Congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve made the exciting choice to return to study after a few years off. While a lot has changed, one positive is that we can now learn most courses online with very little or no face-to-face interaction.
Before you panic, here are our three simple tips for getting started again with online learning:
Tip #1. Get organised.
The key to returning to study, especially online, is to be organised.
• Start by making sure you understand the course content, workload, due dates and any additional requirements.
• Next, determine whether you have the tools you need to succeed; when it comes to studying online – you want to make sure you have a good internet connection, ample space on your laptop or hard drive and that all the applications and programs have downloaded correctly.
• Create the right study environment. Design the perfect space by eliminating distractions, add in a good light source – especially if you intend to study in the evening and organise your course materials.
Tip #2. Time management.
The most appealing feature of studying online is the freedom to control your participation. We know managing time can be difficult, especially if you’re juggling a career, a family and the everyday life unknowns. Try time blocking or scheduling as part of your study strategy. Once you allocate study hours, make yourself accountable by scheduling them in.
Another great tool in time management is to map out your week by planning out what you’ll do each day of the week, such as readings, participating in online discussions, and assignments.
Tip #3. Be patient with yourself.
As with any new endeavour, studying can take time to get back in to. Reading multiple resources a week, coupled with hours of watching online lectures or other videos, can be challenging at first – give yourself time to get into your groove and try to enjoy the experience.
The first time you studied may have been when you were younger and because you had to, not because you were overly interested in the topics covered. However, choosing to learn to upskill and grow your knowledge or advance your career can bring with it a new learning opportunity.
And of course, always remember to enjoy being a beginner again and embrace it!