Five ways to Prepare for the Start of your Online Degree

Online degrees offer the flexibility and convenience of studying from home or any other convenient location. However, with an online degree, you may feel like you have no reassurance when it’s time to begin.

Everything has a challenge, and it’s no different with an online course, or even an online master’s in marketing from a top institution. Consider these five tips to get your educational journey off on the right foot.

1. Understand your learning style

Knowing your learning style helps you prepare for the demands of completing an online degree. If you understand your learning style, it is easier to find the proper support and resources to succeed. You can break down learning styles into three categories: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Visual learners prefer to use imagery. If this sounds like you, you might benefit from drawing or diagrams. Auditory learners prefer lectures and audiobooks. If you’re an auditory learner, you may benefit from a study group to discuss ideas. Kinesthetic learners thrive with hands-on, tactile experiences. In this case, physical breaks and even pen and paper help learning.

2. Make a plan for studying

If there are specific courses you want to take in a particular order, then you want to keep track of those. You may feel the urge to dive in and start learning as soon as possible. By creating a plan, you stay on track and avoid burnout.

You may find it helpful to keep your schedule in an online calendar or planner. Include only the information to stay on top of your program. Keep a log of due dates, course requirements and your progress.

3. Get to know your learning platform

If you’re studying online, you’ll likely use online learning platforms or digital course management systems for your courses. It may seem daunting at first, but it’s nothing to worry about in reality. You’ll quickly discover that it’s straightforward.

Try to familiarize yourself with your learning platform dashboard as soon as possible. Find out its features, how they help you, and how you can use them.

4. Join a study group

Studying online means that you may miss the social interaction that comes with learning in a classroom. Still, you can try to replicate this experience with people in your online study group. There are many benefits to joining an online study group. For instance, you have the chance to network with peers.

Joining a study group also helps keep you accountable for your progress and goals. Its beneficial for people who work full-time or have other obligations. If your school doesn’t have an online study group, try searching for your field of study or degree program.

5. Give yourself time to adjust

Online learning is a unique experience, and adjusting to being a self-directed learner takes some time. You may experience feelings of isolation, panic, frustration or uncertainty along the way. These feelings are entirely normal, and you’ll overcome them with time and practice. It can also help you reach out to others.

Remember, you’re as capable of completing a degree program as anyone else. With these tips, you’ll get the most out of your online degree program and succeed as a self-directed learner.

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