Smarter Learner Series : Your guide to succeeding in an online course

Smarter Learner

Digitization has taken the world by storm. Right from billing systems to health care, going digital has made things easier to handle, scale, and use. Among all fields, education is one that may see the biggest change of all. Learning is getting easier, simpler, and more insightful through new-age learning approaches such as online courses, and its usefulness keeps growing by the day. 

The key reasons for this learning evolution are time and convenience. Taking up an online course may sound easy, but it still requires effort, time management, self-motivation, focus, and most importantly, the desire to learn. 

If you are new to online learning and have just enrolled in for a course, you may have questions running through your mind. “How do I get the most out of my online course?” you may wonder, or “How is this different from classroom learning?” By following a few easy, effective principles, a learner can profit enormously through online courses in terms of cost, learning effectiveness, and even cashable reputation. 

1. Becoming Tech Savvy: 

Technology is the ultimate vehicle for online learning, so you need to know it better to learn online courses at ease. This means that you should know the basic functions of computers like Microsoft applications, how to save files, downloading, connecting to the internet, using email ID, and fixing minor issues. As an online learner, you will be working most of your assignments and tests in your device, so it is best to know how to use tools like Excel, MS Word, PowerPoint, etc. Most importantly, you should use these technologies productively and efficiently for your learning.  

2. Ensure that you have a Reliable Internet Connection: 

Internet hiccups happen all the time. Having a stable and fast internet connection is very important for a hitch-free learning experience. This ensures that all the videos play without having to wait for them to buffer, and also navigate across the different elements in an online course such as tests, forums, etc. with ease.

Reliable internet is standard in western countries and in Tier-1 cities in India, but what about Tier-2, Tier-3 cities or rural villages? Or you may be traveling, and want to learn while you are onboard? For such scenarios, platform providers such as Classle and others provide the option of taking the learning experience offline using a mobile app. Such hybrid online/offline models take learning to the edges of the country, increasing the accessibility and / or increasing the convenience 

3. Dedicated Study Space/Area:

A good study environment will help you learn better, so make sure you find the right studying place and ensure that the place is quiet, organized, and free of distractions. Nowadays, you don’t have to choose between office and home for online learning. Through the mobile app feature in online learning, you can learn on the go, wherever and whenever you want. The only concern you should have is enabling that study routine.

4. Login Every Day – Manage your Learning time well:

Most online courses go on for 4 to 6 months, many even lesser, with a dedicated number of hours to be spent per week. Thus, taking a few minutes every day to log in will help you stay in step with your online class. Keep checking for updates, set time limits, and have an effective calendar system. 

5. Learn, Practice, and Repeat: 

In order to have a complete understanding of what you’re learning, you need to practice. Online learning gives you the flexibility to learn, practice, and repeat. For example, if you score low in a test, you can always go back to the videos, learn again, and retake the test to score better. Furthermore, while working on online assignments, you can study from the course material, extra references, online discussions, etc. Doing all this will help you learn better and faster, all at your convenience.

6. Participate in Online Discussions:

The beauty of online learning is that though one is on their own, they do not learn in isolation. You can always connect with your peers and fellow learners through groups and forums. Participate actively and respectfully in the group discussions and online activities. Make suggestions, give tips, and share resources and new ideas, and get similar insights from others as well.  

7. Connect with your Online Instructor: 

When you have a doubt or are stuck with some concept you don’t understand, you can always contact your online instructor for help. This will not only help you, but also your peers, and it will give the instructor an insight into how well their students are learning.

8. Have Fun and Enjoy the Experience:

This is the most important tip of all. For online learning to be fun and exciting, you should do interesting things that will be productive and enjoyable. Organize study group meetings and competitions. Share relevant resources to your learning groups. Make friends and create a network through blogs and forums. Make the most of your learning time!  

Start following these tips and you will be able to make your online learning more fun and effective. Happy Learning! 

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