Study Tips from Academic Advising
Good study skills can help with even the most difficult classes. See what tips and techniques our advising staff has to offer and try to utilize them this fall!
“Go into your Introductory Folders for each of your classes and thoroughly read, print and post all of the course document information. The Supplemental Syllabus, Course Policy, Tracking Calendar and Rubrics include a plethora of information that students must be aware of and understand to be successful in their courses. If there is something that you don’t understand, ask!” -Lynn Bala, FYE & Orientation Instructor
“Make a weekly plan for yourself as to when you can work on assignments. Also, post your discussions as early as possible so you have more time to concentrate on discussion responses and other assignments.”
-Rick Kraft, Admissions Representative and Current Online Master’s Degree Student
“When taking online classes, treat the situation as if you were taking classes at a campus. Dedicate specific days/times to attending classes and stick to your schedule. Make sure to check the directions and due dates for assignments first be-fore making your study schedule.”
-Kim Valachos, Academic Advisor
“Spread it out. Make sure you divide your studying time over a number of days, rather than leaving it all for the night before. You may come across questions that you need answered by your instructor. If you leave it until the night before the test… you may not get the answers you need in time. (It’s unlikely your instructor will be answering your questions in the middle of the night).”
-Rachel Mehltretter, Continuing Student Advisor
“Take 5-10 minutes before getting started to quiet your mind. Take some deep breaths, close your eyes and take your-self to a happy place and relax your body. It doesn’t take long to get the mind ready to absorb new information. A little soft music in the background helps too.”
-Denise Broadwater, Continuing Student Academic Advisor
“Treat your college education as if it were your job. Write professionally, schedule time to be in your classes and keep your advisor and instructors in the know if you are not able to be in class for a few days. This will ensure that you have dedicated your time, energy and effort into being successful.”
-Jennifer Ruhland, New Student Academic Advisor
About the Author
Kathryn Grow, Registrars Office
Going back to school can be quite overwhelming. One of the biggest obstacles new college students face is managing their time appropriately. Time Management can be particularly tricky for online students because although you have the flexibility of logging into your courses at any time, many of you will be working full-time jobs and have family obligations that you must fit your schoolwork around.
So how do you get into the groove of being a new online student? It all starts with making a conscious effort to use your time wisely. It can be as simple as placing Post-it notes around the house so that you are consistently forcing yourself to be conscious of time. Another option is to keep a journal to log what you are doing with your time throughout the day.
Keeping a time journal can be very eye-opening. You might find that the time you spend on the sofa watching television each night adds up to over 12 hours each week! Or you might find out you spend too much time on Facebook, playing Xbox, surfing the web, playing FarmVille or even sleeping. Don’t panic- I am not saying to give any of these things up. I am trying to help you be more conscious of how you are spending your time, so you can manage it better and also keep up with your schoolwork.
There is nothing worse, or easier, than procrastination. Admit it. You have been there at some point in in your life. The evening is dwindling away; your assignment is due at midnight and you are thinking of all the other times that you could have (and should have) been getting your assignments done. By making an effort to be aware of how you are spending your time, you will be more likely to plan ahead so you don’t end up a victim of procrastination.
It is important to remember that to be successful at managing your time, you will need to reward yourself. Set your boundaries and make sure that for so every so many hours you spend being productive, you also allow yourself an hour to do something you truly enjoy. I hope this helps you get on the right path to being more productive and having less stress in your life.
Please add any additional questions, comments or tips that you have about time management in the comment section below.
It’s that time of the year again where the nights are getting shorter and colder. Parents and college kids alike are running to the store to get their last minute school supply shopping done, since fall has finally arrived. A new semester offers a chance for some to start over and for some a chance to get their life back in order. To start the semester off the right way, I wanted to come up with a list of supplies and tips for online students. This way when you are running around grabbing all of the crayons, highlighters, pencils, paper, and folders for your kids, you will have a list for yourself to make sure you are prepared for the long semester haul.
The first thing you need to take care of is your study space. Make sure you have a quiet work space that you enjoy being in. If you surround yourself with a positive environment, you are more likely to be able to accomplish your work. One idea that I have always liked is having pictures of your supporting cast, maybe you are going back to school to help out your family, friends, or even yourself. Having pictures of your family and friends will allow you to always remember what you are working for. It could also help you get through those late night assignments. It isn’t a bad idea to have a picture of your favorite vacation spot or a dream vacation spot, just something that can maybe take your mind off of your homework and allow you to reset your brain. If you have kids, it isn’t a bad idea to try and do your homework while they are at school themselves or once they are asleep.
Now it’s time to go back to basics. While taking online classes it is always a good idea to have the same supplies a traditional college student has. Whether you like to drink coffee, soda, or of course energy drinks, caffeine becomes one of the most important food groups for many college students! Many college students, including myself, owe thanks to the great people at Starbucks and AMP Energy drinks for helping us get through those late night assignments.
Of course you need the good old basics like paper and pencils, but with online classes the list varies at this point. We all know it is mandatory to have a computer and internet. You can also find a list of other mandatory computer components on our technology requirements page. The most important on that list is a printer. Printing copies of homework assignments, papers you have written and lectures is a great way to stay organized and on top of your school work. Make sure you have a binder or folder to keep all of your paper work in order. It‘s not a bad idea to have a filing cabinet or a filing box in your workspace either. Other computer essentials are speakers, a webcam, a microphone, a flash drive, ink, and printer paper. These are all required or highly recommended to stay on top of your assignments.
When I sat down to write this I said that I wanted to make sure I made your life a little easier by giving you a last minute school supply shopping list. Hopefully with these supplies, you are now in the position to succeed and turn over a new leaf. Here is your shopping list; now it is just up to you to find the time to do some shopping.
Filling Cabinet or Box
Feel free to add additional items in the comment section of items you think are important for online students.
Back to school season is right around the corner. With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to post a video with study tips for those returning to school. Whether you have just graduated from high school and are transitioning to college or if you are returning to school after being away for many years, these are study tips that can help you. I felt that it might be helpful to share with others the things that worked best for me. Remember, just because this is what worked best for me, you may find something else works better for you. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the study routine that works well for you. If you have any questions about the upcoming semester or about anything in this video, please post them in the comments section below. Best of luck in returning to school this fall!
Most college students have a giant stack of old textbooks collecting dust somewhere in their home. There are various reasons that students hold on to their textbooks, but it seems that the biggest one is they aren’t exactly sure how to sell them back. Here are some tips and tricks for how you can take those dusty books and turn them into cash:
As you can see, there are several options for getting cash back for your old textbooks. Remember, it is never a good idea to send a mass email out to all your fellow students asking if they want to buy your books. One last tip to mention is that it is always a good idea to sell your textbooks as soon as possible after a class if you do not plan on keeping them. The longer you wait to sell a book back, the less money you will likely get for it since textbooks are constantly being updated to a new edition. Most textbooks are only used for approximately one school year. Now all you have left to think about is what you are going to spend all of your cash on.
For many online students, the biggest challenge they face in going back to school is figuring out how to balance their school workload along with everything else in life. Most online students work full time and have families, so adding in time for schoolwork each week can be overwhelming at first. Here are some tips from successful Bryant & Stratton College Online students that can help you manage your time effectively:
1. Make a checklist – Many online students print out a list of their assignments for the week as soon as their folder for the week becomes available. Making a “to do” list or a checklist for the week allows you to make sure no assignments get missed and that you can reach your deadlines as well.
2. Plan ahead – If you know you have a busy week ahead at work, have events planned with your family, or are traveling, it is always a good idea to plan ahead. If you can get your work done, or at least the majority of it completed, before these other obligations you will be less stressed out and more likely to relax and have fun.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist – Sometimes life gets in the way and meeting deadlines and staying on track is more important than submitting the best research paper you have ever written. We all want to submit our best work, but if you get too focused on perfection you could fall behind.
4. Don’t procrastinate – It’s really easy to put that big project off when you have all semester before it’s due, but before you know it the deadline is approaching and you are scrambling to get everything done. If you have a big project due at the end of the session, it is best to map out small steps each week that you will complete toward the project. The hardest part of any project is getting started. The longer you put this off, the more stressful it will become.
5. Ask for help – There will be times throughout earning your degree that you will need help. Whether it’s asking your spouse to watch the kids so you can sneak off to a local coffeehouse for some peace and quiet to get your homework done, or whether you call your instructor at home for clarification on the assignment that you are really just having a tough time getting started with, everyone needs a little help now and then. Online students need a support team. This team wants to help you succeed and see you graduate. It’s always OK to ask for help.
It’s not easy balancing work, family and school obligations but it does get easier over time. No matter how proactive you are, there are going to be times throughout earning your degree when you procrastinate, or something comes up. This is completely normal. It is important to remember your end goal of walking across that stage to get your diploma. You can keep balance in your life as an online student with practice and patience.
If you are thinking about enrolling in an online course, you might be wondering if your computer will perform well enough to take an online course. It is important to research the technology requirements for any online program that you are looking into and make sure that your computer meets at least the minimum requirements needed. If you are thinking about buying a new computer to take online classes, pretty much any computer you buy these days that is running a Windows XP SP2 or higher operating system is going to meet the technology requirements necessary to go to school online.
The first thing to think about is if you should get a laptop or a desktop computer. While desktop computers tend to be less expensive, there are some definitely benefits to having a laptop computer. Laptops are great because if you have to travel at all while taking an online course, you can take your computer with you. Students with young children benefit from having a laptop because it allows them to be mobile while doing schoolwork if they need to go find a quiet place to study. If your internet connection goes down at your home, you can go to the public library, your local coffee café, or even a fast food restaurant to use a free internet connection with a laptop computer. Also, online students are required to have a microphone and a webcam and most laptops already have both of these features built in. The benefits of having a laptop computer can definitely outweigh the extra cost of the computer, but you should weigh your options and pick whatever you think will work best for you.
Many of the students that are starting online courses at Bryant & Stratton College Online, do not have Microsoft Office on their computers. Computers do not usually come with Microsoft Office when you buy them. This usually needs to be purchased separately and installed on your computer. You can download a trial version of Microsoft Office, but don’t rely on this to get you through classes, because the trial only lasts for 60 days. Students at Bryant & Stratton College Online must have a copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2007 to take online classes. If a student does not have it, they do have the option of purchasing it from our bookstore with their financial aid before classes start.
You should also consider your internet connection that you will be using for online classes. There are several types of internet services that you can purchase for use at your residence. There are dial-up, broadband, satellite and air card internet connections available as options for obtaining home internet access. A broadband internet connection is highly recommended for online students.
If your computer is really old or broken and you are planning to fix it or upgrade it, make sure you do this before you enroll in online classes just in case something goes wrong. You don’t want to start off as a new student and fall behind because you don’t have a way to access your coursework. Also, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan for what you will do if your computer isn’t working. Many online students have a family member or friend on standby in case their computer has an issue or their internet connection goes down.
For more specific information about Bryant & Stratton’s technology requirements, visit https://www.bryantstratton.edu/application.aspx. The technology requirements are at the bottom of the online application.