Do you want to study more but don’t want to commute?
Then online learning is the best option you’ve got. It helps to save money and manage time. Online learning is recommended for students who want to learn more, and for adults who are already working, want to get back into the working environment or want to change careers.
Online learning is not by any means the easy way out. While it is a lot more convenient compared to regular learning, it still requires a lot of discipline and dedication, and without hard work, you may not achieve anything throughout the learning period. This article gives some insight into getting the best out of your online course.
- Understand the purpose of learning: It is normal for parents and guardians to remind their children of the need to understand the purpose of studying. This instils purpose, focus and discipline. This same is also true with online learning. You must establish your reason for taking the course and the expected result after the course. Having this in mind instils in you a clear objective during the learning period. You can write down these goals. They will guide you in selecting the right course to take online and will serve as a reference for review during the learning process.
- Know the nature of online learning: eLearning is not a means to skip classes or be undisciplined. It is rather a platform for convenient learning. You need to be ready to commit yourself to your courses online as you will do if you were in a regular classroom. You need to dedicate a significant part of your time to it, attend classes (if relevant) at the stipulated time, pay attention to the lesson and complete and submit your assignment when it’s due. To ensure that you have a free flow during an online learning session, secure a good and reliable internet connection
- Choose a platform: There are several e-learning platforms you can choose from. Just like the quality of a regular school determines the quality of your education, the same thing applies to your online learning platform. Look for platforms that are intuitive and easy to figure out. It should also offer tools that aid a seamless learning process, such as tutor support
- Have a study schedule: Many college/university students fall short of this; they attend classes but don’t study in-between times. To have an efficient study plan, you need to plan. This is the case for online students too. This can involve you reviewing what you have already learnt, before starting the next section/unit. It can also involve doing any assignments in good time to reduce stress and pressure, among other things. You should create a to-do list. This helps to keep track of all your activities – daily or weekly. Planning everything this way will help you dedicate a specific time of the day to your online courses and every additional study you will need to do.
- Get a dedicated study space and time: Although taking online courses means you do not need to bother about attending classes physically, it still helps to have a dedicated space and time in your home, office or anywhere else, for that purpose. Choose a place where you can concentrate fully without distractions. Also, ensure that your space has all the things you need, such as a strong and reliable internet connection and it is as comfortable and conducive to learning as possible.
- Take breaks: This might not sound like something you would expect to hear regarding online learning, but stress is a regular part of learning no matter what format it takes. Spending too much time in front of a screen can lead to loss of concentration, reduced retention, eye strain and lack of sleep. You might not find studying interesting at all time. Once you can decide on a study plan and you are dedicated enough to stick with it, you should also take a well-deserved break once in a while.
- Seek help when you need it: In conventional learning environments, students can ask questions from their tutor, especially about areas they are having trouble understanding. The same rule also applies to online learning. Most online learning platforms allow you to ask questions from your tutor about grey areas in your study.
Asking your tutor questions will also help you to have a better understanding of the objectives of the course, and it will establish a relationship with your online learning provider.
- Have discussion groups: Studying alone is great but studying with others in a group has a lot of perks as well. Stay connected with other virtual students, either through your own course provider if they have a forum, or through other student chat groups. Online discussion is especially useful for students who would have had a hard time coming out of their shell in a regular class. Since no one can see you, you are under less pressure and this can aid the learning efficiency.
You can plan review and revision with your group. The online discussion can also help you get new information, while sharing interesting ideas. However, ensure you respect other students in the group. Discussions in online forums sometimes degenerate into rowdy sessions and may become abusive when members fail to give others the opportunity to contribute or offer differing opinions.
- Reward every success: After setting goals, planning study space, having discussions and doing all that needs to be done, ensure that you give yourself rewards for every success you achieve along the way. Set milestones for yourself, whether it’s the completion of a course session or an entire online course and reward yourself accordingly. A reward is one of the ways to stay motivated while learning.
It is never too late to learn. Millions of students are taking online courses. Do not deprive yourself of this great way of learning. With the tips above, you can be sure to complete your learning process and have your desired goal achieved.