Getting started with online learning

6 tips for managing time, and managing yourself

Advice from a student: Prioritise your time. Just because your online papers aren’t physically included in your timetable, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t block out time for them. Initially I struggled with this, and left a lot of my discussions quite late. Once I had prioritised my time, and allocated time a few mornings a week to contribute to my paper, I did way better.

Tip 3: Plan ahead - Plan to finish early

  • Making an early start and working regularly means you will keep up and will be less overwhelmed immediately before a deadline. Build in a buffer of time so that in cases of illness or technical failure, you have time to recover and keep back on track.

Advice from a student: When I arrived at Waikato orientation I was given a big calendar for my wall, so I use that to plan the reading, discussion and assignments.

Tip 5: Discipline and reward

  • Reward yourself after you have done the work. Your reward for a study session could be time with friends, a trip to the gym, or a single episode on Netflix.

Tip 6: Find a study group

  • Online study does not have to be isolating. There are other students in the class too, so make time to meet with some of them – in person, on campus or as part of a regular coffee group; or synchronously online via Skype or
  • Talking about your work and brainstorming together can help you to learn and to overcome obstacles. Remember that any confusions about requirements or assignments should be referred to your lecturers.