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The flexibility of online study has been amazing for many people. However, online study also has challenges.
Human beings are social creatures, and online study can be isolating. Thankfully, in an age of Skype and Google Groups, it's never been easier to stay in contact with others who are in the same situation as you, even if they're thousands of kilometres away.
While participating in an online discussion might feel strange or even pointless to start with, you can rest assured that you'll benefit from brainstorming with and drawing on the expertise of your fellow students.
You can also get the most out of your Skype or telephone catch-ups with your teacher by being up to date with your coursework and having some questions prepared.
Take the time to get a handle on everything you need to know, like when the course starts, when it finishes, when assignments are due and what your final mark will be assessed on. It's also a good idea to carefully read the course description, course objectives and course requirements.
Due to the nature of remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that you're probably wont be exposed to as many different perspectives as you would being part of regular classroom discussions that involve the teacher and other students. While hopefully, your online study group will partially make up for it, there is an increased importance on you doing all the required reading plus, if possible, doing a little extra to get a richer understanding of the subject matter.
It can be tempting to put online study on the back-burner, especially if unexpected demands arise due to work or family commitments. Plan for success by blocking out periods of time to study and, barring genuine emergencies, sticking to the schedule you have devised.
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