Having trouble staying motivated to keep up with you assigned reading that you find boring or of no interest to you? Here are a few tips about staying focused and engaged while reading topics that you are not particularly interested in.

Reading should always be an enjoyable experience! It certainly should be, considering most of us do it every day. Students and professionals can end up dedicating 3 to 5 hours each day to the task of reading. In a perfect world, all the material that we read would be compelling and interesting. However in reality, sometimes the material we read is not that interesting but we still do need to read it.https://www.irisreading.com/10-tips-on-how-to-focus-on-boring-readingmaterials/

As we begin to close out the term, it’s time to begin thinking about how to prepare for your final exams. Final exams generally cover several weeks of information and can often times feel stressful and overwhelming. Creating a strategy on preparing for them can decrease the stress and those overwhelming emotions.

Your strategy should take into account the gathering of your materials and notes, reviewing previous tests, creating study aids, and setting time aside to study. It is best to develop a study plan that takes into account those steps as well creating a schedule to review and study. As you begin to create a schedule to review and study, it is best to study in chunks and intervals. Research has shown that studying in intervals over a period time leads to better recall and long-term retention.

Here a couple of examples of study plans that detail the process over 14 and 7 days out from your final exam.

Developing A 7 Day Study Plan 

Developing A 14 Day Study Plan


Don’t miss out on this chance to chat with participants from all around the world! Share your experiences, exchange career tips and build your professional network — all online, from any device.

Our online, cloud-based platform makes it easy and fun for you to participate. After signing in from your home, office, smartphone or tablet, you’ll participate in 1-on-1 chats with other attendees. The chats are text-based and timed, allowing you to quickly meet new people, exchange contact information, and walk away with several new connections you didn’t have before. Each chat is saved, making it simple to look back at your history, review your notes, gather contact information and follow up.


This online chat will connect you directly with organizations from the comfort of your home, office, smartphone or tablet. Our online, cloud-based platform makes it easy and fun for you to participate. After signing in, you’ll be able to explore the available information and opportunities, and participate in 1-on-1 text-based chats with representatives from participating organizations. Share your background and experience, and get all your questions answered.

For more information and to register go to the HOSPITALITY AND RECREATION VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR website.


The most important thing to know about the OSU library as an online student is, It’s Your Library Too! 

Take a few moments to listen to your Ecampus librarian, Stefanie Buck, give an introduction to the types of services and support you can access as an online learner.

If you would like to view this video with closed captions, please click on the YouTube icon in the video to watch it directly from YouTube

A quick overview

1.) Research materials are available in a number of different ways.

  • If you live outside of Corvallis, OR you can have books sent to your home via FedEx
  • Access to online resources 24/7 such as eBooks, journal articles, and databases
  • The interlibrary (ILL) loan program extends your access to materials from outside OSU when we don’t have something available.

2.) You can connect with live help. Librarians and support staff are available by

3.) Don’t forget you have easy access to the Library DIY guide (Links to an external site.) and can quickly search for help in topics like: finding sources, using journals, and citing sources.

4.) If you are looking for material in a specific subject area, be sure to try the Library Guides (Links to an external site.) online.

For more thorough information, be sure to review the 10 Things You Need to Know about OSU Libraries document. 10 things for Ecampus students – 2016.pdfPreview the documentView in a new window

The main thing to remember is to know that you can always reach out for help! If you are new to college, or have been away for some time, conducting research and writing research papers may feel a little overwhelming.

This is a great article written by one of our Ecampus students sharing his perspective of being an online learner.

When I first decided to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree program three years ago, almost every person I told had a different reaction. These ranged from “Good for you!” to “Are you sure you can handle that while working full time?” and the ever-present “I could never do that.”

Now, as I approach the completion of my program, every time this topic comes up in conversation it seems like many friends, family and co-workers who are already living busy lives feel that online learning is something that might work well for others but not for them personally….Read More

If you’re new to the quarter system, you may be surprised that you are already approaching your first midterm exams. Some of you may even have some this week!

There are many ways to study for exams. If you already have a system that works for you, that’s fantastic! If you’re interested in some new ideas and tips, read on and we’ll walk you through some recommendations.

1. Review your syllabus for exam dates, proctoring requirements, points awarded (what percentage of your class grade) and format (essay, multiple choice, etc.). If you are unclear on any of these, reach out to your instructor or TA for clarification early. You’ll want to make sure they have enough time to respond, and you still have time to take action based on what you hear back.

2. Develop a study plan for each exam. Determine what resources you’ll need, many many days/weeks you have to prepare, and about how much additional time you’ll need to plan for on top of weekly course requirements to fit in exam preparation.  Check out the exam preparation worksheet and the 7 day study plan for some ideas on engaging with this process.

* if you are using a proctor, make sure you know when to be at the location, how to get there, where to park, where the building is located, what materials you can bring, etc.

3. Engage with the material in active and variable ways. This is an important part of the memory and recall process. While reading and reviewing notes is important, incorporating additional methods will help with retaining the information. You can create your own study guide or outline if one isn’t provided, create and use note cards, complete the practice questions in your textbook, and/or teach someone else about what you are learning. Review the Active Studying worksheet for some ideas.

4. Organize a study group. Although you might not be in the same town as your classmates, study groups are still an option! If you haven’t yet, check out the student page on Google Apps for OSU (Links to an external site.). Google Hangouts (Links to an external site.) is a great option for holding virtual study sessions, and all students can log in with their ONID email. Need some ideas on how to make the most of a study group? Take some tips from the Academic Success Center on How to Conduct a Successful Study Group.

5. Take care of yourself! Managing stress, getting enough sleep, and other self-care items go a long way in exam performance. Pulling an “all-nighter” isn’t likely to improve your test scores, and isn’t recommended. Check out our Ecampus Student Success blog post on Beating the stresses of exams.

The video below take a more thorough look at test preparation, and discusses some ideas for incorporating exam review into your daily study habits as an ongoing process.

If you have an exam in the next day or two that you’re feeling unprepared for, read over some recommendations for Emergency Studying (Links to an external site.). Do your best, and think about how you can take a more proactive approach for your next exam.

Strong time management is perhaps one of the most important skills that online learners need to be at their best. You have likely seen and heard the 2-3 hour rule by now. For an average online student taking 8 credits, that is up to 24 hours per week. Take some time to develop a strategy if you haven’t already. Consider the following questions:

  • What are my other commitments and priorities, and how do I work around those?
  • What days and times will be the best for dedicated studying?
  • What are some things I may be able to adjust, and what are set in stone?
  • Who can I ask for help when I need a hand juggling it all?

Your syllabus will give you the most information up front about course expectations and commitments, and should be reviewed thoroughly at the start of each class.

One of our favorite tools is the Term at a Glance Calendar. As you go through your syllabi, mark down due dates and deadlines for all of your courses. Having everything in one place will help to plan ahead for weeks that will be busier than others, and this makes a great addition to your study space for quick reference.

The video below will give you some good things to consider as you adjust to online learning and develop your own prioritization and time management techniques.


This list provides some additional tools and worksheets. Take some time to explore and see what might be helpful for you.


term_at_a_glance.pdfView in a new window

Weekly Task List.docxView in a new window

prioritization_3_methods.pdfPreview the documentView in a new window


Week Plan


Canvas mobile app for IoS

Canvas mobile app for Android