Top Tips for Learning Online
Online learning is quickly becoming the norm and it has many advantages. First and foremost, you can learn whenever and wherever you like, taking it at your own pace and learning flexibly around your work and family commitments. During the coronavirus outbreak, there’s lots of free online courses available and many education providers and employers are now moving their training online too.
So how is online learning different to classroom learning? We take a look at the unique challenges of online learning and top tips for success…
Have realistic expectations
Just because you’re learning remotely, doesn’t mean you should have a more relaxed attitude to taking a course online. You’ll still need to be disciplined to allocate time and effort to absorbing new information in the same way as if your instructor was there in person.
To get off to the best start, treat your online class in the same way as you would to a face-to-face one. Make sure you know how much time, concentration and independent study will be required, as well as understanding about any testing, assessments or follow-up work you’ll be asked to undertake.
Think about your learning objectives and what you want to achieve by the end of the course. Read through your course requirements or build a study plan so you can map out the online learning stages and timescales to help you stay focused on your goals.
Create a positive learning environment
Before you get started with online learning, make sure you have access to all the equipment, resources and support that you’ll need to see if through. A laptop or PC is preferable to a mobile phone or tablet if possible as you may need to download additional documents and save your work. A reliable internet connection will also help to avoid glitches and losing your place in the e-learning programme.
It’s also a good idea to complete your online learning in a quiet space, free from distractions. Whether it’s a home office, the kitchen table or a make-shift desk in your bedroom, try to create a positive environment and consider turning off your phone so you won’t be interrupted.
Interact with other learners and ask for help
Connecting with fellow learners is a great way to enhance your online learning experience, as well as accessing additional help and support from your peers. With many providers, there will be online forums where you can chat to other participants, discuss topics and share ideas. If your course is being provided by your employer, you can connect with colleagues who may be completing the same content as you.
Equally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your tutor, employer or online instructor if you need it. If there’s something you don’t fully understand or you’re having trouble accessing additional materials, make sure you reach out for additional support to avoid falling behind.
Stay positive and keep learning
Make sure you stay motivated and engaged in your online learning. Reward yourself for completing certain milestones in the course and remind yourself of your progress against your original learning objectives. Take regular study breaks or physical exercise to clear your mind and keep you focused, as well as accepting when you have a less productive day. Eat healthy snacks to keep your energy up and be sure to share your successes with friends and family.