How to Make the Most of Your Online Learning Experience.
We did a little introduction to taking online courses within this post, check it out if you haven’t. Thanks to technology and various other factors, including the sheer convenience of it, online learning has become the order of the day, and it has come to stay. You can learn more or less any skill, as well as gain knowledge on anything whatsoever over the internet via YouTube, zoom and other platforms, such as Hubspot, Coursera and Udemy, designed specially for this purpose. Social media platforms are not left out too… Check, there’s one class or another holding on WhatsApp almost everyday. Same goes for Telegram, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So everyone is taking one course or the other online, attending one master class or the other, and that’s really cool, but are you doing it the right way? Are you utilizing it fully? There’s this saying that anything worth doing is worth doing well, so… In this post we’d be discussing what to do and what not to do to make the most of your learning online.
First, you need to outline your goals and objectives for taking the course or joining the class.
What do you want to get out of it? What exactly is it that you want to learn from it? What knowledge gap are you seeking to bridge? You can’t just hop on any random class, can you? Okay, maybe you can, literally speaking, but it’s not advisable so you don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed.
Next, you’d have to figure out what method of learning works for you.
Reading is important for so many reasons, but a lot of people keep on hammering on it without acknowledging that there are alternatives to reading. Let’s face it, not everyone is a reader, and that’s perfectly fine. Thankfully there’s content on any topic available in other mediums…
Video: This is a superb alternative with many perks, including the fact that it can make what you’re learning come alive. It is so important that most platforms for online courses provide their lectures in video format alongside texts. For this medium YouTube is your friend. Zoom, Vplayed and Kaltura are great alternatives as well.
Audio: Another great and super convenient alternative to written texts. This medium allows you to not just rest your eyes, but to multitask as well. Podcasts are becoming more and more popular for a reason, you know… Even in regular classes that hold on WhatsApp, voice notes are a superb way of passing across the lesson being taught.
So we can learn via written texts, audio, video and a combination of two or more. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it.
Take one course at a time. Stop hopping all around so you don’t end up confusing yourself, and even getting burnt out. There’s this satisfaction that comes with finishing up a task; it’s a win, an achievement, and it gives you energy to take on another. Don’t deny yourself that. When you start one course, see it through. Celebrate yourself for the win, then move to the next one. You’ll handle it with even more ease than the last. Plus, how exactly do you expect to not get confused with bits and pieces of information from different (most likely unrelated) courses floating around in your head?
Don’t rush. You don’t have to finish a course of one month in two days. I understand the urge that comes sometimes to quickly get a course over and done with, especially if it’s one that comes with certification on completion. But you can’t afford to let it consume you.
Slow down. ✋
Take your time.
You’re not just going through with it to check it off your to-do list or to get a certificate, are you? I hope not. Your main purpose should be to learn, and if you get a certificate at the end of it, you should be able to defend it. It’s only fair that you have the knowledge or skill the certificate claims you’ve acquired.
Create a learning hub for yourself. Intentionally set aside study time and space where you’ll be free from disturbance and distraction. Work with a timetable if you have to and respect it! Also, make sure the gadget you’ll be learning with doesn’t end up distracting you. There are a number of ways you can do this. Personally, when I’m working or studying online, I freeze other apps that could distract me with notifications because my data is on. Yop, I freeze my social media apps. You could also use Wi-Fi instead of mobile data and put your phone (if you’re using one) on airplane mode so you don’t get distracted by phone calls and texts, or get an app that prevents you from accessing certain apps till a fixed time. Whatever works for you.
Treat it like you would a regular offline course. Too often people get carried away and take their study for granted because it isn’t happening in a conventional school setting.
That’s a big mistake. Some things you’d learn online are even of more use to you than what you’re being taught in school, so why are you playing yourself?
Do your assignments.
Interact with your tutor and other students in the comment section, discussion forum or group chat, if there’s provision for that.
There’s a lot you can achieve, gain and learn, personally and professionally, when you open yourself to the opportunities for learning that abound online, but only if you go about them the right way. The internet is like a sea of knowledge, and it’s really easy to get lost or drowned in it, hence the need for you to equip yourself with a working compass and/or lifeguard. Be intentional about making the most of your learning online.
If you’ve been using any of these tips, how have they been working out for you? Do you have others not listed here that work for you? Please share with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you. Questions are highly welcome as well. ?
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