How To Maximize Your Learning As An Online Student
I too had my reservations when I started on my journey as an online student. I was so accustomed to being in a traditional class setting that I could not imagine how I could learn in an environment where I was basically responsible for my learning. If you are new to online learning or you are thinking of becoming an online student in the near future, this article is for you. As a former online student, I think online learning environment is just as effective being in a traditional classroom; however, you must take responsibility for your own learning. Let us have a look at 3 tips that can help you maximize your learning as an online student.
1. Make A Commitment To Read As Much As Possible
Read, read, read, as much as you can…because communication is done via writing you must develop a love for reading. Do not just read the required coursework; take the time to do some supplemental reading as well. As an online student, you want to make sure that you understand each topic so that you will not feel lost as the course and program goes on.
Always remember that as an online student, you are responsible for your learning. While there is a guide for each course and lesson, to make sure the basics are covered, how much you really learn is dependent on you. Once you make a commitment and develop a study routine, you will find that reading comes naturally.
Utilize the classroom library when doing assignments and even for discussions. I have found that some of the studies are very helpful when searching for evidence to support your writing. Also, take time to read from the list of articles which can be found beneath the course materials. These articles are often marked as supplemental or suggested readings. While these are not compulsory, they are often helpful providing information that can help you further understand a topic.
2. Do More Than The Minimum Requirement
Where possible, do more than the minimum requirements for each assignment. From the very start of your program, develop a habit of frequently engaging with instructors and other students during the discussion periods. For example, if the basic requirement for weekly discussions is to respond to two student’s discussion posts, do not just do the basics, go the extra mile and read more of what is written by other students.
Often times, it is through the experiences of others that we get ideas and are better able to relate a given topic. On the days for discussion, set adequate time to engage in the topic being discussed. If you skim through the discussion posts you will lessen your chances of learning something new.
3. Where Possible Do Each Course Consecutively
If you can avoid it, do not skip your courses. Instead of skipping, delaying, or even rushing courses, do each course in the sequence in which it comes. Delaying a course might affect your learning because each course is normally a step up from the previous course. If significant time has lapsed between end of one course and commencing the next, you might need to review the previous course material in order to understand what the current course is all about. Doing courses consecutively also saves time because your knowledge would be fresh going into the next course.
Online learning is just as effective as traditional learning once you the student is fully committed. Do not get in to the habit of idling because once developed, procrastination becomes a pattern. Develop healthy study habits and keep the momentum going. You will find 10 Ways to Engage Students in an Online Course helpful in helping you find ways of succeeding as an online student.
NB: this article was first published at elearningindustry.com.