Strategies to Be successful at Online Courses
Taking an online course is in certain ways very different from the usual face to face physical teaching and learning contact in class. While taking an online class can afford you the opportunity to take your classes when you want to and how you want to, depending on the modality, there are factors that if not well handled, can make the effort not be as productive as it should be. Online classes now make it possible for students to be able to earn degrees attending a virtual class in variance to the physical classroom setting. It can be a good option for someone with other important demands to attend to or for mothers to learn from home while still being able to pay necessary attention to the needs of their kids and family. Since with this kind of learning approach you are able to control many things according to your own time and availability, it is possible to handle it carelessly or in a disorganised manner, thereby losing out on important things that count for success. In order to be able to succeed easily at your online courses, below are some strategies you should apply.
set a Goal (Your Strong Why)
Yes, you want to take an online course, to earn a degree, get certified and all that, but if you don't spell out your target clearly to yourself, giving yourself a strong reason why you are taking the course, it might affect your motivation towards the course. When you give yourself a strong reason why you are taking the course and the important thing you want to achieve with it, then your motivation can be boosted, and on days you might actually not feel like it, by reminding yourself of how important the course is to you, you will have no choice but to keep going.
Handle it as an Actual, Physical Class
Approach the classes, not with the mind-set of virtual class, but take every class as though it was a normal classroom business. If there are times scheduled for each class, ensure you don't log in lately, be ready with all the needed materials. Also take all the assignments and tasks as important as a in a normal class. Don't approach it with a carefree mind-set. When you take it as a normal class, day to day thing, it can impact on how dedicated and prompt you will be to the course.
Ensure you take notes during the classes, especially if it is a live class. Taking notes will help you to track your learning from the start all through to test and exam periods, and your notes can also serve as reference to revise or remind yourself of things learnt. You should therefore discipline yourself to take notes.
Create a Designated Workspace
Having a particular place where you take your classes can be very helpful. That workspace will serve to help your mind adjust whenever you go in there you know you are there for your classes or to do related tasks and assignments. Don't be disorganised about where you take your online classes, have a designated place within your house.
Ensure that, just like in a normal class, when you are taking your online classes, participate when the opportunity is there. Ask questions when in doubt, endeavour to interact with other students. Interact with your lecturers as well. Being active will likely make you feel more involved and can make the learning experience more interesting to you.
Know Your Best Study Time
Taking an online course, you will still need time to read and study just like an offline student who takes a face to face class. Therefore, you should know what time is best for you to study and balance the time with other things you have to do during the day. If you are a morning person, you may want to dedicate some hours early in the morning to study, before attending to some other things, if your best study time is night, then you'll know how to arrange your activities to suit that as well.
Form Virtual Study Groups
You can take a step further to better your efforts toward success by forming a virtual study group. Get in touch with some of the other students taking the same course and seek their consent if they will be willing to be part of a virtual study group. This can help keep you on your toes to read and study, especially as you won't want to be unprepared for your group discussion periods. You should endeavour to involve some of the very participative students in the online class in your virtual group. This could also serve to be a way of watching each other's backs to remind of important things like deadline for assignments, dates for tests, exams and the likes.
As part of measures you put in place to help yourself towards discipline, diligence and success, find a way of being accountable to yourself or someone else. You could decide to set goals for yourself regularly concerning your online course and measure your progress in the light of those goals at the set times. To have a more reliable accountability system, you can involve another person, probably a fellow student, a friend, your spouse or someone you know can regularly monitor you and ask you how far you are going in taking your online course serious.
Have a Schedule
As much as possible, create a timetable for yourself and factor in all the demands of your online course, putting into consideration all other daily activities you have to attend to. Set the time with respect to when you should take your classes, your study time, time for your assignments and other things. You could also use a reminder like an alarm to remind yourself of important things on your time table as it concern your online course and other activities of the day.
Ensure You Get the Concepts
After taking your classes, if there is any concept you don't understand, you should personally take it upon yourself to ensure that you get it. Don't just go on like that thinking that somehow everything will form and make sense eventually, endeavour to get every lesson before another lesson, so you can follow on with understanding.
When you study, if you prefer a background music, you may want to use it, or if you like to sip something in the process, that may also be a good idea just to enhance the learning process.
When you set goals that have to do with your online course, and you are able to achieve those goals, have a way of rewarding yourself.
Ensure that every day you have to attend to your online class, you are at your best physically, emotionally and psychologically. This may not be the case all the time, but try as much as possible to make it so, in order for you to benefit maximally from your classes.
Do Away with Distractions
Ensure that you do away with every form of distraction, online and offline when you are attending to your classes, assignments and the likes. Don't allow yourself to be carried away with social media distractions, also avoid noisy areas or environments that can hinder your maximum benefit.
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