By Maha Ansari

It’s almost the start of a new semester, and the perfect time of year to evaluate old study habits and form new ones. The following New Year’s resolutions are sure to help you pass your CUOL courses with flying colours!

  1. Communicate with your professors.

A virtual learning environment is no excuse for neglecting to seek guidance from your instructors. After completing two CUOL courses online, Patrick Bourgon recommends that students email their professors or visit their office hours regularly. Apart from helping you achieve academic excellence, communicating with your professor can double as a networking opportunity. 

  1. Make a study schedule, and stick to it!adilson-ferreira-2

Every student this reporter interviewed offered a common piece of advice: remain on top of your CUOL course material! Adilson Ferreira successfully completed two law courses through Carleton University OnLine. He suggests setting aside a few hours at the same time each week to watch lectures

  1. Don’t be afraid to pursue your interests.

While on-demand learning offers a flexible means of completing compulsory classes, don’t overlook opportunities to study subjects that intrigue you. Phiara Bernade completed two biology courses through Carleton University Online. She says her fascination with the course material enhanced her academic performance. “When you enjoy [a class] you keep more information and you do well,” she says.

  1. Maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Although it’s possible to watch lectures from the comfort of your home, avoid developing a lifestyle of prolonged indoor isolation. “Prioritize your schoolwork, but it’s all about balance,” says CUOL student Raymond Chew. He goes to the gym and takes walks to diversify his routine.  A healthy lifestyle helps develop a positive frame of mind, which paves the path for academic success.

  1. Watch your lectures in a suitable environment.

If watching a lecture in bed lures you into dreamchelsea-merriman-2land, change locations. “Working on your bed can be very distracting,” warns Chelsea Merriman, who benefited from Carleton University Online while taking PSYC 1001. Complete your coursework in an environment conducive to learning. Many students claim to have benefited from frequenting a designated “study spot,” such as a desk in their bedroom.

  1. Don’t depend on lectures alone.

 Lulu Sun, who completed BIOL 1902 through Carleton University Online, says students should supplement lectures with alternative sources of information. In addition to viewing lectures, Sun frequently turns to textbooks, her own notes, and online explanations to help her understand complex ideas.

  1. Get enough sleep.

Getting enough sleep helps you remain alert during lectures and improves the brain’s capacity to process and retain information. “If you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t tend to pay attention to the video you’re watching,” explains Ferreira.

  1. Dismiss distractions.

Once your lecture is on your screen, resist the temptation to turn on the television or visit the fridge for a snack. Bernade says eliminating distractions while watching lectures ensures he can fully absorb information.

  1. Interact with your fellow students.

Many Carleton University Online courses feature discussion boards on cuLearn where students can interact virtually. Strive to take advantage of these opportunities to communicate with your peers. Your classmates can offer valuable insight on course material.

  1. Make better use of technology.

Resolve to make better use of the many technological resources available to enhance your learning experience. You can download apps to organize your notes or store videos of lectures on your phone and watch them during your morning commute.

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