It's a bit difficult to answer without understanding the context of the material covered in the course. I had one teacher who would end each chapter by forcing me to read aloud an entire essay in Chinese. That was a good practice in that it enabled me to stumble over many characters (but knowing that this was coming I would re-read all of the previous material). Doing so with a native speaker is helpful if you can find one.
I always used snapshots, photos of lessons, and some online sites like the Canto-Dict forums (they also cover Mandarin). I have a Mac so I also use it's many built-in dictionaries (just searching for a space and working through the word lists can sometimes be helpful). There are also many other tools online at Chinese Tools. I am a personal fan of the idiomatic approach but it can be a bit esoteric if you want to focus on conversational phrases instead. So context is everything. If you want to look at Chinese idioms, there is a free iPhone app called Wise Talk (fair disclosure as I am the author).
A tried and true method that helped me through my MBA is simply to do a review of the chapter headings, then the summary paragraphs, and finally detailed paragraphs to be sure that I understood the material. If at any point, understanding is not clear proceed to delve a bit deeper. The ultimate study is to go, find a native speaker and be unafraid to make mistakes, then talk to them in their native language.