Working and studying from home have become something of a new normal for many people around the world. Fortunately, communication technology is advanced enough to allow people to connect with each other almost instantaneously, no matter where they might be. This means that you don’t need to sacrifice a quality education by choosing to learn remotely. However, there are some additional points that should be taken into consideration when studying from home to ensure that you make the most of your education.
Figure Out How You Learn Best
Knowing how you absorb information most efficiently is a useful starting point for anyone in education. While the notion of fixed learning styles is no longer widely regarded as accurate, it is still important to understand the best ways of taking information and translating it into a format your mind can readily accept. Are you someone who finds it easier to learn when discussing a topic with others? Or do you thrive in an environment completely devoid of distraction? Having even a rough idea of what benefits you when trying to learn will go a long way to making the process easier and much more rewarding.
Make Sure You Have Chosen the Right Course
There is nothing wrong with thinking that you want to study one subject and then changing your mind. Of course, it would be simpler if you could know precisely what you want from your course and whether or not it can provide that to you before you commit to it; however, don’t feel trapped by your decision if you soon discover that you would prefer to study something else. For example, just because you have set yourself on a path by choosing a history subject doesn’t mean you can’t look for accelerated BSN programs to advance your career as a nurse instead. The sooner you can feel good about your chosen course, the more fulfilling and worthwhile your studies will be.
Understand the Timeline of Your Course
If you won’t be attending in-person lessons, it can be difficult to get a real sense of the course timeline. Make sure you have a list of important dates and deadlines that you can refer to. When you are studying from home, it can be easy to forget an upcoming assignment due date, so do your best to avoid this scenario by finding out your course timeline at the very beginning.
Note Important Contact Details
When attending regular in-person classes, it is easy to take for granted that your teachers or professors are readily available to you. Studying from home, however, means that if you have a question that only your teacher can answer, you will need at least one reliable method of getting in touch with them. Most teachers will be more than happy to share their work email address with students and may in fact insist that you keep in touch regularly so you can catch up and ask any questions that might help you in your studies.
Create a Designated Study Space
Your surroundings will undoubtedly impact your ability to concentrate and work efficiently from home. You may find that your home environment is a source of many temptations that threaten to get in the way of your studies, such as the opportunity to watch television or take a nap. To combat this, design your workspace to be as streamlined and purposeful as possible. This means avoiding the inclination to study in your bed or while watching a movie. Create a quiet space in your home that allows you to focus on your subject. Good lighting, comfortable furniture, plants, and ambient sounds can all contribute to making a space more conducive to quality studying.
Identify Potential Distractions
Not everyone is the same when it comes to what they find distracting. Some students can focus easily when surrounded by noisy people while others need complete silence in order to work efficiently. Maybe you find it difficult to stay on task when you know that your games console is nearby, or your phone is beside you. Identify your distractions and take active steps to put barriers between them and you. This might entail disconnecting the internet while you read or switching your phone off and putting it in another room.
Use Practical Study Techniques
There are hundreds of excellent study techniques that make the input of information simpler and more effective. Not all of them will apply to you or your subject, but it is worth experimenting with different methods of learning in order to find what works best in your circumstances. Here are some examples of useful study techniques:
- Retrieval practice takes into account the rate at which your memory begins to lose information. It is a method of learning that reinforces knowledge by retracing the pathways in your brain at set intervals, so you embed the information deeply and reliably.
- Try to teach a concept to someone outside of your course. By forcing yourself to explain something in your own words, your brain has to comprehend the subject sufficiently.
- Use flashcards to keep small segments of information to hand and test yourself with questions and answers. Repeat the flashcards that you find yourself struggling with.
Reach Out to Other Students
Even if you consider yourself to be a relatively introverted or solitary person by nature, it can still be incredibly useful for you to reach out to other students on your course. You may meet each other over video call or during online lectures but having connections with people who are studying the same subject as you can be hugely beneficial to your learning. Invite your classmates to a collaborative study session or have lunch together so you can discuss topics and share your knowledge. These situations arise more organically when taking in-person lessons, so you may need to be proactive about it when you all study from home. While it is possible to succeed as a student without these social connections, they truly are an asset worth taking advantage of.
Studying from home doesn’t have to be limiting. You can use the comfortable learning environment to your advantage. Make the most of your familiar surroundings to achieve your goals.