How To Have A Positive Online Learning Experience
Posted on September 29, 2020
As more and more organizations implement online learning strategies, there may be some learners new to this method of learning or are currently adjusting to online learning as the primary source of education. With any habit being formed, learners can benefit from creating a positive online learning experience. This article is a beginner’s guide to help learners to have a positive online learning experience and adapt to this learning modality.
How To Have A Positive Online Learning Experience
1. Treat online learning sessions as ‘real’ courses
We are quick to get distracted that in just a second, you can easily reach for your phone and mindlessly scroll through social media for hours. You can also get distracted by multi-screening: Netflix playing on one screen as you try to learn in the other.
Learn to dedicate your full attention to online learning sessions as you would in face-to-face classes. Your time for learning will be maximized and will save you time catching up with the materials. Don’t forget to take down notes while you’re at it! Write them down on your preferred note-taking app or notebook and ask questions in social spaces within the online course.
2. Find your favorite learning space
Ensure that your room is conducive to learning. It is best if you can find a space with good lighting, somewhere peaceful, somewhere you can concentrate.
Limit your distractions with headphones or earphones and remove other software or tabs open that is not relevant to your online learning (Netflix, Social Media, or even your TV). You can also put your phone in silent mode when it’s ‘time for class.’
If you are in a household that tends to have many activities happening at the same time, make sure to discuss the boundaries you would need during your online learning schedule (except for emergencies, of course).
3. Hold yourself accountable
One of the many differences between face-to-face classes and online learning is that your instructor is not always there to remind you of your deadlines and important dates.
It is your responsibility to keep yourself updated to not miss out on any announcement, new schedules, or even deadlines. Check your emails frequently of wherever the announcements are being posted. Make sure to keep yourself in check as well if you are on top of your lessons and projects.
4. Practice time management
Before even planning around your schedule in your head, it is so much easier if you can see it visually. You can try plotting out all the schedule in an official calendar and create a weekly schedule you can follow. This way, you can get a glimpse of what is happening for the month and easily focus on the tasks and schedule for the week. Maintaining and setting up reminders through your calendar app can also help you be on track of what you need to do. Mark important dates and deadlines so you can plan around them and easily see what is next.
Also, it’s important to factor in personal and prior commitments in your schedule so you can adjust and give yourself extra time to complete assignments. Be realistic and do not underestimate tasks when planning to avoid being overwhelmed while looking at your calendar or to do list.
As for studying or assigned readings, you can split them up into smaller, more manageable chunks of time throughout the week and treat these times seriously to not get distracted. Try out the Pomodoro Method, a productivity technique wherein you study for 25 minutes straight, then take a break for 5 minutes after and repeat. This builds momentum and most times; you find yourself wanting to work more than 25 minutes.
Have you ever heard of the Eisenhower Matrix? It is a form of organizing and identifying tasks that should be prioritized. Categorize your smaller tasks into four quadrants: 1. Urgent, 2. Not Urgent, 3. Important, and 4. Not Important. Start with the urgent and important tasks first.
5. Actively participate
Whenever you are in an online class or virtual classroom, always be willing to ask questions whenever something is unclear because if you don’t, you miss your chance to understand the topic even more. You can also look at the course forum if it is available or contact your instructor and ask for guidance.
Online learning also encourages social learning. You can engage with your fellow learners and sometimes, other learners add more valuable information to the online course itself. Also, remember to be proactive in asking for help if you are having a hard time completing a project or an assignment, don’t wait until it’s almost due.
Online learning is fun and flexible but without discipline, you might find your classes and assignments piling on top of another. As much as possible, try to reduce the friction of online learning, and the more you practice the tips above, the more you will build a positive online learning experience. Practice makes perfect! Following these tips and slowly creating a habit of your own can help you figure out what works for you in the long run.
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive the latest blog updates and learning trends from our team! You can read our previous blogs titled: 10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity While Working From Home, and 8 Tips for Managing Your Team Remotely.