According to Bill Gates, the best education in five years will be on the Internet, so now’s the time to get a head start on knowing some successful tips for online learning.
Is online education the right choice for you?
Certainly in this age of information just about every aspect of life as we know it has been transformed by the Internet.
We bank, shop, work, even socialize using the web. Learning online will help you with different aspects of your life You should honestly answer the questions below to understand if you are able to study online.
Are you disciplined?
E-Learning requires a fair amount of self-direction. The course is designed with a fair amount of self-study. No longer is the teacher delivering you knowledge. Of course, you can have feedback from your teachers, and you can ask services like writemyessay.nyc about help. But it’s up to you to orchestrate your learning, how you do it when you do it.
Do you know your learning style?
To understand if online education is for you, you need to be intimately acquainted with your learning style – your strengths and weaknesses. Do you learn well by reading and reflecting?
Are you more of a hands-learner? Are you a social learner who prefers to interact with others? Although there is a lot of solo work in an online course, there is interaction, albeit less than in a classroom. Can you handle that? Are you comfortable interacting with technology?
Are you motivated?
Many online courses are geared to adult learners who are upgrading or returning to school. If you are a middle-aged adult learner returning to school, chances are you’ve thought very carefully about your reasons for returning to school or enrolling in an online program.
Do you have support?
Let’s face it, doing an online program can be very lonely and isolating. In deciding whether or not online education is for you ask yourself if you have support. Many students couldn’t study without a network of friends and family who cheered us on, who accepted our temporary unavailability, who got us unstuck during discouraging moments.
If you are sure that you are ready for online education, that the tips below will definitely help you to succeed.
Be sure you have the right equipment. You’ll need a laptop with wireless capabilities. Whether you’re logging in at the college or in a cafe, the beauty of online learning is that you can do it anywhere, any time.
Be sure, too, your laptop has both a lot of RAM and a high-speed chip to accommodate multi-media. Although most higher education courses are text-based, increasingly, online learning is incorporating multimedia tools such as webinars and audio and video conferencing.
So, be sure your computer can handle the requirements. When I took my master’s degree online (part-time), I found my brand new desktop was almost obsolete three years after I bought it and bought a new laptop in the final year of the program.
Adjust your study habits
Understand that you will do more work in an online course than in a classroom course. You will need to shift your learning strategy to a more proactive, self-directed mode. In the classroom, the instructor can deliver some of the information and create group activities, so you learn onsite.
But, in the electronic classroom, you’re on your own. It is less structured. You’ll have to become your own teacher to some extent. You’ll have to make sure you follow the course guidelines on the web, participate in forums, do professional writing by yourself.
Many students in their first online course quickly fall behind because it is easy to put off the tasks in an online course. The course is just sitting there on the computer, isn’t it? It’s easy to think the learning will “somehow” just happen.
Manage your time
You will have to be vigilant with your time and ensure you participate in all the activities regularly. A good strategy is to schedule set times to work on your online course as you would going to a classroom course.
When I did my graduate studies, it was difficult to participate in the course every day. My teaching schedule was heavy for the first three days of the week. But for the rest of the week, I was able to participate without a problem.
That’s the beauty of online learning. You can schedule it around your own timetable. But watch out for the temptation to put the online course at the bottom of your priority list, since it is not immediate and “in your face”.
Understand that you’re in an academic environment. When you’re participating in an online discussion (you will find them to be quite common in your e-courses), be sure that the level of language you use is a little more formal than in the chat room. Avoid chat room lingo and acronyms. Your professors and classmates will appreciate it.
Communication bridges the isolation gap that sometimes occurs in an online course. You have many opportunities to create different interactions. Don’t be shy to send an email to your professor or tutor if you have a specific question. When I teach an online course, I usually hear from everyone in the class at some point
And I always answer student questions. That’s what we’re here for. Dialoguing privately with the professor or tutor will enhance your learning. Be sure also to respond to your fellow students in the discussion forums. That’s where real learning occurs. You will find that our fellow classmates also become your teachers and you become theirs as all course members share their observations, resources, and experiences.
Experts call this constructivist learning and it is a very powerful form of pedagogy. Also, many online courses have a “cafe” forum for a more free discussion other than the structured academic discourses on the other forums. Your fellow students become your teachers and you become theirs.
Online learning is a rich learning experience but requires some adapting initially. Following these suggestions will help you be successful in the electronic classroom.