The Business of Practice

Tips for Online Learning

Since the pandemic, many individuals are now working remotely, attending school, and taking advantage of online learning opportunities. “Online learning” can take many forms – learning can be synchronously or asynchronously, with a cohort or self-paced mode. However, when thoughtfully designed, online courses can be very effective and engaging experiences.

Tips for Online Learning

#1: Set Daily Goals

Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish each day. Setting a clear goal can help you stay motivated and beat procrastination. The purpose should be specific and easy to measure, such as, “I’ll watch all the videos in Module 2 and complete the first assignment.” Reward yourself when you progress towards your goal!

#2: Create a Dedicated Space

It’s easier to recall information if you’re in the same place where you first learned it, so having a dedicated space at home to take online courses can make your learning more effective. Remove any distractions from the area, and if possible, separate it from your bed or sofa. A clear distinction between where you study and where you take breaks can help you focus. 

#3: Manage Your Time Wisely

Being deliberate with your time is helpful for online learning. Open your calendar and choose a predictable, reliable time that you can dedicate to watching lectures and completing assignments. Scheduling helps ensure that your courses won’t become the last thing on your to-do list. 

#4: Keep Yourself Accountable

Tell your friends about the courses you’re taking, post achievements to your social media accounts, or blog about your homework assignments. Having a community and support network of friends and family to cheer you on makes a difference.

#5: Actively Take Notes

Taking notes can promote active thinking, boost comprehension, and extend your attention span. Moreover, it’s an excellent strategy to internalize knowledge whether you’re learning online or in the classroom. So, grab a notebook or find a digital app that works best for you and start synthesizing key points. In addition, it can be helpful to create charts, outlines, study guides, flashcards, concept maps, and chapter maps. 

#6: Join the Discussion

Course discussion forums are a great place to ask questions about assignments, discuss topics, share resources, and make friends. In addition, learners participating in the discussion forums are more likely to complete a course. 

#7: Do One Thing at a Time

Multitasking is less productive than focusing on a single task at a time. For example, Stanford University researchers found that people who switch from one job to another cannot pay attention or recall information, compared to people who focus on one task at a time. 

#8: Take Breaks

Resting your brain after learning is critical to high performance. Take a break if you work on a challenging problem without much progress for an hour. Walking outside, taking a shower, or talking with a friend can re-energize you and give you new ideas for tackling that project. 

#9: Keep a Growth Mindset

Your success has as much to do with your effort as it has to do with your ability. So monitor your self-talk and stay positive.

#10: Know Where to Turn for Help

If taking a course with CONCEPT and need tech support? Check out our help library, or reach out to us! 

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