How to Study for Online Classes

Written by Accounting.com Staff Writers

Online students can work toward degrees from home through synchronous and asynchronous classes. Synchronous courses include set meeting times through technology, such as videoconferencing, while asynchronous classes allow students to access lectures and other course material at their convenience.

Distance programs often give students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Online learning also allows students to attend top programs in the country without relocating.

However, online learning presents challenges, as well. Learners uncomfortable with technology may experience difficulty navigating online classrooms, posting on discussion forums, submitting assignments, and taking exams.

Coordinating meeting times with professors and peers may also present challenges, particularly in asynchronous classes, and candidates may struggle with managing time and limiting distractions while studying. This page provides online class study tips to help learners overcome these and other challenges.

Online Courses During COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak caused most colleges and universities in the U.S. to switch to all online coursework. This transition aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation for limiting in-person events. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, COVID-19 has altered learning for more than 90% of students internationally.

Since U.S. colleges transitioned to online learning mid-semester, in-person students were forced to abruptly switch learning formats. For some programs, this transition made upcoming coursework impossible. Education majors, for example, could not finish in-person student teaching hours, and medical students were unable to complete labs.

On the other hand, online accounting classes are similar to on-campus courses, allowing students to communicate with professors, watch lectures, and submit assignments online. However, learners without adequate technological resources may still struggle with these changes.

Additionally, students dependent on the consistency of in-person classrooms may have a hard time focusing on coursework at home. Learners may also feel more isolated in online courses. The following tips can help students manage their time and study habits while taking care of their mental and emotional health during this stressful time.

Taking Accounting Courses Online

Online college courses can challenge and educate students as much as in-person classes. However, the success of online learning depends largely on the student's commitment. The lack of supervision means degree-seekers need discipline and self-motivation when studying. Students may also need to reach out for assistance by contacting professors, advisors, or student services. For example, many schools offer online math tutoring that may help accounting students understand course content.

The following section offers tips for excelling in online programs. These tips can help learners stay focused on coursework, build peer and mentoring relationships, and receive support when needed.

Online Accounting Classes Study Tips

Set Up a Workstation

Students may experience difficulty adjusting to learning at home. To stay focused, learners can set up a workstation with all relevant supplies, such as a laptop, pens, notepad, textbooks, and calculator. This space can help candidates study by providing one location for learning, like a classroom. A workstation also makes studying for online classes more convenient since degree-seekers do not need to leave the area to find materials.

Ask Questions

Transitioning to online college courses involves technology that students may not understand. Likewise, learners may need clarification on course topics. Asking questions in these scenarios is crucial to success. Degree-seekers can contact professors or fellow students by email or forum posts, and schools usually provide additional support services that can answer technical questions. Learners can also contact their advisors for information on topics such as course selection, graduate school applications, and internships.

Manage Your Time

Online learners benefit from schedule flexibility, but without discipline, this benefit can lead to incomplete assignments and poor preparation for exams. Good time management skills are critical for success. Learners should set aside the appropriate amount of time for each assignment, and use a check-off system to ensure they do not miss required work.

Virtually Network with Peers

Classmates can help each other understand course content and provide feedback on assignments like research papers and theses. Some courses may also require teamwork for projects. Students can interact with one another through email, discussion posts, and virtual events.

Take Study Breaks

Study breaks are essential to preventing burnout. Students can take study breaks and re-energize through activities like exercise, family time, or television before refocusing on assignments. Learners should add these breaks into time management schedules to encourage strong academic performance.

Consider Using Noise Canceling Headphones

A good option for anyone who studies in a noisy space, noise-canceling headphones can help you Studying from home often comes with noisy distractions. Noise-canceling headphones can block out these distractions, helping learners concentrate on schoolwork. These headphones are particularly helpful for students completing work at coffee shops or other public places.

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