10 tips to ace online learning
Did you know that today, the 15th of September, is Online Learning Day? It’s a day that recognizes the advantages and the vast potential of online learning. It also honors the accomplishments of online students like you everywhere!
In the last couple of years, online learning has grown by leaps and bounds and is expected to triple in size by 2025. It is a phenomenal way to gain knowledge and upskill—more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies use e-learning regularly. Online learning is more cost-effective and convenient than conventional education, creating opportunities for people from all walks of life.
So how do you make the best of online learning?
1. Set well-defined goals
When you’re taking a course, be clear on what you want to achieve from it. Set yourself clear goals that are easy to measure. For example, if you are taking a course on basic HTML coding with 10 units, finishing a unit and its corresponding assignment is a good goal for a day. However, by the end of the course, your goal must be about creating a whole webpage on your own.
2. Schedule your learning sessions and make it a habit
Choose a regular time every day when you can focus on learning. Keep track of deadlines and add important dates when assignments are due to your calendar.
3. Ensure you have a distraction-free environment
Create an area in your house where you can learn without distractions. Avoid studying on your bed, if possible. Distinguishing between your study area and the rest of your home can aid in concentration.
4. Figure out your technical logistics
Make sure your internet connection is good and that you have all the necessary login details for any application or website you might be using. If you need to download any applications or resources, ensure you have what you need before the lesson starts.
5. Take notes, and reflect on what you’ve learned
Taking notes can help you understand what you’re learning better, improve your attention, and help you think better. Find a way to take notes that works best for you—some people prefer taking notes by hand while others favor a digital approach. Take a short break between chapters to reflect on what you learned. You can write down how you personally connect to the lesson and how you are planning to apply it in real life.
6. Be a part of a community
Online learning connects you with talented instructors and fellow learners across the world. There are plenty of ways for you to take advantage of this vibrant community such as online forums and social networking. You can create virtual study groups to learn together.
7. Be open and accountable
When you’re learning online, don’t be shy about telling your friends about it. If you finish a course or module, you can post about it on your social media accounts and celebrate what you’ve achieved. Telling the people who care about you what you’re doing can create a support network that will help you sustain your pace of learning.
8. Don’t overload yourself
With the vast quantity of knowledge available, you might be tempted to sign up for 17 different courses. You might even rush through a course a day. But this will exhaust you and lead to a poor understanding of what you learn. Instead, plan out which courses would complement each other when taken together and be patient with yourself. It is better to consistently learn over time rather than choke yourself with information.
9. Self-care is important
Taking care of your mind and body is essential to be able to perform at your best level. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, eat as healthy as possible, and take plenty of breaks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your tutors or fellow students. If you’re feeling low, talk about your mental state with the people you trust.
10. Reward yourself
If you score well on a test, watch that movie on Netflix you’ve been wanting to. Once you’re done learning for the day or get through an especially difficult module, talk to your friends or grab some ice cream. It’s much easier to motivate yourself and get through a hard task when you know there’s something nice waiting for you at the finish line.
We’re lucky to have the privilege of learning online. Education has never been more accessible irrespective of one’s location, finances, or background. Make the best of it!
Here are a few online learning resources that you might find of use, whether you’d like to learn about machine learning, customer support skills, human anthropology, or almost anything, really:
What are your tips for learning effectively online? Let us know in the comments below!
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