Online learning can provide many opportunities for you to continue studying while undergoing social distancing measures, but it does come with its own challenges. Here you will find our top suggestions to help you get the most from online courses.
In these difficult times, online courses are an ideal solution for ADIT students keen to prepare for exams while working at home. Having the flexibility to log on to virtual courses, live and recorded webinars, and access other study resources when it suits you can be a real benefit.
But what are the challenges of online learning, and how do you ensure that you are getting what you need from your studies?
With so much going on right now you may find you’re feeling less motivated than usual, or struggling to concentrate on your studies. To get the most out of online learning, you need to be disciplined and reduce the distractions around you as much as possible.
Can you set aside some time to put away your phone, close your emails, and focus on your studies? Learning requires concentration, so try to carve out a set time that’s free of distractions.
Think about your ideal study space, to help you choose the best environment for your learning. If you aren’t able to leave your home, or you have limited space, you may need to be creative in how you build a comfortable study environment. Ambient music or white noise sounds may be helpful if you can’t find a quiet room. If your course provides audio podcasts, you could even try listening to these while taking a walk.
Engage with your learning
Online learning will require a certain amount of self-discipline as you will need to actively engage with your course. With this in mind, try to choose a course and ADIT module which genuinely interests you and you feel excited about. It may help when you’re struggling with motivation to remind yourself why you’re studying. Don’t lose sight of your goal, whether you hope to enhance your career, improve your knowledge, or gain the confidence to take on your next challenge.
If you do find it hard to study alone, try reaching out to other students. If your course includes student interaction within its learning platform, take advantage of the opportunity to connect with people who are in the same position as you. You can also reach out via the ADIT LinkedIn groups. Some students have also set up WhatsApp groups to support each other. Use the technology available to you in whichever way you feel most comfortable.
Create a study plan
You may be tempted to put your studies on hold, but where possible we encourage you to continue studying. A clear plan can help you manage this time more effectively, and break your studies down into small, achievable tasks.
If planning your time seems like an overwhelming task right now, you could start by scheduling a chat with your manager so that you are both clear on how you will balance work with studying. Consider your personal priorities, and don’t forget to include time to rest.
Your tutor should be able to guide you in creating a detailed plan, based around key course dates such as assignment deadlines and virtual meetings, and what content you should be reading each week.
Give yourself a break
Look after yourself by eating well, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest. Don’t forget to include regular breaks in your study plan to give yourself time away from screens. If you plan to study in the evening after work, split your day up by taking an hour for yourself before you switch over to studying. Consider getting out for a walk, or doing a yoga session. You could even use the time to cook and eat a nice meal. Whatever helps you to feel refreshed and better able to tackle your studies.
- Check what technology you will need for the course, and whether your internet connection is reliable enough
- Decide on the best time and place for you to undertake your online learning, where you will be less distracted
- Speak with your manager to ensure that you are both clear about how your online learning will work
- Familiarise yourself with key course dates, and set well-defined learning objectives and goals
- Develop an achievable study plan to follow
- Take plenty of breaks