What is the best way to set up a place to study when learning online?

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Online learning provides a convenient and flexible learning option for those who had rather not get in the car, fight traffic and play chicken to get the best parking spot at the traditional brick and mortar university. Furthermore, online degree programs are designed to provide flexibility in attendance times, curriculum, as well as, where you study, such as in your pajamas or at the corner café. It’s your choice!

If you are dedicated to pursuing a degree online, it could make studying easier or harder, based on your personality. Some students do better with little or no direction, while others thrive from a hands-on learning approach. Since most of your lectures and lessons will be online, having a good Internet connection is paramount, so you don’t miss sessions or fall behind on assignments.

Otherwise, setting up your study space comes down to what inspires you and keeps you on track. You could have a whole room set aside just for study, with your school laptop or computer, complete with a desk and bookshelf for your books, coursework, or other school supplies. Other students may be more comfortable working from their bed or on the couch. That’s what makes online learning fun, and that there won’t be a teacher looking over your shoulder!

There are a few critical components for finishing an online program. You must be determined, disciplined and free of distractions. You must also create for yourself a pleasant learning environment. Do you like to be sunshiny warm or had you rather there be a crispness in the air? Set the thermostat to make your surroundings comfortable. Create a study space that gives you room to spread out your materials and allows you to be organized, so your supplies are at the ready. Are you comfortable in your chair? Are you maintaining good posture while you work? If not, expect backaches and neck strain in the morning. Can you see to work? Be sure to have the proper lighting for computer work to avoid eye strain and glare on your computer screen.

But even with a laid-back approach, you still need to plan ahead by setting aside specific hours to attend classes or work on your homework. Let your roommates, family, and friends know your set study times so they will know not to interrupt. Silence your smartphone and log out of social media sites so you can do your best work.  Other students might work well around others, so heading to a public library, open workspace, or coffee shop might be a good option if you’re wanting to work on projects but still want to be around people. Just be sure to buy a cup of coffee or two if you’re using the complimentary wi-fi.

As you think about online learning, you can get excited about this particular format because it will give you the freedom to also take care of your family or maintain an existing job. You will gradually find the work atmosphere and routine that best suits your personality and schedule.

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Does your study space need help? Head over to our stunning INFOGRAPHIC: Best Workspace for Your Online Major for some organizational tips from our experts.