Over here in the UK degrees are likely to get a whole lot more expensive. Tomorrow MPs will vote on whether to lift the tuition fees cap, and today students and university staff are set to carry out another of their high-profile protests. Many people have been saying that the future Higher Education landscape is likely resemble that of the US where fees are uncapped and undergraduate tuition costs are much higher. The result is that fewer from poorer backgrounds attend and a university’s status is of utmost importance (e.g. the ivy league).
With this in mind online education is likely to become increasingly popular, tie it in with remote working and you’ve got a sustainable, economically viable package that suits many people. Today’s guest blog post is from Alvina Lopez and comprises of her four top tips for working and studying online. Alvina writes on for Accredited Online Colleges about issues relating to online learning. Accredited Online Colleges maintains a database of the top-ranked accredited online colleges helping users to find a degree program that meets their degree level, category and subject of interest.
Alvina’s email is alvina.lopez @gmail.com and she’d welcome any comments you have on her top 4 tips for working and studying online.
Thanks to the Internet, working from home is a feasible option for more and more people. The Internet has enabled users to pursue college degrees from the comfort of their own home as well. Being able to both work and study from home simultaneously is quite a blessing, especially for those who have obligations like caring for children or elderly parents. It’s also just plain convenient and easy. Personally, I was working full-time at home while pursuing a Master’s degree online, and while the experience was rewarding, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. In order to give it your all in both your job and your studies, you’ll have to become a time management fanatic. Here are some tips and tools that helped me do both without going crazy:
1. Use Evernote
If you work and study from home, you’ll need to be able to organize both your work tasks and school tasks simultaneously. When I was an undergraduate I was incredibly inefficient when it came to organizing notes, homework assignments, and other odds and ends for my many different classes. When I started working and studying online, I knew that I needed a better system. Evernote is an incredible online tool that allows you to organize literally everything. It creates to-do lists, storage folders for notes, calendars for long-term assignments, and much more.
2. Figure out what your learning style is
When you work and study from home, most of your learning both for your job and for your school work is self-directed. This gives you ample space for choice and creativity. But it also thrusts more responsibility on you to get things done well and efficiently. During my stint working and studying at home, I took some time to figure out what my learning style is. Some people learn better with visual aids, some people need to listen to pick up information, and some learn best by doing. Most people are a mix of one or more, with strengths in a particular style. The easiest way to understand your preferred learning style is to study and work using different techniques, then see which one allows you to get the most done. For more information on learning styles, check out this useful resource.
3. Keep your work, study, and leisure locations separate
I like to think of myself as a multi-tasker, but the truth is I’m not a very effective one. In fact, according to one study, people who attempt to do multiple things at the same time end up doing poorly on each task. If you tend to try to juggle many things simultaneously as I do, it’s best to stop yourself and concentrate on one thing at a time. The easiest way to do that, I’ve found, is to create separate spaces for working, studying, and play time. If you are a remote worker and an online student, chances are most of your work is completed on your laptop, so you may be tempted to do everything in one place, like your bed, kitchen counter, or couch. Creating separate spaces a desk at home for work, a local library for school, and your living room for idle surfing encourages you to focus on one thing at a time.
4. Communication is instrumental in both remote working and online schooling
When you work from home, it’s very easy to lose touch with your supervisor and others with whom you work. Working on an online degree simultaneously, you may forget to keep in touch with professors. As anyone who has either worked or studied online knows, communication is incredibly important. What I did was log into my email account and respond to or send emails for both work and school first thing in the morning, so I didn’t put it off until later and forget. Keeping separate email accounts or folders is useful in organizing your communication so it doesn’t become one jumbled mess.
These are just a few of the most helpful methods I used to make working and studying from home feasible. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how stressful it gets, it is entirely possible if you plan ahead of time, organize yourself, and stay focused. If I can do it, then anyone can.