How to Stay Focused in an Online Learning Environment

It’s no surprise that over the last two decades online learning has become increasingly popular. Both small and large universities from all over the world have embraced the concept of online courses and independent learning. Innovative higher education programs that offer online courses allow students to create their own schedules and consume course materials at their own pace. However, despite all of the positive aspects of online learning, this type of academic environment can prove to be quite difficult to stick to if students are easily distracted. Without an instructor to enforce a steady work schedule, it can be difficult for some students to stay motivated and focused when taking online courses. Thankfully, there are a few different things students can do to stay committed to courses that they take online.

Find the Right Environment

It’s important to practice self-discipline when taking an online class. That can be difficult to do if you’re trying to learn while you’re still in your pajamas laying in bed. That environment is designed for rest, not for working and consuming information. If you don’t have a home office or study nook to escape to, it’s important to find the right environment for school work. Check out local libraries, coffee shops, or book stores for your course work. Home can be a very distracting place when you’re trying to focus.

Set a Timer

When students go to class, they have a set amount of time for learning. When you’re learning online, fifteen minutes of reading can feel like an hour or an hour can feel like fifteen minutes. It can be difficult to keep track of time. By setting a timer for an hour, you’re mentally removing distractions and committing to your course for that hour. Setting timers can also help students remember to take breaks.

Connect with Other Students

Many students who enjoy the camaraderie of campus classes might find online learning to be a bit lonely. Learning independently is great for some, but can be discouraging for others. If you believe you’re this type of student, it’s important to connect with other students in your course. Even if they live far away or in a completely different country, video chats or texts can help you feel like you’re not in this course alone. This tip is especially helpful for those that work better in teams. Innovative higher education online programs will normally encourage students to work together in chat rooms or video conference calls.

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