How To Overcome Anxiety About The eLearning Environment
I remember the first time I entered the online environment. As I surfed around the different forums, I felt anxiety building inside of me. All I could see were links leading to more links and everything seemed complicated. It was three days before the start of my first class and I felt totally out of place. I was 33 years old, had little experience with computers, and even less experience surfing the world-wide-web. In that moment of panic, I told myself, there was no way that I could go through this; this online learning environment was totally out of my comfort zone. As I sat there staring at the computer, I realized that I could not back out. It was too late. I had already paid for my first course and my books had already arrived.
If this sounds familiar to you, I urge you not to panic. You are not alone. I am here to help you. In this article, I give you 3 things you can do to help overcome your initial feelings of anxiety about the eLearning environment.
1. Reach Out To Someone Familiar With The eLearning Environment
From experience, I can tell you that there is nothing scarier than visiting the eLearning environment for the first time. This fear is further incited when you have very little or no experiences in technology. As you look around, you realize that you do not feel as prepared as you felt when you applied for the program.
Before you change your mind and quit: You are not alone, other people feel this same sense of anxiety in the initial stages of online learning. Instead, I urge you to reach out to someone who is familiar with the eLearning environment. It takes an individual who has eLearning experience to stave the anxiety of one who does not know anything about the eLearning environment and is feeling fearful or anxious.
I can recall my reactions back then, in my moment of anxiety, the first person I reached out to was the instructor for the class. I emailed the instructor and told him I felt lost, as if I was in the wrong place. He must have sensed my fear because he responded almost immediately. Even today, I still recall his words to me. He quoted a scene from the play Ophelia and Hamlet and encouraged me to be brave as Ophelia was in one of that specific scene, when she responded to her brother and father who had forbidden her not to see Hamlet.
This way of dealing with anxiety was very effective. My anxiety subsided as I went in search of the characters and the scene he quoted.
In another instance, a year later, I was the one calming down my work colleague who had called me for help. She had just started the exact online program that I was enrolled in, and she did not know where to start. I responded to her plea and showed her the basics. Soon enough, she was ready for her journey in online learning.
Do not be afraid to reach out and find someone who is willing to provide you the initial support that many learners new to online learning requires.
2. Take One Day At A Time
I know this point seems obvious. However, I cannot emphasize how critical it is to take one day at a time. The eLearning environment can feel like a roller coaster in the beginning. You have all these assignments coming at you along with the fact that you have not learned the basics of how everything works.
At first, you are going to worry about how you will make it through your program. Moreover, if you think too far ahead, this could keep you in a constant state of anxiety, which is counter-productive.
Instead, take the time to plan your schedule. You can use my 4 Tips To Help You Complete Online Assignments On Time as a guide. I promise you that after a couple of weeks in the program, you will start getting the feel of the eLearning environment and your worry will reduce.
3. Become Familiar With The eLearning Environment
Practice does make perfect. This is especially true for the eLearning environment. Because of your fear and anxiety, you may be tempted to visit the classroom only when necessary; however, if you really want to be successful, you will need to become familiar with the physical structure of the classroom as well as the structure of the assignments.
Take every opportunity you have to familiarize yourself with how everything works. Do not be afraid to click the endless links. Ensure that you know where the main links are. For example, make sure you can navigate the links that lead to the discussion forum, contact the instructor, course outline and materials, group forums, grading, assignments and criteria, as well as learning tools such as Grammarly and Turnitin. As you continue to navigate these links, you will find your anxiety abating.
If you follow these 3 steps, I have no doubt that you will have a smooth transition into the eLearning environment. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of this post please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below and I will do my best to respond as soon as possible. As a former student or online learning, I am always willing to assist students. You can check this link for more articles on online learning.
Please note that I first published this article on elearningindustry.com
Other resources that can help you overcome your anxiety:
- The 4 Biggest Fears About Online Learning and How to Overcome Them
- The Effect Of Emotion On Distance Learning – The Fear Of Technology