Online courses have a created a wealth of opportunities for anyone who is working full time and looking to further their qualifications or for students who are unable or unwilling to attend a conventional classroom situation.
The flexibility that a modern solution like online learning through a resource like http://www.simplilearn.com/ amongst others can offer, puts knowledge at your fingertips, as long as you know how to make the most of what is available.
Here is a look at some strategies and tips to help you get the most out of your online learning experience.
Managing your time
Time management and discipline are important aspects when planning a strategy for successful learning through an online course.
Before you actually enroll for an online course you will need to take a look at your schedule and ensure that you have sufficient time available to devote the hours needed to complete coursework within a reasonable timeframe and to take part in online class discussions with other students.
The amount of time you will need to devote to your course will probably vary according to the subject that you are taking and the course load that is associated with it.
As a reasonable guide so that you can work out your diary planning and availability, two hours of lecture time will roughly equate to about four hours of study time that you will have to find in your schedule.
The best way of successfully completing an online course on time, would be to set aside specific days and times where you know you can commit the time and you won’t have any distractions.
If you were attending a classroom for your lesson you would almost certainly ensure that you had everything you needed with you on the day.
The same principles apply to online learning. You need to be organized and have a system for keeping tabs on the assignment tasks you need to complete and have the notes and other class materials to hand at home, just as you would if you were attending a class.
A good discipline would be to organize assignments by their due date, so that you can prioritize the work that needs doing and you won’t miss any deadlines.
Also work on a file naming system so that you can easily keep track of all the documents and files you need to refer to. This will also make it easier to ensure that you are always able to find the correct version of the assignment file whenever it needs to be worked on or submitted to the online instructor.
The art of communication
Communication is a vital part of online learning and this is because you need to have a good communication channel and system in place to counteract the asynchronous nature of this type of course.
This means that students and instructors are not always going to be in the course and online at the same time so there is potentially going to be a communication delay in getting a response reading a question or message posted.
This is why you have to be proactive with your communication strategy and work on always asking any questions you have sooner rather than later, so you don’t get held up for too long whilst waiting for your answer.
A high percentage of communication in an online course is in written form and you therefore need to hone your writing skills so that you can communicate effectively in a concise and efficient manner, without forgetting the basic protocols of introductions and salutations in emails.
Other useful tips
There are a number of strategies and ideas that you can employ which will make your online course run more smoothly and enable you to get the result you are looking for in the most efficient way possible.
Always make use of social channels associated with the course so that you can chat to fellow students and lecturers using message boards and Facebook groups.
It often works well to give yourself a frequent change of scenery when you are studying. It seems that many of us attain better retention of information if we choose different places to study rather than keeping the same routine every time.
Make the most out of the fact that you can work at your own pace. One of the joys of an online course is the fact that you don’t have to wait for fellow students to keep up with you, so take advantage and set your pace.
If you are disciplined and following some proven strategies for successful online learning, you should be able to get the results you desire within a favorable timespan.
Lewis H. Parker works as a human resources manager. He loves sharing his experiences by posting online. Look for his articles mainly on business and career websites.