So, you’ve already explored online learning advantages and disadvantages and probably made your decision to go ahead. Maybe chosen your preferred program? These tips will help you accomplish your goals with great success…
Approach online learning like a pro.
Online learning is a fantastic option for those that want to:
- Further their career
- Achieve a new qualification
- Learn a new skill
Or just want a new feather in their cap. It’s an admirable undertaking and an interesting journey to take.
This type of education is just one of the many fascinating evolutions when it comes to technology, the internet, and traditional learning methods. It can be quite rewarding when embraced and utilized properly.
Here are four tips for online learning and how to best manage it.
1. Online Learning And Technical Requirements
Online learning is – you guessed it – entirely dependent on you being online! You need to be sure your internet connection speed can handle your program specifications, such as:
- Loading videos and learning tools quickly
- Downloading resource materials quickly
- Running many things at once
You don’t want your studying to be hindered by a lagging internet connection, as this could set you back in terms of schedules and deadlines.
It’s a good idea to put a backup plan in place should the worst happen in terms of your online systems. Perhaps you could identify a local public library to go to and use their computer and internet facilities on occasion. If you have an adequate phone contract, consider upgrading your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
You should also check the exact technical requirements of each of your classes – some online learning courses send out study packs in the mail, such as DVDs or CDs which may need to be played on your laptop. In this case, you will need to ensure that your computer has a DVD drive, or that you have access to one elsewhere. Your online learning course should always specify exactly what you need.
Also stay aware of tutoring and study groups available to you. This is a set of contacts that can help you with tech or study concerns if you get stuck.
2. Know What Is Expected Of You
One certification will not be the same as another, and one person’s experience of their own online learning will be different from others. The level of demand will vary depending on the certificate you are pursuing. So, it is important that you research exactly what is expected of you in terms of workload and expenses.
The demands for an undergraduate degree, for example, will be very different from what is expected of you when choosing to get a Masters in Education online. A master’s degree will naturally be more demanding and will build upon existing knowledge or existing skillset when it comes to education.
Ensure that you are ready for what your particular online learning course requires from you.
3. Create A Dedicated Space For Online Learning
Online learning is great in terms of flexibility regarding geographic location, as well as the comfort of being able to study at home. Although this can be primarily a positive, it can also be a de-motivator and present a whole host of distractions, such as:
- TV programs you like to watch
- Checking your phone lying next to you
- Working from your bed in your pajamas
To stay on-track, it is essential to set up a dedicated study space so that you can differentiate between your home life and your study life. Eliminate as many distractions as possible. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of studying from home on a comfortable sofa, as long as you concentrate on your studies in a practical space.
If you feel that you would work better from a desk, set up a home office specifically for online learning, and only use that room for your studies. Once you’ve shut the door on that room (literally) and finished your studies for the day, you can relax in the rest of your home and switch off from your course work responsibilities.
4. Design The Optimal Schedule
As long as you meet deadlines, your study schedule as you choose. This means you should take the time to test whether you learn better at certain times of the day, and base your learning schedule around that.
If you’re an early bird most productive in the early hours of the morning, then consider completing your studies for the day as soon as you wake up. Likewise, if you prefer to work in the evening or find that this fits better with your schedule, then set aside time in the evening to complete your studies.
The flexibility of online learning means you can complete requirements at whatever time is best for you.
Depending on your personal life, it may be that certain schedules, such as a full time job, children to look after or other hobbies, mean that you can’t always study when you would like. If this is the case, simply find the time which is most manageable, and avoid putting your studies at the bottom of your priority list. Enlist your loved ones to be supportive and help you achieve your goals while prioritizing time with them too.
Overall, it’s all about what works for you when it comes to your personal online learning journey. Everybody’s experience will be different, and although it’s always valuable to seek advice from other online learners, you know what’s best suited for your own schedule to accomplish your goals.