effort and discipline to sit yourself down and ensure you’re completing the required work – especially if you’re balancing study with full time employment. Breaking a larger task into small goals enables you to achieve your tasks with ease, remain focused, and enjoy a sense of achievement.
Remember your motivation for beginning this degree. Whether it was to become a better leader or to increase your knowledge in a field you are passionate about, remembering what got you here will help you stay on track.
2. Develop a support network
Making sure your family and friends know what you’re up to is integral to online study success. Let them know the time commitment your study is going to take, and what they can do to help you stay on top of your work. Whether that means knowing your block out times for no distractions, acknowledging you may be a little less available for socialising around assessment time or taking over cooking duties – having your loved ones in your corner will help you succeed.
3. Get to know other students
Studying online wont mean you are devoid of meeting your classmates – quite the opposite in fact. With social media, email, phones and online classrooms, there are many chances for you to network and get to know your peers. Making friends and industry connections throughout the course of your online degree means you’ll build up a strong support system while you are studying, and a strong network for the future as well. Check in with each other to motivate and keep each other accountable.
4. Organise your time
You’ll have undoubtedly heard it before, but time management is one of the most important aspects of studying. Simple things like starting assessments early and spacing out required tasks means you’ll stay ahead and be much more likely to enjoy your study. Determine the time of day when you work best, and ensure you stick to a schedule. Why not put a ‘meeting’ with yourself in your calendar and treat it like any other important meeting – this is the time that is set for you to work on your education. And, if you work better under pressure, embrace this! Some of our students find they easily fill the recommended 15 – 20 hours of study per week, while others do an hour here or there and then devote an entire weekend to complete a major assessment. It’s your degree so study it in whatever way suits you.
5. Ask for help
Never be afraid to ask for help – your tutors, peers and Student Success Advisors are always available to help you work through your ideas and goals.