We have supplied tips to students, working professionals, retirees and working parents. Now it’s time to give something to all of our enthusiastic online learners. So here are 6 basic tips for everybody! It’s actually pretty simple – if you follow these 6 steps, you will be more successful in your online courses.
1. Set some goals
After finding a course that fits your interests, take a moment to set some goals for yourself. What do you want to get out of this course? How well do you want to perform? It helps to write your goals down so you can remind yourself later. This will give you a clear direction before you start and provide some extra motivation to stick with it.
2. Write out a schedule
Before a course begins, take a look through the course structure and write out a schedule. When does the course begin and end, when are new chapters released, how many units are there, what are the exam dates? This may have to be updated as the course progresses, but try to include a schedule in your calendar and organise your study time around this. Taking a MOOC can require 3-5 hours of your weekly time, so make sure you don't forget this when you plan your course. Structure a schedule for yourself so that you have enough time to stay on top of the course material.
3. Create a study space
Depending on where you are able to access a computer, it’s helpful to find a nice learning environment. Then you’ll know when you get there, it’s time to study. Another helpful “space” to have is a spot for all of your materials. Create a folder on your computer where you can collect notes, downloads and assignments – or if you prefer it the old-fashioned way, just like going to a lecture hall, get yourself a nice notebook for taking notes. As our Ambassador Johnn Four suggests, there are some great apps that can help! This also includes creating an email folder for the course professor emails. These emails are filled with updates and it can be easier to simply collect them in one folder and go through them on a certain time, certain day. The more organised you are, the less overwhelming and more manageable learning becomes.
4. Get involved in discussions
Once the course is running, be active! Participate in discussion forums, ask and answer questions and use the helpful activity log to track your participation history. The more you interact, the more you can learn, meet other enthusiastic learners and receive helpful feedback. Online learning should keep you engaged with the material and platform as well as provide a fun and social experience.
5. Revisit old course material
Keep the learning materials fresh in your mind. You can always go back to old chapters and units to check your knowledge by watching the lecture videos again or seeing what you had worked on that particular week. This is especially helpful as you approach final exam time. Review material or go back to topics that you had trouble grasping and you’ll be an expert by the end.
6. Go beyond the course material
If you have some extra time, do your own research and investigate questions that have come up in your head. You can search the web for hot topics and articles or read up on something the course didn’t quite cover. If you set some goals for yourself at the start of the course, think about how you can execute those goals. Maybe you are expanding your knowledge for professional reasons – how can you use the material to better your career? Lastly, take the material offline. Host a Meetup with people in your area, get to know other iversitarians in person and expand your network.
Here’s to better online learning! We wish you all the best of luck in your courses and exams. More courses are starting soon, so be sure to enrol and get yourself prepared!