Online learning is a unique learning environment that gives you greater freedom to tailor where, when, and how you study. However, without preparation and self-discipline your online courses can become difficult and frustrating. Below are the skills you need for effective online learning.
Looking after your body and mind is important for learning.
Study, exercise, eat well, connect with others, have fun, and get plenty of sleep. Don’t overdo any one thing. Balance is the key to academic success.
Create a regular study space where you have everything you need close at hand. Studying in bed is not an effective study space.
Make sure you have the required technology. Do you have a sufficient laptop, adequate bandwidth, functioning camera and microphone, and the required apps and software? Be aware that tech issues can be time-consuming. Do not assume anything will work without checking it first. Avoid waiting until you have an assignment due, a virtual group meeting scheduled to start, or a presentation to present to find out you have an issue with your technology.
Get organized. Collect important phone numbers, email address and support links. You should have the contact information for your instructor, IT services, tutoring services, and any other resources relevant to your course.
Set aside ‘school time’ with a study schedule and stick to it. You need time to focus on your studies each day without distractions and interruptions. This means disconnecting from social media, turning off the TV, and letting your friends know that during these times you are not available.
Set aside time for yourself and your study. Celebrate your achievements by giving yourself a small treat.
Take regular small study breaks. Breaks are an important part of maintaining an effective study performance. They allow you to focus, reduce stress, and retain the information you are learning.
Online learning best suits the engaged active learner. Ask questions to yourself as you study. Take notes and summarize in your own words. Think about how new information relates to ideas already covered in the course. Talk to a classmate about the information you are learning. Your classmate may have a different perspective that allows you to increase your understanding. Make Connections Communication is the key to an effective learning experience. You need to be proactive. Participate where you can. Set up virtual meetings with your classmates. Don’t wait to ask a question.
When communicating online give and expect respect!