How to study at a distance
There are a number points you must be aware of if you want to become an effective distance learning student.
Use your time efficiently and effectively
Beginning students often think that if they are conscientious and put in long hours, the rewards will come automatically.
However, if the work is not efficient, for example effective note-taking, then it is often time wasted. The best example is the detailed, verbatim notes some students do, which don't actively engage with the material, organise it and prepare it for storage in memory.
Be an independent learner
Distance students cite isolation as their biggest concern and feel disadvantaged by lack of access to lecturers and other students. Internal students also need to develop skills as independent learners - lecturers don't hold their hand either - but there is access to both lecturer support and also student support. Stream is very useful for both.
Manage tasks through a strategic study plan
Planning and task management are the keys to successful study. See the section on time management.
Identify potential distractions and diversions
Being aware of the things that distract and divert from study is half the battle. Make a written list to pin above your study space. Most of us welcome a diversion, but if you have already identified the danger, you are better prepared.
Reflect on your learning
Lastly, but most importantly, reflect on your learning - the how and what. If you identify problem areas - for example, why you fell behind in the preparation of that assignment - you are better able to adapt your study style.
This feedback can also come from other places: your marker, your family and friends, or the assignment pre-reading service.