Ulimate Guide on Online Distance Learning
Online Distance learning courses have been around for quite a while now and the internet has only made them more accessible but there are some unique challenges when studying like this. The lack of a tutor you can physically speak to on a daily basis is one of the difficulties learners struggle most with- as a student, the emphasis is on you to be proactive about your learning.
One of the best things about online courses is the wide variety of subjects you can choose to study. No matter if you want build on your management experience with some professional training or you simply want to learn about history, there is a course for you.
If you are thinking about taking part in a distance learning course this guide will help you to understand the challenges you face and the best way to meet them.
Online courses can help you learn new skills, improve existing ones and even advance you career, without leaving the comfort of your chair. This can be a very attractive option for prospective students who are working a full time job at the same time. Because of the lack of structured classes and no rigorous timetable to stick the inherent flexibility in a distance learning course makes it easier to study and boost your qualifications regardless of working hours or family commitments. This arrangement also means that you can work through the course at a pace that suits your schedule and your learning style.
The flexibility of distance or online learning is very advantageous to someone already in the workforce who wants to improve skills but can’t find the time during the working week to pursue a study programme.
Despite all these advantages to online distance learning there are still some difficulties learners will have to overcome.
The challenges of distance learning are diverse but most centre around the fact you will be working without regular supervision and have no set classes to build your schedule around. Feelings of isolation are also relatively common amongst distance learners because there is no support network and there can be a limited social side to distance learning. To overcome this, you need to be pro-active in the way that you work but there are some other things you should be doing to ensure success on your course…
How To Be Successful
Meeting the challenges of a distance learning course can be incredibly daunting but there are many things you can do to not only get the most out of your course, but also to ensure success on it. From simple organisational tactics to learning styles there are many ways to ensure your online distance learning experience is beneficial.
Read The Syllabus
Your syllabus is your course guide and it is one of the most important resources that you have to consult. It will explain to you how course materials are accessed, the course schedule and assignments. Read it carefully and follow all the instructions to ensure that you progress through the course at the proper speed and in an organised fashion.
Establish A Schedule
Individual organisation is key to ensuring success on a distance learning course and this means scheduling your time to include a period each week where you can focus solely on your course. This ensures that some of your work is done every week and you won’t get to the end with days of catching up to do. Try also to have a place where you can do your work every week, it could be a simple home office or you could go to the library or a coffee shop. Getting into a regular routine is imperative.
Join a study group or discuss your course on forums to help you understand topics better and allow you to see the subject from various perspective. There is also the option of mentoring to ensure that you can get on top of the work. However, discussion is not just about improving your progress it can simply be to stay on top of it. Mentioning the course to colleagues or friends will make you more likely to stick to it. Be sure to check in with your online course tutor regularly and if there is the option to communicate with other students on the course, make an effort to participate.
Procrastination is natural and it can be difficult to overcome this behaviour. One tactic is to give yourself regular breaks and goals – for example you can only check Facebook after completing the next chapter. Working for 30 minutes to one hour followed by a ten-minute break will make you a lot more productive. Make sure you get away from the computer screen for this time too, it may feel wasteful at first but after working like this for some time you will realise exactly how much more productive you have been.
One New Idea
Every study session, book read, assignment completed and online class should provide you with at least one new idea. Do not give up until you find this. By doing this you are actively seeking new knowledge which will help you retain all the relevant information. You should also ensure you write these new ideas down and refer back to them before each session, this will further reinforce your newly acquired knowledge and skills.
Obviously your first goal would be to complete the course, but you need to set manageable weekly goals too. This gives you something tangible to work towards each week. Setting these goals can be done by reading through the course guide and understanding how you need to progress and planning through the weeks ahead of time. This will give you a clear plan of progression that should lead you towards the qualification you want.
Has this guide helped you understand how to succeed at distance learning? Will you now be pursuing a course? Brighton School of Business and Management offers a wide range of courses that will help you take your career to the next level.