Starting an Online Nursing Program? Tips for Maximizing Online Learning

NursingSeptember 30, 2022

Online Learning is a style of education that became the norm during the pandemic. Despite this, many students still consider in-person learning in a classroom as the “real” way to learn. So, if you’re new to online learning and are wondering how to manage it, you’re not alone. Online learning can have its challenges, but it also offers unique opportunities and flexibilities. Here are some best practices for maximizing the virtual classroom. 

Create a schedule.  Your online classes are “real” classes that require you to schedule your study/classroom time. If your course content is delivered in real-time, that’s going to be easy to schedule. But if it’s asynchronous (no live video lecture) and you can do it anytime, creating a daily schedule and routine will help with time management. To be successful with an online program, you have to show up just like you would for a class on campus.  

Eliminate distractions. Along with creating a schedule, prioritize your study time by eliminating distractions. When you’re reading, do you check your phone every time it pings? Studies have shown that off-topic use of a device leads to lower retention of the material you’re learning. You could try downloading a social media app to block access to Instagram or Twitter while you’re working. Your phone will still be there after you’ve finished studying or watching video lessons. 

Decide best use of note-taking during video lessons. If you’re watching a recorded video, you can pause it whenever you want to take notes (recommended). However, if you’re watching a live video that will be made available later for notetaking at that point, it might work best to listen only and participate in any classroom discussion. Focusing this way can create deeper learning. 

Use break-out rooms. If your instructor creates break-out chat rooms for smaller group discussions, be sure to participate. These discussions offer multiple perspectives on the material you’re learning. Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you can’t participate in meaningful discussion. 

Join or create virtual study groups. An important part of learning is studying with and getting to know your classmates. You can use platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp chat, or Discord for small-group discussions to talk about assignments and connect with each other. Your instructors may have tools to suggest. 

“Chunk” your tasks and schedule breaks. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unproductive with large tasks. The best bet is to break things down. Choose a class and focus on one aspect of the learning, such as watching a video lesson. Then take a break before you start on the next task. 

Are you interested in learning more about nursing as a career? Denver College of Nursing proudly offers online programs for RN to BSN and MSN. Click here for more information or call us today at (800) 600-6604 and speak to one of our admissions advisors.