Become an Ace Online Learner!Webmaster
Attention learners! How many of you are new to online learning? Does the thought of online classes and exams scare you? Are you worried that you might not do well because online learning is so different to regular classroom study?
Let’s do something about all this uncertainty and take a look at a few things you can do to become an ace in online learning.
Set the mood.
Believe it not, remembering something is easier if you’re in the same place where you first learnt it, so it helps to have a dedicated space for studying, which can help you establish a routine and keep focused. Do all your reading, revising, writing or research work there. If it’s possible, keep it separate from your bed or sofa.
A few things you need to complete this study space is good Internet access, the right books, learning materials and software, adequate lighting, and a comfortable chair. If this is a shared space, get a pair of headphones for listening to lectures or discussions.
Online course = normal course.
Sure, an online course means you don’t attend physical classes or take exams in a big hall, but in all other ways, online courses have exactly the same objectives as regular courses. Just as you need a good study space, you need the right headspace too: one that says, “I’m going to work on this.” Importantly, you must have the dedication to follow through.
So, how do you do this? One of the easiest ways is to remember that you are paying to take this online course and you must ‘show up’ if you want to get the real value out of it. Want to be even more serious about studying? Think of it as a job, and hold yourself accountable to everything that comes with the course.
Funny cat videos. Social media. Local political news. Chores. These are just some of the things that can derail your study routine. If you want to be an ace online learner, you need to focus.
Just how good you are at ignoring these distractions will depend on your personality and situation. Some people find it hard to tune out a noisy environment, while others work best with loud music playing in the background. Find a strategy that works for you.
Does your smartphone seem to hold special powers over your attention? Then, consider turning your notifications off, or using website blockers and apps like Cold Turkey to keep you disciplined.
Join the discussion.
Discussion forums are a great place to ask questions about assignments, discuss topics, share resources, and make friends. This is also a great chance to collaborate, set up virtual study groups, and build networks. If you feel like you’re falling behind, this is the place for you to speak up. Don’t wait until an assignment is almost due to ask questions or report issues. Be proactive in asking for help.
Researchers at Coursera have found that learners who participate in discussion forums are 37% more likely to complete a course, so don’t be shy!
Sounds Pavlovian, but most people will respond positively when they are rewarded. So, a good way to keep yourself motivated is by treating yourself to something nice whenever you reach a milestone, meet a deadline, or check off the items on your study list. It doesn’t have to be extravagant: a bite or two of your favourite snacks, some time for a movie you’ve been wanting to see, or a relaxing afternoon walk are great ways to help keep you feeling good.
One final tip.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Whenever you feel burnt out or frustrated, take a break and remind yourself why you have chosen to study. Celebrate your achievements along the way, and try to enjoy the experience.
Information condensed from: Coursera, Northwestern University, and International Literacy Association
By Tengku Amina Munira