#studying
#online_bootcamp

5 Studying Tips While Taking a Remote Coding Course

3/2/2023

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Born in 2021, and proudly a remote-first business, we know quite a bit about working and studying remotely. To get the most out of your course with us, we have compiled the best of what we know into 5 top tips.

We may or may not have learnt this the hard way. We won’t be taking questions on our learning style at this time. Either way, at least now you don’t have to suffer as we may - or may not - have done.

1. Group study with the others in your course.

Getting together with friends and fellow students you meet on the course is not only good for networking and making the most out of the wider coding community, it is also a great studying technique.

  • Reviewing concepts together: Being taught by others and teaching those learning alongside you is a great way to make sure you’ve really understood all the new knowledge you are covering. It helps with identifying any critical gaps or personal areas of interest in and around your instruction that you may need to raise to one of your teachers.

    The red flag being, as Albert Einstein himself put it, that “if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

  • Practicing in a safe environment: Accepting help and instruction from your fellow students also gives you more time and space to try out your new skills in an environment where failure to understand or do something can only be seen as another opportunity to learn. It ensures that the limited facetime with your Code Labs Academy teachers is used to cover the most pressing and complicated questions.

    Supporting your learning by studying in a group with others on your coding course, and supporting their learning in return, can only be beneficial to both parties.

  • Accountability: Finally, study groups help hold you accountable to the wider group and to your learning, encouraging you to retain course knowledge. Who in your group is the best teacher? Who is the best coder? How are they learning so quickly? Healthy competition, sharing study methods and working on ideas outside your live sessions will increase your exposure to different learning styles and solutions to problems to make studying your course from home notably easier.

(Photo Description: Top view people studying with copybook, laptop, coffee, cofee table)
  1. Do pre-workshop readings and come to live sessions with questions.

Learning on an intense bootcamp course can be a bit like entering an entirely new world, or learning an entirely new language. You have so many questions that the word ‘question’ is starting to sound less like a word and more like a weird buzzing sound in your head. We understand.

One of the best ways to combat this information overload of what I like to call ‘brain burn’ is to arrive at your lesson with some information already absorbed. You can do this through reading the set work ahead of time, reading around the subject online, or asking a friend who may already know about the area that you’re studying to have a casual conversation with you about it.

The nice thing about engaging in pre-reading is that you are not expected to come away from it with a working understanding of the topic. But rather, just an awareness of any new language used and a big-picture view of the subject, to be solidified later. You can:

  • Preview the lesson before: Identify areas of the lesson which will be easy for you to pick up versus those you will need to focus more on. Doing this ahead of time means using less energy to digest the same amount of information.
  • Take note of problem areas: Work out which elements of your course you will need the teacher to clarify, and which are aptly covered in your reading.
  • Prepare what you want to ask before class: Noting questions to ask the teacher at the appropriate times, allows you to focus on listening on the day of the live session.
  • Make an outline of notes ahead of time: Make study notes to add to during the live session, so you do not have to worry so much about taking everything down that the teacher says, and focus on gathering those extra nuggets of information that you can only really glean from face time with your teacher.
  • Make your notes look good: Take the extra time to make eligible course notes to aid your learning - not just functional ones - while there isn’t the time pressure of a live session or missing the next explanation.

(Photo Description: Student taking notes, using post-its and laptop)

3. Try different methods of studying. Don’t be afraid to try something new if an old method doesn’t work.

There are lots of different study methods available to you. You may pride yourself in being a visual learner who draws large mind maps on every spare surface you have, you may be more of an active learner who needs to teach an unassuming friend or family member the content of your entire coding course in order to make it stick in your head, or you may have pages and pages of facts stuck around your room so you are required to read them wherever you go.

My recommendation here is that if one of these methods sounds like something you haven’t tried before or don’t use very often, make some time to try it out.

Consuming information in new and varied ways allows the brain to make different connections between topics that you may not have seen before, which in turn helps with long term memory. Learning remotely is particularly excellent for this, as the freedom that comes with studying from your own space means you can really tap into that creative side when it comes to new ways to look at old information.

4. Change your location or rearrange your room.

This suggestion follows on from the one above and again really leans into the unique freedoms that come with studying remotely. Learn from your local library (perhaps listening to the live sessions with your headphones on), catch up on GitHub in your garden, Figma from your friend's house or code from the kitchen.

If you can’t get out of the house for whatever reason, rearranging the layout of the room or area you study from can have a similar effect. You don’t have to keep the changes you make and can always put it back together afterwards. But, who knows, you may find yourself liking it better.

Code Labs Academy as a remote first business is always on the go from different locations, so feel free to ask your teachers for suggestions of other locations you could try studying from too!

(Photo Description: Student studying in a library)

5. Map your work and set yourself reasonable goals.

This is an age-old, tried and tested method. You will find it more difficult to learn if you don’t at the very least know what it is that you do not know, and have an idea of the time by when you would like to know it.

Luckily, studying with Code Labs Academy means that a lot of this work is done for you already by our talented teachers. However, If you’d like to go the extra mile or need that extra boost of motivation for your end-of-course projects, I highly recommend planning the when, where and how of your work from start to finish at the beginning of the study period.

Make sure to leave a little time for yourself to get distracted or for things to go wrong. This will mean that, once you get going, you spend less time worrying about how you are going to fit every bit of study in or trying to remember which topics you forgot to read up on, and more time completing the course of study itself.

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