Depending upon your own unique situation, you may have thought about taking some online courses at some point in time. While this can be a very good way for you to get the knowledge you are seeking, is it going to be the best route for you to start your learning? When it comes to online courses, you need to keep in mind that they are going to require an extreme amount of time management skills, as well as willpower, discipline, and a very strong amount of motivation on your part. This is because online learning can be very difficult for you to successfully complete all of your courses. With that being said, here are some of the top tips that you can start using right now in order to help boost your learning online.
Understand the Practices and the Expectations
The biggest misconception going around about online courses is going to be that they are easier than the more traditional ways of learning in a class setting. While this is as far from the truth as you can get, online courses are going to offer you a much more convenient method of learning. But to really be successful with online learning, you are going to need to dedicate a good amount of your time, make sure that you are consistently attending whatever the program may be, stay concentrated the entire time you are studying, and essentially commit 100% to your learning process. This is because an online learning course is the same thing as an in-classroom course, except you are doing it in the comfort of your own home.
Be Sure That Your Internet is Reliable
If you have ever had to deal with any kind of technology, there is a very good chance that you also know that glitches are going to happen, no matter what. Because of this, you are going to want to make sure that you are always saving your work and backing everything up with your cloud storage. This way, you will be able to access all of your previous work that was lost due to some type of technology glitch. Having a reliable internet connection is going to be one of the ways that you will always be able to check in with your CourseMinds.com courses, meaning that you will be up to date with your online learning course.
Create a Dedicated Study Space
No matter if you are studying in your living room or your office, be sure that you create a quiet space for yourself where you can be organized and distraction-free all the time. The environment that you study in should be one of your top concerns whenever you are doing any type of digital learning courses, so make sure that you are able to make studying a routine. Another tip you can do to help create your perfect learning space is to ask all of your friends and family to respect the time that you spend studying and not call or text you during that time.
Have a dedicated study space.
Whether you decide to study in your office or in your living room, ensure that this place is quiet, organized, distraction-free, and available for use at any time. Your study environment should be one of your main concerns when you are an online learner, so make sure that it enables your study routine. Furthermore, ask your friends, relatives, and colleagues to respect your “work mode” and consider turning off your phone and logging off of all social networks when studying; you will want to be neither interrupted nor distracted.
Identify your learning objectives and goals
To stay on track with your online course, make sure that you always keep in mind what you hope to accomplish by the end of it. The learning objectives and goals of the eLearning course can be an excellent road map during online learning; read carefully your online course requirements, create notes that are closely related to your objectives, and make sure that you review them thoroughly every time you start an assignment so that you stay focused on your goals. Finally, consider starting with the most difficult tasks, as this will improve both the effectiveness of your study and your performance.
Build a study plan
A study plan is critical to online learning. Here are some tips to help you build it:
Never wait until the day before an assignment due date to start working on it. It will stress you and stress will prevent you from effectively completing the online task. Furthermore, knowing when all of your assignments are due until the end of the eLearning course will facilitate your time management; for instance, if you are going on vacation in the middle of the eLearning course, you can study ahead.
Have an effective calendar system
Online learning needs structure; create a study calendar that will help you remember all important dates, like exams, or deadlines for submitting your assignments. You can save your calendar on your computer or on your mobile device, or you can even create a wall planner, which you can mark up and check every time you study.
Create to-do lists
At the start of each week, make a to-do list of the tasks you need to complete by the end of the week. This is an excellent way to prioritize your study plan and stay on track with your studies.
Set time limits
Before you start studying, estimate how much time each task will take to complete, whether it is a specific assignment or simply reading a chapter. Try to stick to your time limits, as this will help you develop your self-discipline. Furthermore, when you realize that despite your best efforts you cannot concentrate, consider stopping for an hour or for the night; it is better to wait until you are able to start afresh than to waste your time trying to focus.
Stay on schedule
Finally, stick to your study plan. Procrastination is the worst enemy of online learners, so make sure that you stay organized and you are not falling behind in your online class. If you are having difficulties submitting your assignments on time, contact your online course instructor and let them know, so that they can help you create a consistent study routine
Ask for help when you need it
While it may be constructive to look for answers to your online course-related questions independently, hesitating to contact your online instructor when you are stuck may be problematic. If you don’t ask for help when necessary, you may end up falling behind, which may lower your self-esteem, as you may not be able to keep up with the online course. Build a relationship with your online instructor and avoid misunderstandings by contacting them regularly and informing them who you are, and how you could use their help. By asking your online instructors to clarify problems, you will also help them not only to evaluate learners’ level of understanding of the online material but also to get an idea of the overall effectiveness of the online course. Finally, due to the open nature of online courses, by asking a question, you also help at the same time your virtual classmates, in case they are having similar difficulties. Keep in mind that if you don’t ask for help when you need it, your online instructor may never know that something is wrong.
Review, revise, repeat
Regular revisions of the things you have already studied will not only improve your memory, but they will also help you better understand what you are learning. Create your own flashcards for your keynotes and quiz yourself on the key concepts of the online course. Furthermore, consider having one or more study partners; working in groups will offer you alternative views of difficult concepts, motivation to achieve better results, and help in completing your online assignments more quickly by reviewing what you have learned. Share your study notes and habits with your virtual classmates and support each other throughout the online learning process.
Take study breaks
Your performance will decrease if you are feeling tired or frustrated while studying. Integrate some personal time into your study routine and you will be able to work more effectively on your online course goals. When taking a break, make sure that you get away from your study space; you need to have a change of scenery. A mild physical activity, such as a walk around the block, will help you maintain balance, renew energy, and go back to studying with a clear mind.
Participate in online discussions
Online learning doesn’t necessarily mean learning in isolation. Connecting with your virtual classmates on social media or your online course’s forum will enhance tremendously your eLearning experience, especially if you are an introvert and visual barriers hinder you in expressing yourself. Participate actively in online discussions and group activities, suggest study tricks, offer your input on the eLearning course, and engage in new ideas. Just ensure that you are mindful of your online tone; be respectful when you disagree with other members of your online group, and always write in complete and clear sentences to avoid misunderstandings and tone mishaps.
Finally, don’t underestimate the effort needed to fully commit to your online exam course. To make sure that you stay motivated and engaged in your online learning experience, consider following these tips:
- Feel free to create your study routine at your own comfortable pace.
- Decorate your study space with inspirational quotes and pictures.
- Never forget the reason why you took this online course.
- Accept that you will have productive and less productive days.
- Have healthy snacks nearby to boost your energy.
- Reward yourself every time you complete a challenging task.
- Make sure that you take some time for yourself from time to time.
- Stay positive and keep your chin up.