Virtual Valedictorian: 6 tips to maximize your online learning experience
For the working individual or the overwhelmed student, taking some extra classes online or part time study could really help with attaining your goals since it provides more flexibility than a typical school schedule would. Here are some tips to take into consideration so you can maximize your online learning:
DESIGNATED WORK AREA
Allocating a dedicated workspace is probably one of the first things you need to do to establish a successful online learning experience. After which you will need to set up a timetable and schedule. To keep to the times you set for yourself, you will need to maximize every minute you set aside for work and so you want to minimize distractions and interruptions as much as possible. This could include having your water/tea/coffee with you so you don’t need to get up and having your snacks there as well. When it comes to larger meals, these can be scheduled during your breaks because breaks are necessary for assimilation.
LEARN HOW YOU LEARN
The first thing you want to figure out is how the online learning experience aligns with your natural learning style and habits. You want to get this down as soon as possible so that you can make appropriate adjustments in time with as little lag as possible. If you are an “early bird” versus a “night owl” then you should schedule your work for that time as best you can. If you find that you require more time to assimilate information, then you need to schedule some time before class to go over the lesson plan and after the class to review what you learnt. These learning styles vary with subjects as well so it is something that requires some level of involvement and self analysis on the part of the student.
BREAK TASKS UP
It is important to divide your work into smaller tasks to reduce the pressure and better manage your goals and expectations. By setting minor milestones for yourself you get to build up positive affirmation as you complete each minor task leading up to the completion of the final project/assignment or study material. For example, if you have a large chapter (or couple of chapters to read through) you break them down into smaller chunks and space them out that way you aren’t overwhelmed. You also build your confidence up as you complete each set goal which helps power you through the tougher tasks on your way to completion.
Take as many notes as you can manage through the classes. It is better to take a note of something you later find you don’t need during review than to miss something you thought trivial. The more you take notes, the better you will get at planning out your notes and organizing thoughts. It is also important to review these notes at the end of the day preferably, for memory retention but latest at the end of the school week. Reviewing the notes and turning them into more detailed study material helps refresh the memory. A 2004 research paper published in Contemporary Education Psychology found that notetaking resulted in about 13% higher test achievement than not.
AHEAD OF TIME
Doing assignments and studying ahead of time is vital to the learning experience and one that students fall too often into. Drawing up a dedicated schedule and sticking to it will be paramount in getting over this hump. The discomfort of dragging yourself to do the work ahead is always better than the discomfort from last minute work. This might be more important with online learning as all kinds of software, internet and equipment glitches can come up at the last minute which you would rather avoid.
SAVE NOW, SAVE LATER
Saving and backing up your work consistently is vital to avoiding pain and heartbreak from hours of lost work and projects. It is very easy to get into a flow of work and forget to save, but the loss outweighs the gains from the ground covered during that flow.
Learning online is a great way to help individuals with hectic schedules achieve their academic goals while reaching personal and professional milestones. These tips should help make that a more rewarding and productive overall experience.
This post was written by Abdulhakeem Yusuf. Abdulhakeem is the content writer at SOC Online Academy. He has over 6 years of professional writing experience.
If you or someone you know is interested in using these tips to maximize your online learning and excel with SOC Online Academy, Go here to learn how to apply.