online learning

How To Maximize Online Learning As An Adult

Have you taken an online class yet? The first time I did (in 2011) it was a struggle. Many of my traditional study methods didn’t transfer easily to learning and reading online, and I had to really step out of my comfort zone. It was good, though – it gave me a huge insight into how I teach my teenage students and also adult learners, and once some of the basic studying structures are re-examined, online learning is a powerful method for furthering your education.

Online learning has become one of the most popular options for studying at home, but it’s also surprisingly difficult if you’re not used to studying on your own and it’s not as effective as most people think especially if it’s the first time they’ve tried it. If you’ve never tried to learn on your own and you jump right into an online university degree, then you might be disappointed at your lack of results. To help you get the most from your online courses, we’ve put together some handy tips that will change the way you approach online learning.

online learning
Creating a distraction-free workspace is key for online learning!

Coping with realities vs expectations

Contrary to what many people believe, studying online is no easier or more difficult than studying the course at a college or university. For instance, getting a Masters in engineering management online is virtually the same as trying to get it from a prestigious college. Sure, the resources you have available to you are different, but you’ll still be able to speak with lecturers and other students and the course itself isn’t any easier because you’re studying the same things.

The reality is that if you’re not committed to your online course, then you’re not going to get anywhere. Just because you study over the internet, it doesn’t mean you can forgo a schedule. Make sure you wake up on time so that you have plenty of time to get ready for your online lessons (much like you would if you’re going to university) or at least set some time aside in the day so that you can sit down and study in peace. If you’re not invested, then you’re not going to get anything out of it and you’ll be wasting your money.

Having a dedicated place to study

When studying at home, it’s important to put together a study area where you can relax and focus. For example, you might want to use your home office as a study area, or you might want to take over your bedroom as a dedicated home classroom where you can put all of your equipment, stationery, and books.

Another good reason to use a dedicated study place is so that other members of your family or your roommates understand that, when you’re in said room or location, you’re in learning mode and others should respect that so they don’t disturb you too much. People that work from home have the same issue that they’re easily distracted by their family members or roommates, which is why setting up a dedicated learning space is ideal.

As long as you stay positive and take your online studying seriously, it’s actually fairly simple to get the most out of your course so that it’s a successful endeavor and not a waste of money that you’ll regret later in the future. Just keep your expectations in check and remember that online studying is just as difficult as studying in a university. It’s just a little more convenient, but it does mean you’ll need to invest more time and effort into making it work for you.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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