Online learning can seem daunting to those who haven't done it before, or even those who have, but life circumstances have changed. But not only does online learning provide flexibility to your learning schedule, but it also can be cheaper and provide more learning options than some traditional in-person courses. Create the right environment and mindset before diving in, and you'll set yourself up for success.
Figure out which learning style is right for you.
For the most part, online courses will either have instructor-led live classes or pre-recorded lessons. Instructor-led courses are the closest thing you will find to a real classroom experience. Via live video, you will watch your instructor teach a class along with other students attending the course. You can interact with your teacher and peers in real-time, creating a fully engaging experience. These courses work best for people who prefer to learn in a traditional classroom setting.
Pre-recorded lessons offer the greatest flexibility and allow you to learn at your own pace. Simply choose the course you'd like to take, watch the video, and complete any required work. The content of these classes will generally be the same as their instructor-led counterparts, just without the class interaction or ability to ask questions in real-time. This type of course works best for those who need a flexible schedule and can self-motivate to study and attend classes.
Treat the virtual classroom as a real classroom.
Whatever learning style you choose, you should treat your home classroom like a real one.
- Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. Interruptions in service can cause disruptions in your classes and make it harder for you to keep up with the course.
- If you can, create a dedicated space for your learning so that you can minimize distractions and focus on the lesson.
- Classwork doesn't end when the lesson is over. Be sure to dedicate time for studying and any work that comes with your course. Hold yourself accountable for finishing your assignments, and reward yourself when you finish a project.
Look for opportunities to apply what you've learned.
Once you've completed your courses, it's time to put your newfound knowledge to work. Speak to your colleagues and manager and ask how your new skills can help the team. Have a great idea on how to apply your lessons to a project? Don't be afraid to speak up. If your organization helped finances your online courses, they will want to see positive results.
Balancing an online education with family, work, and your personal life can be a challenge. But with the wealth of Online Live and Online Anytime courses offered by New Horizons and our partners, you can find the courses that will help you succeed in any environment.