Learner support

Online study tips to set yourself up for success

Whether you're thinking about online study or are in the middle of your learning journey, it's always helpful to review your online study practice.


Eight tips to help you get the most out of online study

Starting an online course or programme is an exciting time, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Set yourself up for success with our quick and easy online study tips. 

1) Set up a dedicated online study area

While one of the benefits of online study is being able to learn anywhere, having a dedicated space to study can help you get into the learning mindset. We recommend setting up a corner of your house or room specifically for learning, or having a regular spot where it's subconsciously easier to get into the study zone.

...Despite how comfy it is, you’re less likely to slip into relax mode, if you’re not working from your bed!

2) Block out time in your calendar each week

Tuihono UC courses are broken up into bite-size chunks, making it easy to slot learning into your busy life. On each of our course or programme website pages, we've included an estimated number of hours per week you'll need to study. These can range from 6 hours for a short course, to 37.5 hours for a full-time programme.

Taking the time to schedule these hours in your diary means you'll have a clear view of how much time you'll need to study, and a sense of accountability!

3) Find your study style

While some people find hand-written notes makes new knowledge stick, others will get the most out of re-watching video content, or making cue cards or visual mind-maps. Each of us have a different way of learning - try out a few different methods to see what suits you, or try taking an online test to explore what might work best for you.

4) Reduce task switching where possible

We tend to think we're being ultra productive with multiple projects on the go, but constantly swapping between tasks can tire out our brains more quickly, leading to the opposite effect. 

When you can, it's great to break down your study hours into specific courses or tasks, to allow you to fully focus on a specific topic for a decent chunk of time. Another helpful tip can be using a time management method like the Pomodoro Technique, where you spend 25-minutes of focussed work, broken by 5-minute breaks.

Giving yourself at least 25-minutes on a topic or a task, can give you the focus time you need to achieve a decent chunk of learning, without distraction. If you do use the Pomodoro Technique, take a longer 15 - 30 minute break, after four or five 25-minute tasks to fully refresh your brain. 

Parent working at home at the kitchen bench with their laptop, child and dog are there.


5) Take regular breaks

It’s important for your long-term health to rest your eyes and your mind between online study sessions. We recommend looking away from your screen and stretching every 30 minutes. A short walk (coffee break, anyone?) can also be a great way to refresh your body and brain, and let your learning sink in. 

6) Review new learnings

When you’re learning something new it can take a while for all the information to sink in. It may seem obvious, but one helpful tip is to read through a content section again, or watch a video a few times. By doing this, you give yourself the chance to absorb anything you didn't catch the first time.

While we recommend completing your learning on a desktop computer for ease, the benefit of online learning is being able to watch a video on the go, from your phone or tablet. 

7) Factor in proofreading time

When the time comes to submit your assignments, keep in mind that the final stages of finishing your work can take longer than you expect. We recommend re-reading your work at least twice before you submit.

It’s also easier to spot typos if you check your work in a different format or on a different screen. A neat tip can be saving your word document as a PDF to refresh your eyes - you'll be surprised what typos you'll find when doing this! 

8) Share your knowledge

Don’t keep your new learnings to yourself – explaining what you've learnt to your colleagues, friends and whānau is a great way to solidify your learning, and identify any gaps in your knowledge. And remember - if you find yourself needing support along the way, please get in touch with our friendly learner experience team at support@uconline.ac.nz

What tips for online study success do you have? Let us know! Email the team and share your experience, we love hearing feedback. 

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