There are many reasons for someone to become an online learner. Some students can’t make the commute to campus due to financial limits or accommodation challenges. Some courses are only available online through certain institutions. Some students have other time commitments that prevent them from being able to attend an in-person class, such as childcare or work. If you are a remote learner or are considering taking the next step in your education, use these tips to take advantage of your online studies and guide yourself towards a brighter future.
Make Sure You Chose the Right Course
Finding yourself stuck with a course subject that you dislike can make online learning much more stressful than it has to be. Perhaps you feel pressured into a particular field due to high expectations or natural talents, but it is important that you are able to enjoy your education wherever possible. Not only will this reduce your stress levels compared to undertaking a course you don’t like, but it will also improve your chances of success. Those with an interest in the subject are more likely to achieve than those who are disinterested. If you feel that you have made a mistake as to which course you’ve chosen, it’s never too late to change your mind. You may be required to pay for the full extent of the course or provide adequate reasons for leaving prematurely, but it can be done.
Chat with Your Classmates
There is an indubitable sense of isolation that comes with any form of remote work, especially as a student. The feeling of camaraderie you might find in a classroom or lecture hall is dissipated by the video calls or pre-recorded lessons. This doesn’t mean you have to endure the solitude of studying by yourself. Reach out to the other students on your course and arrange to meet up, either by group chat, video or in person. Study groups can be a great way to learn quicker, too.
Know Your Schedule
It can be easy to let deadlines and assignment due dates slip by unnoticed when studying online. Avoid this by planning your schedule in advance as soon as you know when your deadlines will be. Since no teacher is going to take the time to remind you, it’s vital that you remember to do this yourself. Often, online learners require more independence and inner drive than students attending traditional lessons.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Working from home and being self-driven can feel incredibly freeing; however, the downside is the potential for slacking off unintentionally. Without attending physical lessons, you might find yourself falling behind occasionally and having to rush your work. A great way to combat this is to remind yourself regularly what you are working towards. For example, if you apply to masters in education online programs to become a teacher, imagine how you will feel once you’ve achieved your qualification. Having a clear goal to aim for makes staying on track much easier.
Create an Ideal Work Environment
Unlike a formal classroom, learning from home means you won’t have a specially designed workspace made available to you. It’s up to you to create an environment where you can concentrate and learn effectively. Find a space in your home that is out of the way if you live with other people. If you can’t do this, consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones to reduce possible distractions. Choose comfortable furniture such as an ergonomic seat and a desk positioned at the correct height for your posture. Since you are participating in an online course, it’s likely that you will be spending much of your time using a screen, so make sure to take regular eye breaks to relieve strain. Some people can study almost anywhere regardless of the surroundings, whereas others require perfect peace before they can focus.
Maintain a Healthy Routine
The routine of in-person classes doesn’t apply to online learning, especially if many of your lessons are pre-recorded and can be accessed at any time. This means you will have to be disciplined about when you wake up and how long you plan to study for each day. If you are fitting online studies around other responsibilities, make sure you allocate time to learn as often as possible.
Take Plenty of Breaks
While consistent studying is a good way to keep on target, frequent periods of rest also make a positive difference in how well you digest new information. Good sleep and rewarding long stretches of study with an intentional break will help boost your energy and motivation to continue working. Try not to keep checking your phone for notifications or looking at irrelevant websites while you’re studying, as these breaks are less productive than the ones you fit into your schedule deliberately.
Connect with Your Teachers Regularly
You should take advantage of any office hours your teachers can provide during your education. Even if you feel that you are progressing well, it can be hugely insightful to hear what advice your teachers might have. This is especially important for online learners since you won’t have as many face-to-face opportunities with school staff.
Figure Out a Personal Learning Strategy
Online courses are taught in a variety of ways. Some are video call tutorials, some are simply shared digital documents, and some are pre-recorded lectures made accessible to students at home. Although your teachers will have a preferred method of conveying the subject, not every student absorbs information in the exact same way. Although the human brain has recurring tendencies and patterns, individuals will have different ways of learning and connecting ideas in their minds. This is why it is important to know how you learn best and what tools you can use to your advantage. For example, flashcards, memory games, and trying to teach a friend might be methods that work extremely well for some people but not for others. Maybe you learn best by reading and taking notes without distraction.
However you learn best, remember that it’s all about working towards your goal and fulfilling your true potential.