Dwight Global's Top 9 Learning Strategies for Online School Success
February 17, 2023
Once you have made the decision to enroll in an online school, you will want to get the most from your online education. Below are nine tips to help you succeed in an established and academically rigorous online school like Dwight Global Online School.
1. Create a personalized learning schedule
Establishing a learning schedule that works with your lifestyle, preferences, and needs will set you up for academic success. Set aside time for studying, attending class, and group work, as well as time for your outside passions and pursuits.
Crafting a personalized learning schedule that fits your interests and talents is essential for an engaging online school experience. If you have a busy period coming up outside of school, plan ahead. Ask your teacher if there is work you can complete in advance of your busy period or travel dates. Planning ahead will help you meet deadlines and avoid cramming.
2. Come to class prepared
Success in an online school depends on how deeply you invest in your own learning. Seek to own the process and the responsibility of your education. Prepare for each online class each day, and spend a few minutes each night looking at your next days’ schedule and the week and month ahead. This simple task will ensure you are aware of your short-term and long-term obligations in every subject area.
Good preparation will save time and yield excellent results at your online school. Your classes are a time to challenge yourself and your peers, exchange ideas, and participate in meaningful, in-depth discussions. Live classes are the favorite aspect of online school for many students, and completing the assigned readings before class will help you focus on contributing to the discussion and learning from your classmates' comments.
Active participation in class and outside of the classroom is a proactive way to ensure success in your online high school. You might comment on a classmate’s discussion topics or paper, read recommendations from classmates and faculty members and then follow up to let them know your thoughts, or simply ask questions in class or outside of it through email, message boards, and in meetings.
Active participation also means reaching out when you need help, and adding to the discussion with connections from your own life experiences and recreational readings and activities.
Find your voice–and use it–for a great online school experience.
4. Stay organized
Another key component for being successful in an international online school setting is organization. Create a consistent schedule for completing your schoolwork. Dedicate a space within your home where you can work with minimal distractions. If you have to travel, proactively stay organized before you leave, during your trip, and when you return. Identify a system for organizing your classes and assignments to avoid losing or overlooking any completed work. Find the organizational method that works best for you: online calendar, notebook, and phone notes can all provide organizational support.
5. Determine your learning style
Think about how you accomplish your best work. If you are a morning person, reserve space for studying then. Maybe you are a night owl, or find midday is your most productive period. Preserve and protect your most productive time to ensure you get your work finished.
It is also important to know what type of learner you are in terms of context absorption, retrieval, and synthesis. Do you need visual support to memorize information? Do you learn best from hearing the material out loud? Maybe you have discovered a combination of both works best, or that different subjects require different methods of learning.
To make grasping new concepts easier, know your own style and incorporate information gathering and retention strategies that work for you. Employing relevant study methods that include your best learning styles will help you enjoy learning more.
6. Develop an anti-distraction mindset
Multitasking might seem like an effective time management tool, but not when it comes to academics. Listening to a podcast while taking a walk outside is effective time management, but when it comes to studying, multitasking lowers productivity.
Toggling between social media or playlists and academics will take you far away from creating deep concentration, and make it harder to comprehend and complete assignments.
Instead, create lists to prioritize tasks and focus on one task at a time. Work on disciplining your mind to work on one thing for a full, uninterrupted 25-40 minutes, and then take a break.
“When working or studying from home, there are many opportunities for distraction, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to being able to focus,” said Laurel Aquadro, Dwight Global’s Head of Learning Support and Quest. “It's important to build a toolkit by learning about different kinds of strategies and testing them out to see which ones work for you.”
Communication is a key component in online school success. Reach out to faculty and administrators to address your questions and concerns, of course, but, in addition, reach out to clarify assignments and deepen content understanding.
Many students find that communication can be challenging when you primarily connect with your online school community. Becoming adept with online communication tools like email and scheduling will ease your transition to online education.
Finally, devote time to getting to know your teachers and your classmates outside of class. Set up meetings, participate in extracurriculars, volunteer for leadership positions, and get involved in all aspects of your school.
Finally, build and master communication skills within your classes and outside of school. Learning to communicate verbally as well as in writing over email is an essential skill no matter what occupation or path you choose.
8. Connect with others
The best online schools promote a sense of community through in-person and online experiences. By fostering connections with classmates and teachers, you expand your network, open the door to future opportunities, and create lifelong friendships. It will be easier to ask questions in class or say "I don't know" if you are comfortable with classmates and faculty.
Extracurriculars, clubs, book groups, social events, and residential experiences like those unique to Dwight Global Online School will help you feel an integral and important part of your school. Creating solid friendships and school relationships will go a long way toward making your online school experience a deeper, more meaningful, and memorable one.
9. Set goals
Set academic and personal goals at the beginning of each semester, and post them somewhere so you have a constant visual reminder. It may be helpful to talk over your goals with a teacher, dean, or friend, so you clarify and prioritize them over a series of days and months, or even a year. For example, if you want to take the highest level of mathematics by graduation, plan each year to ensure you take the necessary prerequisites.
It’s never too late to review and renew your goals, and focusing on them will expand your learning and help you grow as a student and a person.