Studying online can be exciting, challenging and extremely rewarding in equal parts, giving you the opportunity to study while you work and manage family commitments.
If you are a relative novice in the world of online learning you may find yourself wondering how you can make the most of the opportunity in front of you. It can after all be quite a big commitment, choosing to study online if you have never experienced this before.
Below we have compiled our top five tips to help you excel as an online student and make the seamless transition to this form of studying. So, if you really want to know the best ways of sinking your teeth into online learning, and how to graduate with the skills to succeed in your chosen career path, read on below.
1. Fully research the course and institution
We know this sounds like common sense: why would you enrol on a course you had not fully researched before? But it is not only important to make sure that the module content and career perspectives appeal to your goals but also that the course is validated and genuine.
Online degrees have developed considerably since their early inception with improvements in technology and academic content, helping to deliver greater interactivity and career flexibility. That is why it is so important to make sure the course you choose is right for you, particularly with the significant financial and time elements involved.
To help you decide which degree you should apply to study, read our useful blog that discusses the different qualifications you can achieve online and what qualifications you should look out for.
2. Ask for help
It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed from time to time during your studies. It is important during these periods to not panic and to reach out for assistance if you need it. After all, we have a dedicated support network in place who are more than happy to help you, from the moment you start the application process to the day you finish your degree. Regardless of the challenge that is facing you – whether that be academically, financially or personally – you do not need to face it alone.
Just contact us as soon as you can, and we will be able to offer advice and support to help make things easier. Our admissions team will answer any questions you may have about the application process, our student services team can help you develop your academic skills and our experienced module tutors can provide feedback on your progress.
3. Know your deadlines
One of the most important skills to develop as an online and part-time student is being able to manage your time effectively. This is especially true if you are balancing your study time while factoring in work and family commitments simultaneously.
It is a good idea to establish a routine to ensure that you are setting aside enough time for your studies. Whether that be on a Sunday afternoon, a couple of nights after work or first thing in the morning: it is totally up to you and your lifestyle.
Despite all our courses being part-time, you are still required to dedicate between 15-20 hours of study time per week. This can sometimes be tricky when you are handling office projects and school runs at the same time, making it easy to forget an assignment deadline. That is why it is important to know when your deadlines are coming up, so you can properly prepare.
4. Set goals
Depending on the course you enrol on, it could take anything from between eight months to four years until the day of your graduation. Along the way, you might find yourself losing that initial spark of enthusiasm you had at the beginning.
It is important in these moments that you remind yourself of what motivated you to study your course in the first place. Are you working towards a specific promotion? Are you looking to move into a new industry? Or do you simply want the skills to take on more responsibility in your current role?
Another strategy to help overcome this issue should it occur is to set yourself a range of short-, medium- and long-term goals during your studies. Setting and celebrating your completed milestones should help you stay motivated and fly through your assignments!
5. Make the most of resources
All our courses are delivered 100% online and part-time through our sophisticated virtual learning environment (VLE). Through this platform, you will be able to access the University of Essex Virtual Library, join online discussion forums, attend virtual lectures and submit all course assignments.
All these resources are available 24/7 – the only thing you need to access them is an internet connection and a laptop or tablet. This gives you a great opportunity to network with your peers across the world, sharing ideas and getting different global perspectives on a variety of issues. You will not only be learning from your tutors, but also your classmates.
What is your next step?
If you would like to find out more information about our full range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and short courses, why not download a prospectus. Alternatively, if you are ready to apply now you can submit an application in just five simple easy steps.