SkillRipe online lessons

Online Learning: The Must Know Success Formula

I know many of friends who started online learning but failed to complete their courses because at some point they lost the vigor and motivation to continue. Motivation is the key word here. How can you stay motivated when learning online? In the classroom, you have a teacher or lecturer to engage you in the subject and other students to socialize with. When it’s just you and your laptop, you’ll need to take charge of your experience.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this lone road. It is important to remember that during the Covid-19 pandemic, most if not all universities in Zambia introduced partial or full-fledged online learning. This means that most, if not all learning is happening online. Other universities like Rusangu University are even administering final exams online.

The question is how do you stay active and persistent as a student amidst the challenges of online courses which may be new to most people?

There are certain things you can do to stay on course and to complete your studies on time.

Be Disciplined for your online learning

Discipline here means you need to stay in control of your online learning. To do this, there are nine principles that you need to keep.

  1. Set goals. Keep your purpose firmly in mind. Remember your main objectives, whether you want to finish a short course, diploma or degree or just need to acquire knowledge in an area of study. In short, you need to know why you enrolled in that course and focus on that.
  2. Plan your week. The reason why some people fail to complete their online courses is because they do not set time for their online studies. You can block out time for your most important activities. Tackle demanding tasks during the hours when you’re usually at peak performance. As you plan, you need to know which tasks are important and urgent, important but not urgent, not important but urgent and not important and not urgent.
  3. Establish routines. Most of you boat about multitasking. I can tell you that multitasking is old fashioned. What’s trending is multiple tasks. There is a difference. When you multitask, you are doing a lot of things at once. When you do your multiple tasks, you are engaging in different tasks each at a time. This calls for planning as earlier mentioned in the previous principle. In addition, cutting down on daily decisions can make you more efficient. Adopt habits like doing your assigned readings one hour before bedtime.
  4. Limit distractions. Connected to the previous principle is avoiding distractions. Focus your attention on your online learning. Keep your phone and TV turned off during school hours. I have seen people who WhatsApp, Facebook and tweet while studying. Remember your goal.
  5. Start small. Here I have to confess. I am one person who wanted to study web developmentwhile studying for my PhD. Not that these two cannot be done concurrently. But I was over Zambitious. I realized the best way to start was to start small by doing short courses that would give me an idea of what to expect in the big courses. And boy, after doing a lot of short courses, I was exposed to the precursory language needed to understand hard stuff. They say, baby steps build momentum and make big projects seem less overwhelming. Another way to look at this is to start small by breaking down your tasks in to small chunks of work. Break your work down into specific measurable tasks. You might spend a morning outlining your research paper or summarizing your notes.
  6. Treat online studies as important. I am still studying for my PhD. I always wakeup in the morning, take a shower and start doing my studies. Dressing up for my studies puts me in a serious mood. Putting on pants will probably make you more productive. Comb your hair even when you’re alone and off camera. If you are not in formal employment, treat your studies like your employment. I endeavor to spend not less than 8 hours per day on my studies.
  7. Perform reviews. Work on your study skills. Ongoing reviews of your class materials will help you to remember what you’ve studied and may help you earn higher grades.
  8. Take tests. The only way you can remember what you are studying is when you look at past question papers or write your own test questions. I am 100% positive that if you get it right in the tests, you will be motivated knowing that your work is not in vain.Research shows that practice tests are one of the most effective ways to learn. Your tutor may provide them, or you can write your own. Doing this will also prepare you for the exam.
  9. Create priorities. Respect your limits. If you’re adding coursework on top of your other responsibilities, give yourself adequate time for sleep and other essentials. Scratch some other items off your to do list if possible.

Having Fun with Online Learning

Some of my friends tell me that they are done with school because school is torturous. But I like the challenge that comes with school. I find it painful but fun. So how can you just have fun with studying online? I suggest doing the following:

  1. Connect with others. At the beginning, I said that online learning can be lonesome. But it shouldn’t be. You can still enjoy a sense of community while studying online. Most online course platforms allow you to interact with your tutors and other students. Ask your tutor about their communication preferences so you can stay in touch and ask questions. On SkillRipe, the section for asking questions is within the lesson. You can ask questions and get responses from your tutors. Participate in student chat rooms and virtual study groups.
  2. Decorate your space. Designate an area for your school activities with aesthetics and ergonomics in mind. Display your favorite photos or a green plant. Ensure that you can maintain correct posture while reading and typing. I cannot emphasize the importance of finding a comfortable place to work from. Studying online means spending more hours sitting in from of your computer. If you are not comfortable, you may end up having health problems.
  3. Reward yourself. Give yourself incentives to excel. Maybe you’ll want to order something delicious for dinner each time you get an A.  Maybe you’d like to spend an hour reading novels for each hour you spend solving math problems. This increases the spirit of gratitude.
  4. Take breaks. Building adequate downtime into each day will help you to reduce stress and achieve more. Take a ten-minute break each hour. Extend your lunch hour so you can go for a walk or lift weights. You can also use the Pomodoro Technique. After learning how it works, you can find the timer here.

  5. Share support. Ask your family and friends for the help you need. If your kids are attending school online, do your homework together. If your coworkers are signed up for the same course, stick around for a virtual happy hour or coffee date afterwards.

With these, I end my case. I have been there and I have found comfort in applying these principles. We may differ in the way we get away with pressure that comes with online learning but most of these principles can help you. Earn a certificate online or use your time at home to deepen your knowledge about any subjects that interest you. Being able to motivate yourself will help you to persevere and succeed at online learning.

Please leave your valuable comment or question in the comments section below. If you like this and other articles, please share so that others can also learn.

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