Studying online requires a sharp focus and motivated approach. Naturally, we do not feel productive at all times of the day. Luckily there are several ways to get back on track and re-focus, so we have compiled some of the best online learning hacks to help you get the most out of your study sessions and avoid burnout.
Sync your personal, work and study calendars. It is tempting to keep family, medical, part-time work and lecture/tutorial commitments in separate digital spaces. However, having everything in one place can help you to feel more organised and be able to access what you need with ease. You can also use colour-coding to help you differentiate between different calendars, tasks, and priorities.
Experiment with new revision styles
It's important to understand your learning style, including your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can facilitate your learning moving forwards and find what works for you. For some, the challenge might be sitting and reading for extended periods of time. Hypothesis is a Chrome extension that highlights text as it reads for you. In this way, you can digest information both aurally and visually. Search the web for a tool that works for you, especially if you find reading tiring and find yourself losing focus quickly.
For some, visual learning might be the way to go. Brainstorming and drawing posters can provide an aesthetically pleasing and more memorable method of learning. A multi-faceted approach is helpful in determining the most effective revision hacks, and some might even prefer using a variety.
Engage with other students
Keep connected to your course mates – they will be a source of inspiration, motivation, and excellent ideas throughout your learning process. This might take the form of a group chat, or regular video calls. Many of ULaw's students opt to use our Elite intranet to connect for formal study activities and take the initiative to form new WhatsApp and Facebook Groups.
In these days of smart phones there are numerous ways of sharing notes, diagrams, and files – use them. Sharing how you are organising information, whether via Airdrop, photo-sharing, scanning, or facetiming, can reaffirm what you already know and offer to explain your revision topics to others. By doing this, you are also supporting your peers, who will essentially be your professional colleagues and support-group in the years to come.
Have a break from your phone
We are all guilty of having a toxic and clingy relationship with our phone. However, ditching the distractions that come alongside our mobile device is one of the most effective ways to stay focused. When you are settling into a period of high concentration reading, note-taking or essay writing, consider turning your phone off or putting it in another room. If you want to be really disciplined, ask a friend or family member to hold onto it for you until you have done a set amount of work.
Eat before seminars. If you are hungry, you won’t have either the energy or brain-food to concentrate on your tutor’s words. Think about what healthy, high-energy snacks you can graze on during each day. They say that time is a great healer – sleep is too. Perhaps the most important top tip for thriving during any course is regulating your sleep pattern so that you are properly rested, restored and ready for work.
Owning your workspace
Designing the perfect work environment for you can be fun, and vital when working from home. Everything from mascots to lighting, colour-coding to shelving can make a difference. So, try and give time and thought to this. For inspiration check out ULaw’s #LiveProspectus hashtag on Instagram – you’ll find a wealth of student study-dens and lifestyles to cherry-pick ideas from.
For more information about how you can learn with us Online, visit: www.law.ac.uk/locations/online