15 Jun 2023
5 tips for maximising your distance learning experience
Discover how to make the most of distance learning.
What is distance learning?
Distance learning refers to an increasingly popular style of education, whereby students can achieve a holistic school or college experience from the comfort of their home. Whether it’s due to a heavy schedule as a champion jockey or alleviating extensive commute times, there are a whole number of reasons why more and more students are choosing to learn from a distance. A distance learning experience can include GCSE & A level studies with a tutor, termly trial examinations, and the ability to join virtual and in person social clubs. Convenience is the goal.
But, how can one maximise their distance learning experience? Find out below.
1. Protect your time
At Greene’s, you can work with your Personal Tutor to produce a study schedule – this will help you to stay on track with your learning. Because we place a large focus on students’ independent studies, with regular tutorials fleshing out your understanding with a subject-expert tutor in a one-to-one, paired, or shared (three students to one tutor) setting, planning your study time is essential to success. By creating a study schedule, you can avoid multitasking, cut out distractions, and avoid leaving things until the last minute. Just make sure to revise your schedule to accommodate new priorities e.g. your Personal Statement, additional revision for a particular subject, a new hobby etc.
2. optimise your study environment
Your learning environment can play a crucial role in the way that you study, and its results. It is vital that you should feel comfortable, whether this be in your bedroom (try not to study from your bed – you may feel more lax and procrastinate), a local coffee shop, or in your living room. Some students prefer background noise, jazz or lo-fi music, whilst others opt for complete silence. Try putting your phone away, or asking someone to look after it during your study period so that you don’t get distracted. Consider also the tidiness of your surrounding, a cluttered room may perhaps create feelings of stress. When you join tutorials with your tutor on Zoom, you could try using some noise-cancelling headphones for enhanced focus. Whatever or wherever you so choose, comfort is key.
3. Keep connected (to a healthy degree)
It’s easy to feel completely disconnected from a larger community when you’re studying from a distance. Make sure to also regularly check your e-mails for new online opportunities and Greene’s Online to view your tutorial slips – reports provided after every tutorial, so you know what to work on post-tutorials. At Greene’s, students who join online tutorials will only ever be accompanied by students who are also studying online e.g. in a paired tutorial (two students to one tutor), all three will join online. This helps to alleviate that feeling of “being the only one not physically there”.
We would recommend, to increase the feeling of being connected, that distance learning students join our online clubs where they can meet and make friends with other distance learning students from around the world. If you have the availability, you can also join our in person clubs. There’s always someone to talk to, from your Personal Tutor to your regular tutors, fellow students, and staff.
4. Create an unbreakable study mindset
Whether you are taking your A levels for the first or second time, doing a GCSE retake, or completing an online Gap Year programme, remember: your studies are a marathon not a sprint. With online information (of varying qualities) at the tips of your fingers, it’s easy to try and rush aspects of your studies, especially if you have other pressing commitments. This can often lead to a patchwork of knowledge. Your studies at Greene’s are designed to pace you so that you can completely and holistically understand your subjects and remember the necessary information for examinations, university, and beyond. Allocate time to cool off from your studies, but work on your mindset so that you find it easier to slip back into an effective flow state of learning. Talk with your Personal Tutor about ways that you can build an effective study mindset.
5. review your studies
Whether it’s at the end of each study day, weekly, or even termly, take some time to review how your studies are progressing. Which methods have worked well? Which have not? Were there instances where you could have done better or times when you absolutely flourished? By taking the time to understand your own thought processes and best methods of learning, you can better replicate your successes now and in the future. It’s sometimes difficult to have a balanced perspective, so talking with your tutors & Personal Tutor can help to understand a wider perspective. You must recognise not only where you can improve, but also where you succeeded – and celebrate them appropriately.
Consider also your mental and physical wellbeing: your studies are one part of a larger jigsaw – that when pieced together makes you! It’s essential that all of the pieces are good condition, and in the best order that works for you.
Greene’s College Oxford is an independent sixth form college with campuses located in the heart of Oxford, U.K. and in Estoril, Portugal. Our educational philosophy is based on one simple assumption: if students’ education is tailored to suit their unique qualities and needs, they are more likely to be successful. Study at Greene’s College Oxford blends small group or individual tutorials, dynamic feedback on learning, and one-to-one weekly Personal Tutoring sessions to ensure all students have personalised guidance.