Online Education: 4 Tips for Adult Learners

Being an adult student can be tough. Schoolwork can be difficult to juggle with so many responsibilities and obligations. You can, however, take some steps to make the process easier. Here are four tips for studying online as an adult that can help you stay on track and enjoy your education.

1. Plan Ahead

Planning your semester and each week as early as possible can be the best way to maintain a grueling schedule. At the beginning of the semester, write all assignments, papers, and projects in a planner. Use whatever planner works best for you, but if you use a paper planner, it may help to create reminders on your phone for important tasks.

Once a week, do a weekly review and create a schedule for the week. Include your work schedule, rest, working out, fun and some outside time where you can detach from all your responsibilities.

2. Set Boundaries

When you are studying from home and your family or roommates are around and have their own expectations for your time, it can be hard to find quiet time to study. Create a comfortable and efficient study space for yourself where you can retreat to complete your work.

If you need to, hang a sign on the door when you cannot be disturbed while in your virtual classes. Make a habit of planning time with them each week as part of your schedule. Hang your schedule on the door or another visible place so others know when you are busy or available.

3. Use the Tools

The platform your school uses may have many tools that can help you be successful as an online student. When you get access to the platform, explore it fully and watch any tutorials offered. Before each class, show up a few minutes early and make sure everything works properly.

When you are watching videos, watch each lesson fully once while taking notes, and then you can change the speed to check your notes or expand on sections that may have been confusing. Back up your assignments regularly to a cloud drive, and if you are working on a big project, use an additional backup method like a zip drive or external hard drive.

4. Participate Daily

Participating in your online classes every day can not only help you learn the material, but it makes you visible to the professor or teaching assistant. Your classes may require you to make discussion posts each week, but post every day, if you can. You could also form a study group with other students in the class. Keep in contact with your professor or teaching assistant by asking thoughtful questions or asking for help when you are struggling.

An online degree may be a great way for you to further your education and advance your career. When you work full time, raise kids, or have other commitments, doing homework or studying for exams can be challenging. Taking a proactive approach and keeping organized can help you excel as an adult learner.

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