5 Tips for Success as an Online Learner
We strive to provide convenient, flexible, high-quality remote learning courses to help you achieve your goals and continue your education from home. If you’ve never taken an online course before, here are five tips to help prepare you for success as an online learner.
1. Online courses are “real” courses.” Watch all lectures and actively participate.
As a result of the stay-at-home order, our Intensive English Programs have moved from a classroom setting to a virtual environment. These remote learning classes allow you to connect with your instructor and classmates in an academic online space. Now offered as “webinar-style” courses, they run on a platform that offers ways to “raise your hand” and they include a chat feature where you can ask questions. Even though your instructors can’t see you face-to-face like in a classroom, they still want to help make sure you understand the material and are actively engaged — to ensure your success in their class.
2. Practice time management and hold yourself accountable.
Although online courses offer a great deal of flexibility, it’s a good idea to set deadlines and hold yourself to them. Avoid overloading yourself with work. Dedicate the necessary amount of time each day (or each week) to work on your assignments to avoid falling behind or reducing the quality of your work when facing a time crunch. Find a way to keep yourself from procrastinating and hold yourself accountable. Find a way to reward yourself that works for you, individually.
3. Create a study space and eliminate distractions.
Set up a study space in your home, somewhere quiet and free of distractions, where you know you can dedicate several hours to learning. This can be a home office, or just your desk or dining room table. Research shows that you should avoid working from your bedroom or couch. Keep the places where you study and rest separate. Although it may be tempting to put on Netflix in the background or check your social media feeds during study time, eliminating distractions will ensure you get the most out of the course material.
4. Use online courses as an opportunity to connect with others.
Our Remote Conversation Club and other virtual activities run by our student assistants are great ways to socialize and interact with your classmates. Plus, interacting with your classmates is an excellent way to practice your English language skills and have fun with your fellow students.
5. Have kids, pets or roommates? Keep them busy and entertained—away from you.
Our own families can be a source of distraction when trying to learn from home, especially during this time when many of us are doing school and work at home alongside our families. While buying some new toys for your dog makes for a few hours of distraction, kids tend to be more complicated. Several publications have posted their advice for working at home with kids around and list numerous educational games, TV shows and other online resources to keep children entertained and keep their brains working—while you have peace of mind as you get work done.
Jumping into online education can be a challenging new experience, but if you have the right mindset and prepare accordingly, you’ll likely find the transition easier than expected.