Even as recent as a couple of decades back, completing an online course was not something that was encouraged. However, with the entry of global alternate-education platforms like edX and Coursera, this perspective has undergone a transformation as more. Today businesses as well as individuals are using these online courses to fill in the gap between degree education and the real-world requirements as the workforce enters the job market.
But, despite the convenience of these platforms, it can be challenging for some of us to see through an online course, especially in the absence of a formal education institution environment. Therefore, we have compiled a list of 8 tips that can help you for completing an online course successfully.
Top 8 Tips for Completing an Online Course Successfully
Tip 1 – Approach it Like a Real Course
The most important tip is to treat your online course as a real job. Therefore, you must make a conscious effort to begin on time, complete your tasks and assignments regularly, and be consistent throughout the duration of the course.
Online courses are popular not because they are easy but because they are convenient. The difficulty level remains just the same as when the course is taken in a physical classroom. Hence, make sure that you are fully committed to participating in the virtual classroom as well. Even if the course is free, it is important to remember the value that you will derive as you complete it successfully.
Tip 2 – Are You Ready?
You may be mentally ready to take the course, but are you sufficiently equipped to ensure that it is imparted as per your expectation?
Online courses are delivered over the internet, therefore, make sure that you have a reliable internet connection, to begin with. It is a good idea to save your work regularly to ensure that you do not lose out on any assignments resulting from a disrupted internet connection or other technical errors.
In addition to this, you can connect with your other classmates so that you can make the virtual experience as real as possible.
Course readiness also refers to knowing what is expected out of you for the duration of the course.
Tip 3 – Dedicated Study Area
It is not easy to replicate the physical classroom at home. However, it is important to have a dedicated study nook that you do not have to prepare or clean before every session.
The area must contribute positively towards the learning process so make sure that it is properly lit and comfortable to sit in during long sessions.
With regard to the size, the study space must be big enough so that you can sit and learn as well as store your course material there. Keeping all course-related things together will help you remain more organized and help you in completing an online course successfully.
Tip 4 – Responsibility and Accountability
Physical classrooms are designed to constantly remind you of the upcoming deadlines and tasks. As you walk the halls and enter the rooms, you cross a number of notices and timetables with details of forthcoming exams or assignment submissions.
However, these reminders become your responsibility in an online course. It is very easy to lose track of deadlines if you do not remind yourself deliberately and periodically. Without constant reminders, most students tend to leave their online courses mid-way as they lag behind on their assignments and projects.
Tip 5 – Efficient Time Management
Online courses are highly popular because of their core characteristic of flexible learning. Having said that, it is your responsibility to create a comprehensive schedule that allows you to adhere to your online course requirements along with your regular work or other commitments.
This will require extensive time management skills and you can always seek help from your peers and professors to achieve this.
Begin by going through the syllabus and creating a timetable that you can review regularly to assess whether the schedule is working or not. Accordingly, you can make any necessary adjustments.
Tip 6 – Reduce Distractions
Identify elements around your study area or your place of learning that can become potential distractions as your course progresses. For instance, you may find yourself more productive studying at the library rather than at your home or a coffee shop.
We are surrounded by social media apps like Twitter and Facebook. These can be highly distracting when you are trying to focus on assignments. In such circumstances, you can use website blockers to reduce the temptation.
Tip 7 – Assign Goals to Stay Motivated
Some of us learn best by assigning goals. This not only increases accountability but also helps you to assess your progress regularly. Setting and achieving goals also keeps us motivated and we tend to learn better and complete the course successfully.
Motivation can also come from decorating your study space, boosting your energy with healthy snacks, placing motivational quotes on the wall behind your table, and creating a healthy overall routine.
Whatever you do, make sure that you are fully committed. There is also no harm in rewarding yourself as you successfully complete a goal or achieve a milestone in your learning process.
Tip 8 – Planning
Study plans are often underestimated. However, they can be a very crucial tool for those of us undertaking flexible online courses. You can build your very own study plan by following these steps:
- Begin by creating a detailed outline of your study plan that includes the entire syllabus.
- Create a study calendar that is realistic, and something you can stick with.
- Define and update to-do lists regularly.
- Establish time limits and adhere to them at all costs.
- Stick to the schedule and avoid procrastinating at all costs.
The eLearning experience can be both educational and enjoyable. These tips are designed to help beginners derive the maximum benefit out of the courses that you embark on. But, most importantly, following these 8 tips will help you successfully complete an online course in the most optimum manner.