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Tips for Success: Creating Your Study Space

Creating Your Online "Classroom"  

In an online class, you can learn any place where you have access to a computer and your reading materials.  Here are some tips:

  1. Find a space that is quiet, and where you won't be distracted or interrupted.  Studying in front of the TV usually doesn't work, nor does studying while also instant messaging your friends. If you are able to really concentrate on your class, you'll find that you learn more in less time than if faced with constant interruptions. Your study space can be in a library, or a bedroom, or even a quiet coffee shop--wherever you can focus on your class.

  2. Print out your syllabus and assignments calendar, and keep them in your study space. You might want to actually tape it to your computer. If you study in several different locations, print out multiple copies so you always have one at hand.

  3. On the main computer you use for your class, set up a folder where you save all of your work for the class. It's important to keep copies of everything you submit, just in case there's a technology issue. This also helps you track your progress in the class. You may also want to back up this folder on disc or a flashdrive, just to be sure you're covered.

  4. Be sure that the main computer you use for class is reliable, and that you have a relatively fast and stable Internet connection. Also recognize that computers do break down, and Internet problems do occur. Have a back-up plan in place at the start of the class. Determine what you will do if you have a computer problem. Can you borrow a computer? Do you know when the local libraries are open, and for what length of time you can use those computers? Do you have a friend or relative that will let you use his or her computer and Internet connection? Having this plan in place now will save you from panic if a problem occurs.

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