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By Franklin Skribbit

The beginning of a new semester is a time where you get to analyze your experience in school so far and make changes that will help you become a better student. While a large portion of the learning you do in college has to do with your courses and major, there is also a great opportunity to learn how more effectively deal with the challenges you face every day. So if you want to have the best semester yet, then follow these tips in order to start it off the right way.

Plan and Set Goals -

Pros of Online Education - Cost is a big plus in favor of online education. You can probably hold a job, since you don't have a set class schedule. Factor in the housing costs you'll save by not living in the dorms, and online education is looking pretty good already.

Study Time - Once you have all your scheduled activities/events written in, schedule in specific times to study. If there isn't enough room left for study, you'll have to cut out some of the less-important scheduled activities (parties, dates, club meetings).

Technology - Learning the software and navigating through the course helps you build essential computer skills. Also, working on the computer lends itself well to courses in Graphic Arts and Web Design and Development. In-depth discussions are easier, since students can carefully craft their posts on forums and read everyone's contributions. Resources.

The web allows quick access to countless resources to complement any course. It's as easy as adding a link to another website, or attaching as many documents or videos as you'd like.

Study Area - Another helpful strategy for homework is having a special "homework place." This could be a corner of the kitchen, a bedroom desk, a library cubical, or a deserted hallway. Make sure that that place is used only for homework and that nothing else will distract you there. This will help your mind get in the homework-mode. Don't contaminate the "environment of focus" with meals, Youtube, Facebook, or pleasure reading.

Reputation - An online degree draws skepticism from many employers, but that stigma is diminishing. In addition to these pros and cons, motivation plays a big role in whether students should consider online courses. Do you have the self-discipline to keep up on your assignments without any prodding from a teacher? If you are indeed mature, well-organized and driven, then an online degree or course would be a great idea. But if you need the level of order and accountability a traditional class offers, then you might not succeed as well online.

Feed off of each other's example of dedicated study and progress as a team. And when it's time for a break, you'll have a lot more fun with your friends than you would alone! It's a win-win situation!

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