18 Apr How to Study Online: A Guide to Effective Internet Learning
E-learning, the practice of taking higher education courses online has grown significantly in recent years with a projected 81% of higher education students in the US taking an online course by 2018.
Online courses offer a number of distinct advantages over traditional learning including the flexibility to study where and when they want across the world and significant cost savings. However, students embarking on an online course often enter into it with the belief that the course will be far easier and therefore require less effort.
This could not be further from the truth. Online courses require the same determination, focus and commitment as a regular degree as well as the additional responsibility and pressure of managing your own time, workload and expectations.
Here I have outlined some basic tips and advice on how to get the best out of your online learning experience and ensure effective e-learning.
Plan and Schedule Your Learning
This is critical to online learning. Students taking online courses are not afforded the structure of a traditional education. There is no face to face interactions reminding them of deadlines or helping with assignments. E-students are left to their own devices and must schedule their learning to a tee, often around other work commitments. When it comes to online learning failing to plan is planning to fail. Students can very easily and very quickly fall behind in their studies unless they keep on top of assignments, deadlines and tests. Whilst you may not be given a structured timetable, simply create your own, detailing what you will study and when, working around your own schedule.
Get to Know the System
Online courses are managed and delivered through a variety of different online software technologies. It is imperative that you know how to operate and utilize this software inside out. Make the most of any and all resources you have access to make sure that you can plan ahead and keep up with all your work.
Address Problems Early
Whilst you may feel you are left to your own devices during distance learning, there is support available, it just isn’t at hand or face to face. Any issues or problems you may experience during your online learning must be addressed as soon as possible. Speak up quickly about issues and you can get the support needed before you fall too far behind. Be proactive; the support is there, make sure you seek it out before it’s too late.
Make Best Use of the Technology Available
With the way the world is connected through technology nowadays, people can never fall out of the loop. Everything from social media and blogging to video conference technology can be utilized to create a sense of togetherness and camaraderie amongst peers. This can be effective both as a support system and in sharing and collaborating information relevant to their online courses. Communication is wider and easier than ever before. Be sure to make use of the telecommunications and mobile technology available to you to keep in touch with lecturers and classmates.
It may sound obvious but one of the best tips is to make sure you study regularly. Treat your online learning like a job and you will feel less overwhelmed when it comes to managing work, family and study. Commit to set times every week and do what needs to be done. Keeping up to date and staying on top of your work load is essential. Designate set times of the day or days of the week for study and make sure you maintain a regular pattern of study. Technology and planning can aid in allowing you to study when and where you want and ensuring you stick to a schedule of learning.
Following these tips and guides will ensure you get the most out of your online learning experience and fully utilize the resources and opportunities afforded to you by this method of delivery.