The internet has changed every aspect of our lives. One of the more interesting developments has been the growth of online learning as an entirely new medium. And while most would agree that it’s a solid alternative to classroom-based learning, it does take some time to properly acclimate to the nuances of this digitized form of education.
7 Helpful E-Learning Tips
E-learning, internet courses, online education – whatever you want to call it – this industry has exploded over the past decade. If you’re preparing to take your first online course, or are simply looking for ways to improve online learning performance, you may find the following tips helpful:
- Treat it Like a Real Course
If you’ve spent your entire life attending physical classrooms with live instructors and classmates, it’s tempting to view online learning as something less serious or important. Many people see at something “pretend” when they first get started. However, there’s nothing fake or unofficial about it. If you want to be successful, you have to treat it like a very real course. This means completing assignments and attending classes like you would with classroom-based learning.
- Have Someone Hold You Accountable
Finding it difficult to consistently show up to class? Not feeling motivated to complete assignments and study for exams? You might need a little kick in the rear from time to time.
Self-discipline is hard and may feel elusive. This is why it’s beneficial to have someone hold you accountable. Whether it’s an instructor, classmate, friend, or spouse, you need someone to check in on you and make sure you’re doing the work. Find someone you can trust and appoint them to the role of accountability partner.
- Choose the Right Online Learning Provider
Not all online learning providers are created equal. Some are far too basic and rudimentary, which makes it much more difficult for you to absorb the knowledge you need to be successful. Make sure you choose the right one!
A good online school or learning program offers a variety of learning formats and content mediums. Take RealEstateU, for example. They provide students with self-paced, on-demand learning with audio, video, PDFs, and infographics. This ensures everyone is able to succeed – regardless of their individual learning style.
- Map Out a Consistent Schedule
One of the keys to successful learning – regardless of whether it’s online or offline – is consistency. You need to organize your energy and allocate your time. A consistent schedule goes a long way towards making this happen.
The biggest danger with self-paced classes is that you keep putting assignments off until you eventually forget about them. Don’t let this happen to you! Make a detailed schedule with assignments, deadlines, and other study objectives. Let your accountability partner nudge you to stay on track.
- Avoid Outside Distractions
If you’re like most people, you do your online learning at home or in a coffee shop. While this is fine, there are lots of distractions that can prevent you from being productive. Do your best to block these out. Good tips include:
- Silence your phone
- Turn off email notifications
- Use a web browser plugin to block distracting websites (like social media)
- Wear noise-cancelling headphones
Discover a setup that works for you. If you find that other people are distracting, you may need to locate a secluded room where you can study in private.
- Take Plenty of Breaks
While distractions are definitely unproductive, breaks are a necessity. Consider taking 10- or 15-minute breaks after ever 75 to 90 minutes of continuous study. Not only does this refresh your mind, but it gives you something to look forward to.
- Back Up Your Work
On a practical note, always back up your work. Do it multiple times per day. In fact, you should probably save all classwork on the cloud (Google Docs is fine). This ensures computer crashes or other unforeseen circumstances don’t wreck your progress.
Use Online Learning to Your Advantage
Online learning isn’t just the future – it’s the present, too. Whether you’re looking to knock out some continuing education credits, launch a new career, or obtain a college degree, there have never been more flexible or cost-effective options available to you. Use this to our advantage and continually invest in expanding your knowledge so you can be more productive and influential.