The key to creating any successful online program is to make it interesting and engaging for students. The more time students spend learning, the more likely they will enjoy and succeed in the course. Online programs that let you work at your own pace are great, but you may have to put in more effort. If the subject or the lessons are not engaging enough, you will find yourself unnecessarily working at a snail’s pace to complete a one-year degree program in two or three years. In other words, don’t spend only two days every week reading lessons. Let’s look at what you can do to stay engaged in an online degree program.
One of the best ways to stay engaged in an online degree program is to make time every day to work toward earning your degree. Try to stay away from assigning yourself a specific day of the week to work on your degree because, and this is especially true if you’re a parent, anything can happen. Instead, try to break down and distribute the work throughout the week with one day serving as a cumulative review of everything you have studied in the course to date. You will also find that the best online courses expand onto previously learned material with each new lesson.
Own Your Learning
At the beginning of each school year, teachers from all grade levels often encourage their students to decorate their notebooks and organize personal cubbies or binders. This is just one way students can own and personalize their learning. Make sure your learning materials reflect who you are as well and that they make it easier for you to learn. Homeschooling can be a major advantage here and will help you own your learning because of schedule flexibility, familiar home environments, and a personalized workspace. Even if you don’t do work at home, you can make your library desk feel more comfortable with lighting and by bringing your own supplies.
Make Learning Materials Work for You
Are you using materials and office supplies that make you want to study? If you prefer wide-ruled paper over college-ruled, this should be the type of paper you buy. Don’t pressure yourself to use materials everyone else is using, and do what works for you. You love the idea of a daily planner that fits conveniently in your pocket, but will this make keeping track of what assignments are due easier? If you can’t write small enough to have legible entries to refer to or if you need a giant grid notebook with tiny squares to control your handwriting, then go out and buy what works for you.
Online education courses often require quite a bit of reading. To read faster, try following along with an index card under the text, similar to how we learned to read by pointing to words as we went. Using a highlighter gives your brain an extra task to do and may help keep you focused. There are reading comprehension strategies you can implement using a highlighter: You can highlight the key points as you read, this makes reviewing more focused because you only read what is highlighted. Highlight the text as your eyes travel over the sentences to keep them from wandering around the room.
Use one or all of these tips, the important thing is to be aware of how you work best, then tailoring your study time to fit your needs and situation. Remember you are not under any obligation to use any materials lying around because your program is online. You have to put in more effort to stay up-to-date on class assignments than you would in a traditional classroom where the instructor gives you reminders. Staying engaged in your learning is easy when you use strategies to help yourself to enjoy the program.