3 Outdoor Study Techniques

  Posted on July 11, 2016

  Written by Morgan O'Rourke

Ways to study outside in the summerWarm weather is here and your thoughts are fixated on spending time outside. The summer months always pose a bit of a challenge to dedicated, determined students like you. You know that you must strike a balance between fun and studying to remain on top of your classes.

Have you thought about taking your studies outdoors?

The National Research Council found that studying and learning outside can be significantly more efficient, compared to learning in a familiar or controlled environment.1

With a little creative thinking, you can enjoy the summer sun and be productive in your academic program. Start with these three outdoor study techniques:

1. Have a picnic.

Grab a blanket, pack a lunch, head to the park (or stay in your backyard), and find a study spot under a tree or at a picnic table. Relocating from the library or your living room to the fresh air can lift your attitude, help you re-focus, and provide you with your daily dose of Vitamin D.

2. Digitally record your notes and listen to them on a walk.

Get outside, get active, and take your lecture notes with you. Instead of listening to music in your ear buds, digitally record your notes on your phone or a voice recorder and play them back as you go on a run, evening stroll, or nature walk.

3. Form an outdoor study group.

Your classmates are contending with the same issue, wondering how they can maximize their time outdoors without neglecting their school work.

Form a study group, and pick a day, time, and study spot that works for everyone. You can create flash cards and quiz each other, ask questions to each other while completing homework, or bounce ideas off of each other as you work on a group project.

Even if you’re not directly studying together, the company of classmates will make summer study sessions more enjoyable.

What other ways do you study outside? We’d love to hear how you plan to stay focused on your studies while still enjoying the summer months.


1 Bell, Philip; Lewenstein, Bruce; Shouse, Andrew W.; Feder, Michael A. The National Research Council. “Learning Science in Informal Environments.” Accessed May 12, 2016. http://www.nap.edu/read/12190/chapter/1.