Traditionally, earning a degree certificate meant going to class and have a face to face lecture with your teacher and classmates, which posed several challenges like many working professionals could not keep up with complicated schedules. Thanks to technological advancement, it is now easier to be part of a degree program with the flexibility you can comfortably work with, even with a busy schedule through online learning, in-person class, or a blend of the two.
While online classes have many advantages like allowing you to work from wherever, whenever, and however you like, it can be a challenge when you don’t plan and focus on your online studies. You may end up being caught by deadlines, missing live classes, and forgetting about some assignments. To get the best out of online learning, you need to have effective online learning skills.
Below are some valuable tips for online learning that will ensure you get the most out of your online classes.
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1. Be Accountable
Have clear goals at the start of the semester, and analyze your progress weekly. Oftenly, you will get reminders for an upcoming date of an assignment in a traditional classroom setting. But without an instructor actively keeping you on your toes, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’ve allocated sufficient time to do your work, so you will not be rushing with assignments in the 11th hour.
If you find it hard for self-discipline, pair up with a classmate or get help from someone you stay with to help you keep up. When you are organized, proactive, and self-aware, you will still learn a lot from your online class.
2. See your online course as the “real” course
When dealing with online classes, you need to discipline yourself and to always assure yourself that “I can do this” or else you will treat your online classes as a holiday yet the exams and assignments are beckoning. You have to discipline yourself and dedicate time for class and assignments even when you are very tempted to postpone classwork. You need to constantly keep in mind that you are spending money to have this online class, just like you spend for a traditional class. Show up as you would in a physical class to get value for your money.
3. Train yourself on time management
The most significant appeal of taking an online class is because it allows you to create your schedule. However, that freedom can be damaging if you lack time management skills. Although time management depends on your schedule, style of learning, and personal preferences, these universal tips will improve your time management skills.
- Have the timetable at your fingertips and note and mark all significant assignments on a calendar. As you plan, factor in any commitments that might interrupt your schedule and plan how you will handle them both.
- Create a weekly schedule that you will adhere to. Assign time when you will be reading, doing assignments, and other tasks. Don’t forget to allocate time for play too, remember all work and no play…
- When doing your assignments, you can try focusing on one task after another. Allocate time for each task and discipline yourself to adhere to the time you have set for each task.
4. Have a fixed study area and organize yourself
Set up a conducive learning environment where you will be studying from regularly until you create a routine. Find an environment that works best for you. Find the best location that improves your productivity. Ensure that your location has a stable internet connection and that you have the right posture when studying.
Having a fixed study space will help you be organized. Have all your studying materials at your study space; have all the required books, headphones for listening to lectures, and all other material you need.
5. Remove all distractions
The most notorious distraction includes Netflix, social media, and an unkempt study table. Such distractions derail your focus. To achieve the best, you should remove all distractions to focus. Find what works for you since people concentrate under different environments. If you love learning with some noise, you can put some music in the background. However, ensure that you switch off your phone to stop being distracted by text messages.
6. Mind your studying posture
Your health matters. Therefore, you need to ensure that you work while sitting in the right posture. Ensure that your back and neck and upright so that you don’t end up having body aches that will prevent you from focusing on your studies for the entire semester. The right posture will also help you concentrate and not doze off in the middle of a class session.
7. Find Out your best way of learning.
After establishing where you’ll learn, consider the time of the day that your performance is at its best. If you are more active during morning hours, make time to wake up in time and do your studies. Are you more of a night person? Set time after dinner and study as much as you can before you go to bed.
8. Be an active participant.
Be active by commenting on your classmates’ work and posting questions. Go through the discussion and ask for clarification if you miss a concept. If you feel like you are lagging, communicate. You can email your lecturer or get help from a classmate.
9. Leverage your network
Online classes do not mean that you are learning on your own. You need to build up a relationship with your classmates. Most online courses will need you to work as a group to complete assignments and have lesson discussions. Your peers can be of value when you are doing exam preparations or when you need assignment feedbacks. Don’t shy from turning to them to have virtual academic friends. You will all appreciate the collaboration.
10. Practice and practice some more
You may fail to adhere to your schedule or fail to organize for a class in due time, but after practicing your schedule, sitting posture, and collaborating with your peers, you will soon master the art of online learning that works for you.
You can be among the top-performing graduates with online learning. You only need to set your working environment right, focus, plan, and be determined.