Reading and studying online can be different and more difficult than reading or studying from a textbook or notes that you have taken. The main reason that online reading and studying can be more difficult is because there are more readily available distractions if you’re using your computer than if you’re looking at a textbook. An easy way to avoid these distractions is to print out the article or website you are reading and then use this hard copy to read and study from, highlight, and take notes on. Personally, I find it easier to concentrate on reading when using a hard copy than when reading from a PDF online, even if I am not surfing the web or distracting myself in other ways online. Another easy way that you could avoid online distractions when trying to read online is to save the article you need to read and then disconnect your computer from the internet, this way you aren’t able to get on Facebook or other distracting websites.
If you are able to avoid online distractions, there are many very useful study tools available online, and a lot of them are free. Online flashcards are a great way to review material for your classes and they are also environmentally-friendly, since you can create hundreds of flashcards without wasting any paper! There are tons of websites you can use to create online flashcards, including Quizlet, Memorize.com, and even Google spreadsheets or Excel. Some of these websites have other features as well, like matching games or practice quizzes, which you can utilize as other ways to practice the information so you don’t get bored of the repetition of flashcards. Using a variety of these tools is the most effective way to learn because the different methods reinforce the material in new ways and can help you retain that information better, which will help you succeed on exams and in your classes.