Taking an online course for the first time? As a member of Coursera’s teaching and learning team, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of teachers who offer their courses to more than 48 million people worldwide. Based on research and best practices from our community, here are eight online study tips for online learning.
Set daily study goals
Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish in your cycle every day. Having a clear goal can help you stay motivated and get through procrastination. The goal should be specific and easy to measure, such as “I will watch all the videos in the second unit and complete the first programming task.” And don’t forget to reward yourself as you progress toward your goal!
Create a personalized study space
It is easier to remember information if you are in the same place where you first learned, so having a dedicated space at home to take online courses can make your learning more effective. Eliminate any scattering of space and, if possible, separate them from your bed or sofa. A clear distinction between where you study and where you can take breaks can help you focus.
Make an appointment to study on your calendar
Open your calendar and choose a predictable and reliable schedule that you can reserve to watch conferences and complete tasks. This helps ensure that your courses don’t become the last on your to-do list.
Tip: you can add Coursera course deadlines to Google Calendar, Apple Calendar or other calendar application
Tell your friends about the courses you study and post the achievements on your social media accounts, or on a blog about your homework. Having a community and supporting a network of friends and family to encourage him makes a difference.
Actively take notes
Taking notes can improve active thinking, improve understanding, and increase your attention. It is a good strategy to absorb knowledge, whether you are learning online or in the classroom. Get a laptop or find a digital app that works best for you and start collecting key points.
Tip: While watching a lecture on Coursera, you can click the “Save Note” button below the video to save a screenshot in the course notes and add your own comments.
Subscribe to the discussion
The course discussion forums are a great place to ask questions about study assignments, discuss topics, share resources, and make friends. Our research shows that students who participate in discussion forums are 37% more likely to complete the course. Make a post today!
Do one thing at a time
Multitasking is less productive than focusing on one task at a time. Stanford University researchers found that “people who are regularly bombarded with multiple streams of electronic information cannot pay attention to or remember information or switch from one job to another, as well as those who complete one task at a time.” Concentrate on one thing at a time. You will absorb more information and complete tasks with more productivity and ease than if you tried to do many things at once.
Rest your brain after learning is essential for high performance. If you find that you are working on a difficult problem without making much progress for an hour, take a break. Going outside, taking a shower, or talking to a friend can revitalize him and give him new ideas on how to approach this project.