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5 Unusual but Effective Study Tips for Online Learning

Published: June 24, 2019 | Updated: July 1, 2019

You’re probably familiar with some common study tips, but do you think they’ll they work for online learning? Since the teaching format is different in an online world, the studying techniques you use might need to be different too.  

Check out these 5 unusual but effective study tips for online learning:


1. Use an Unfamiliar Font

When it comes to your notes and outlines, as well as other documents that you can edit like study guides, switch to a font that you don’t often see. Studies have found that you retain information better if it’s in a font you have to concentrate on, rather than something you’re super familiar with like Times New Roman, which is easy to skim1. If it’s too easy to scan, your brain can be tricked into thinking you know the information on the page better than you really do.


2. Play School

When you were a kid, did you ever play school and pretend you were the teacher? If you did, then you know what to do! Channel that old teacher you and get to work instructing imaginary students. (If you didn’t, it’s OK. Just dig out some old stuffed animals—or borrow some of your kids’—and get started.)

It might sound silly, but multiple studies have shown that you learn better when you teach2. That’s likely because when you teach a topic, your brain has to recall what you know about it, just like a test does. When you get stumped as you go, you can take the chance to look up the answer, or note it and go back later. It’s your classroom, your rules!


3. Read Aloud

If you haven’t worked your way up to “teaching” a subject yet, you can practice your teacher’s voice when you read aloud about the topic. When you read out loud, you increase your chances of committing the material to your long-term memory3. This tip can be especially helpful when you take an online class because rather than reading in a classroom, you can find the best time and place for you and read aloud as much as you want!


4. Spray an Unfamiliar Scent

When you study, spray a scent you don’t smell often. Then, when it’s time to take a test, spray it again. Since it’s something you aren’t used to smelling, when you do, it can jog your memory about the other times you smelled it. This is another tip that can be perfect for an online class because you can spray whatever you like without the risk of disturbing other students who might not want to smell the same thing.


5. Take a Cold Shower

No, don’t take your study materials into the shower with you. Instead, consider a cold shower as part of your preparation to study. Even one minute can help! Cold showers have been proven to have several health benefits, and one of them is that they increase your focus and alertness. This can be especially helpful if you need to study but feel a little tired or find your mind wandering.


If you’re ready to continue your education with an online program, we’re here to help! Charter College offers a variety of online programs and tips and tools so you don’t have to go it alone.


1 https://lifehacker.com/improve-your-learning-and-memory-by-switching-font-styl-5795705

2 https://digest.bps.org.uk/2018/05/04/learning-by-teaching-others-is-extremely-effective-a-new-study-tested-a-key-reason-why/

3 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171201090940.htm