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If taking a course via distance education, students need to plan for all of the course time, thus during a regular semester term, our 4 credit hour course example would require 3 to 4 study periods with 3 to 4 hours for each study period per week. If taking the course at faster pace (9 week summer term) you will need to schedule more study times. This may mean a 3 to 4 hour study period daily for 6 days a week (with only one day off as a day of rest).

You need to stay on top of a course to successfully complete it. Pacing yourself with multiple study times allows for effective learning. Students who procrastinate until close to an exam and then try cramming through course materials are rarely "A" students.

Learning requires variety and repetition

Variety comes in many forms and includes lecture, lab assignments, studying textbooks, multi-media materials, quizzes, writing a research papers, learning activities such as group discussions, crossword puzzles, flash cards, etc. This variety actually helps our brain to understand and build memory. In addition to variety, repetition (exposure over multiple study periods) is essential for our brains to be able to learn and recall the course materials. Again, this understanding and recall are essential to courses that require cumulative learning (you must understand item a before you can learn item b).

Textbooks and professors break-up course materials into chapters or learning modules often with learning objectives first and review items at the end of each unit. Each chapter or module might have any of the above mentioned items. But doing things and study are different. You can't just show up to class and listen, you can't just read stuff, you need to study. Study requires a variety of activities. Ask yourself:

  • Do you understand each learning objective?
  • Can you explain or formulate an answer for each learning objective?
  • If you did not understand the reading materials, did you re-read it?
  • Do the review items (especially questions).
  • Take lecture notes.
  • Do the lecture notes or handouts give you a better understanding than the textbook?
  • Often the problems or lab assignments are to be studied in conjunction with and reinforce the study materials. Have you tried to do and understand the problems or lab assignments?
  • Are there any learning activities available and if yes, did you do them.
  • Did you consider using 3x5 cards to study definitions and vocabulary?
  • Did you review the learning objectives before taking any quizzes?
  • If the quizzes are computerized, did you study your quiz results?
  • After reviewing quiz results and re-study, did you retake the quiz again if available?

All of this requires time and effort on your part as the student in any course (distance education or on-campus). You need several study periods a week to learn the materials in any course. The purpose of a quiz is for you to self assess your understanding of the materials. If your learning is not complete, change or modify your learning habits .

Interact with the other students

In a normal classroom students interact with each other. They often form study groups with other students and meet regularly to help each other study materials. These interactions in most cases are essential to the learning process. If your only interaction is by private conversation or private email with the instructor, you are not fully participating in the course. For distance education students, most learning systems (such as Blackboard Vista) provide several tools to create this interaction. They typically include announcements, discussion list, email and chat tools.

Don't procrastinate and don't get behind

What should you do if you get behind? Plan regular study periods. The lack of regular study periods is most likely the reason for why you got behind. Plan when you will do extra study periods in order to catch up.

Attend class and take notes

Taking lecture notes and being able to review those note later when you are studying provides variety that is needed to learn material. Just writing the notes down more actively engages the brain, because you are listening and writing. But you need to arrange with at least two fellow classmates that you will all take notes and share notes with each other if absent. In addition to course materials, other administrative matters are discussed in class (such as the announcement of exam date change).

If you are taking a distance education course, you need to regularly enter the learning management system (such as Blackboard Vista) and review the announcements, discussion list postings and read (and answer if appropriate) email. Most distance education professors assume that anything he has communicated via these tools will have been read by the student within 3 days. In short this means you are responsible for having read the items and completing any action requested.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Programming fundamentals - a modular structured approach using c++. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10621/1.22
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