Even before, but mainly after the global lockdown period, online learning has started gaining a lot of popularity, especially among those that don’t have the time luxury to attend in-person classes. Nowadays, you can sit comfortably at home and join a course on just about any subject.
Be it because you want to complete a degree while keeping your full-time job, save money on traditional education, or broaden your knowledge on a particular topic, education is now made more accessible than it ever was thanks to online courses.
Still, with all its perks, online learning does come with some unique challenges, which would not be present in traditional courses. Fortunately, with a bit of planning ahead, there are ways to overcome them without hurting your academic performance.
Below we will explore a list of tips to help you overcome some of the most common challenges people face when taking an online course. Continue reading to find out how to never miss a deadline, eliminate distractions, and make the most out of your e-Leaning experience.
Treat it as you would an in-person class
While video conferencing software has made virtual classrooms more similar to traditional classrooms, the vast majority of online courses are still taught asynchronously. Each week, your lecturer may release a lecture video or slides, and you may be required to turn in homework on occasion. Aside from that, it’s easy to forget you’re even in a class.
It’s easy to get into poor habits and fall behind on your work when you don’t need to attend virtual classes as regularly as in-person ones. To avoid this, you need to treat e-Learning courses as you would an in-person course. Sure, you don’t need to drive from home to school every day, but you do need to turn on your computer at that specific hour and attend the class. If classes are taught asynchronously, then choose a set time every week to take the class, making it part of your routine.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s the thing that makes all the difference. Routines keep us committed, so we need to embrace them from time to time.
Consider joining a virtual study group
Online lessons might be difficult to adjust to if you are used to studying in groups. Obviously, you also have classmates here, but the relationship isn’t the same as it would be if you sat next to each other in class. And you can’t simply ask a few colleagues if they want to study at the library after the online chemistry class– some of them may be living thousands of miles away.
However, even in an online class, you may be able to enjoy the benefits of learning alongside others. It just requires you to be a little more inventive. If your class has an online discussion chat or forum, publish a message asking if any of your classmates wish to learn together through video conferencing. Once you’ve identified some study buddies, agree on a set day and time to meet every week and organize a video study group. You are studying the same material, so you can hold each other accountable and help each other understand the topic better.
Make use of all resources provided
Academic achievement entails more than just attending class and reading the material, just as it does in-person classes. To comprehend the topic in its entirety, you must use all of the resources accessible to you.
Attend virtual office hours, for example, if your lecturer provides them. Bring any homework, lecture, or forthcoming test questions you may have and take advantage of this time to go over them with your professor.
Also, if your lecturer gives additional resources for practicing and understanding the topic, make use of them. You have no reason not to do so, especially since you can accomplish all of this without leaving your house.
Create a designated study space
If your class met in person, you would probably do so in an academic environment, such as a classroom or lecture hall. While attempting to simulate this environment at home would be a bit too extreme, it is recommended you do have a designated study space set up. This way, it will be much easier to keep distractions away and focus during classes.
Your study place might be anywhere that allows you to concentrate. Get inventive and seek for that perfect spot in your house – whether it’s a corner in your bedroom, a place at your kitchen table, or some pillows on the floor of your balcony.
The only recommendation is to avoid places that are overly comfy or distracting. Studying in bed or next to your gaming console is not a good idea. Find a location that says “It’s time to get down to business!”
Cut out distractions during class
When there’s no professor or colleague watching over your shoulder occasionally, it’s easy to allow distractions such as social media, video games, or other people in the house to get your attention. If you can’t eliminate them altogether while in class, try to at least minimize these distractions.
Having a designated study area can be helpful, but consider using headphones to block external distractions as well. As for online distractions, there are plenty of apps that can do that for you, so you may want to get looking.
Keep track of deadlines
In an in-person class, the lecturer would most likely remind you of approaching deadlines. However, with online courses, you may not receive these reminders. As a result, you must be especially careful when it comes to deadlines.
Check through all of the syllabus at the beginning of class to assess all assignment deadlines. Add the information on your calendar and refer to it on a regular basis. Also, keep an eye out for changes in due dates so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
This method won’t guarantee you will never miss a deadline – you still need to find time to do the work until the due date comes – but it will at least ensure you won’t accidentally skip an assignment because you did not know when it was due.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.