Nine tips to stay focused and retain information when studying online

Studying online

With constant technological advancement, the number of students studying online rapidly increases yearly, and it’s easy to see why. Online education offers learners flexibility and a wealth of information they can access anywhere.

However, with so many distractions, it can be hard to focus and retain large amounts of information while studying online. Learning to stay focused in your online studies can make a huge difference in your academic career and life.

This guide will help you develop effective study habits that will help you get the most out of your online courses.

Appreciate online learning practices

Being able to study online is a privilege that many of us take for granted. Appreciating the different learning practices, you can take advantage of online is essential. 

For example, acquiring a Masters in Applied Statistics without ever stepping foot on campus is an incredible opportunity. If you struggle with visualizing math problems, taking classes online will allow you to use tools like graphing calculators, charts, and graphs.

Also, if you need additional help from professors or teaching assistants (TAs), they are only a few clicks away with email or video chat.

Establish an adequate study space

One of the most important things you can do when studying online is to establish an adequate study space. That means finding a place where you can be comfortable and free from distractions. 

Ensure your study space is well-lit and has enough room for your materials. You’ll also want to consider the type of furniture in your study space. 

For instance, a desk with lots of extra surface area might not be best if you need to move around often. It’s also important to choose supportive chairs that provide comfort to avoid getting too stiff or sore over time. 

Finally, ensure that your study space is near a power outlet to power your devices. The combination of these factors will go a long way toward helping you stay energized and engaged during your studies.

Eliminate distractions

When focusing on your online studies, every little distraction can seem magnified. You might jump from website to website or get lost in social media.

To get a grip on this habit, block off time when you’ll be doing nothing but studying and put away all potential distractions. 

For example, turn off your phone, close social media tabs, and find a quiet place to work. You may also try wearing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to block off external sound distractions.

Take important notes

During an online education study session, taking notes on the most critical points you’ve learned is essential. You can write down the key points in your own words or make a list, so be sure to use a method that works for you.

Taking notes gives you a physical record of what you need to remember. It can also help you organize your thoughts and track what is most important. 

You might find it easier to review the material later when looking for gaps in understanding or more complex concepts.

Frequent contact with a trainer

Maintaining regular contact with your trainer is vital to staying on track with your online studies. If you have any questions or need clarification on anything, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

If you feel like you’re struggling in a particular area, your trainer can help devise a plan to get you back on track. They might give you tips for success or offer different study strategies that will work better for you. 

Always let them know if something interferes with your ability to complete an assignment, such as a change in schedule, illness, or family emergency.

Maintain study motivation

When undertaking an online course, it is crucial to understand the amount of time it will take to succeed. If you lack total commitment, chances are that you will stop paying attention or lose interest before completing your studies. 

You should set goals for a more straightforward and smooth tracking process of the plans. Setting smaller goals helps to keep things from feeling overwhelming, as well as being less discouraging overall. 

A good goal might be to break up larger tasks into manageable chunks and ensure you perform them consistently. Doing so can keep you motivated and energized throughout the process.

Take regular breaks

When you’re staring at a screen for hours on end, it’s easy to get lost in your work and lose focus. It’s also easy to overwhelm your brain with too much information in a short period. 

To avoid this, take regular breaks to walk around, stretch, have a snack, or take a few deep breaths. A few minutes from your work will help you come back refreshed and sharp, which is crucial for information retention.

Time yourself

Another way to make sure you are making the most of your online study time is to time yourself. Doing so will help you track your focus duration and identify where you need to make improvements. 

You can also use a timer to break up your study session into smaller, more manageable chunks. This action will help your brain retain information better and keep you from getting overwhelmed or bogged down.

Regular revisions

Regular revisions are a great way to retain information and ensure that it stays fresh in your mind for future lessons. You can do revisions by setting aside time each week to review your notes or just reading through them quickly.

Additionally, try testing yourself on the material in different ways, such as through practice quizzes or flashcards. The more you revise, the easier it will be for you to recall the material when faced with new information later in the course.

Wrapping up

Online studies can be challenging because several distractions might hinder your progress. With a few minor adjustments, you will find that you can have a more productive study session and retain more information in the process. You will feel better about your work and enjoy it by leveraging these tips in your online studies. 

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