5 Study Tips for MOOC Students

5 Study Tips for MOOC Students

Get the most out of your MOOC with these study tips.

Keep in mind work, family and social obligations that might take away from your study time. It’s better to master one MOOC than take three and not have enough time to study for any of them.

Being a student in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is fun and exciting, especially with the promise of a free education from professors at prestigious universities like Stanford and Princeton.

MOOCs require students to be much more independent than traditional college students, which can be very difficult at first. Even though there aren’t any grades or professors asking you why you skipped your last lecture, MOOC students have to have the personal responsibility to study and complete the necessary coursework on their own.

Luckily, these simple study tips and a little hard work can make your Massive Open Online Course a success.

1. Schedule time for your MOOC.

Since you don’t have to actually attend a school or classroom to take a MOOC, it’s easy to get distracted by the rest of your life. And MOOCs aren’t a walk in the park either. As Udacity says on their front page, “Passing a Udacity class is as demanding as passing a university-level class.”

Set aside time to read content, watch lectures, participate in online discussions and do assignments. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it needs to be consistent and it needs to be enough for you to keep up with the class. If you treat a MOOC like a free-time hobby, you’ll quickly fall behind.

2. Participate in the learning community.

The nature of a Massive Open Online Course is that there are potentially thousands of people all taking the same class as you, reading the same material, and asking the same questions. MOOCs have forums and message boards for discussing your course with other students. Ask questions or offer to compare notes with other students online.

Not to mention that, as this Review of Educational Research study shows, studying in groups has been linked to improved student learning and success.

3. Practice your computer literacy.

MOOCs are taught exclusively online, and for people who have difficulty with computers, this can pose a significant problem. Learning about basic computer skills like word processing and web browsing through continued use of both the Internet and computers in general will improve your ability to learn with MOOCs.

4. Study at a desk or table, rather than in bed.

This study tip applies to students of any class, but is especially helpful for MOOC students. While lying in bed is great for browsing the web and watching funny cat videos, studying for a MOOC is hard work. Sitting at a table will keep you more attentive, focused and awake.

5. Don’t take more courses than you can manage.

Computer science, history of the New Testament, organic chemistry and the search for extraterrestrial life are all topics you can learn about with MOOCs. But just like a semester at a regular college or university, you can’t overload your schedule with too many classes. Take as many courses as you are able to truly manage. Keep in mind work, family and social obligations that might take away from your study time. It’s better to master one MOOC than take three and not have enough time to study for any of them.

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