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How to Ensure Successful Learning while Taking Online Classes

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More and more busy adult learners are enrolled in online classes to get advanced training.

As opposed to traditional courses, online classes offer unrivalled convenience and flexibility. However, online classes also have some disadvantages, such as the lack of face-to-face interactions and inability to complete assignments. If you want to ensure successful learning when taking online classes, several tips can help you become a successful online learner.

Be self-motivated and self-disciplined

Most online classes are self-paced. It means that online learners can choose the most suitable time to take classes. With maximum freedom and flexibility, you’ll be fully responsible for your studies. You must be self-motivated and self-disciplined to take the classes and complete required assignments on time. If you cannot be self-disciplined, it’s almost impossible to succeed in online learning.

Understand how online classes differ from traditional classes

It’s vital to understand the differences between online learning and traditional classroom learning. Though you do not have to attend classes at a fixed time every day, online learning is not easier than traditional classroom learning. Online classes are usually delivered through an online learning management system. Basic course delivery modes include videos, group discussions, teleconferencing and broadcasts etc.

So you must have a computer with Internet access to take online classes. Though you cannot meet your instructor in person, you can always communicate with him/her through email or other methods. Your lecturers can always provide proper guidance for your essays and coursework. Then you might work better on your online class.

Set realistic study goals

If you want to be a successful online learner, you must set a proper goal for your online study. Ask yourself: what you expect to gain from the online class? Are you clear about your learning abilities? That’s not enough. You need to have a thorough understanding of your capacity and limitations. If you work full time or have busy family obligations, you may not set a goal of 25 hours of study a week. Generally full-time professionals cannot spend up to 25 hours or more on online learning each week.

Before starting taking your online class, you need to set your own study goals that can be fit into your life. For example, if you’re taking a 10-week course, consider spending 4 to 6 hours on online learning per week. The goal won’t affect your work and daily life anyway.

Insist on a good learning schedule

After setting your learning goals, you will find it easy to get into a suitable study routine. Time management is particularly important to the success of online learning. And you always have to balance your personal obligations, like job, family and other commitments (e.g. sport and social activities). Then it will be able to know when you have time to take online classes.

You can choose the time when you’ll be most focused on your online studies. Are you a night owl or a morning person? Then it will be much easier to determine the most suitable time to commit to your online classes. Once your learning schedule is created, stick to it and treat it like an appointment. The designated allotment of time must be reserved for your online classes.

Participate and make the most of online discussions

It’s known that online classes do not have regular face-to-face interaction. You can only interact with your instructor and your peers through e-mail and e-chat rooms. Almost all communication forms in a virtual classroom are written. But you can fully participate and make the most out of online discussion. If you have any questions about the course, discuss the questions with your instructor and other students. The online chat rooms can be a convenient platform for discussion.

You should not only communicate with your instructor. Try to respond to your classmates’ questions and ideas and learn from each other. Sometimes you can discuss assignments and course work as well. A successful online learner should excel in communication in writing.

In fact, many other tips can also help you succeed in your online classes. For example, you can reward yourself for some progress periodically. Undoubtedly, online learning is quite challenging. So it’s essential to give yourself some rewards when you make some achievements. The rewards also provide motivation for your future studies.

Remember you must dedicate both time and efforts to the course if you want to become a successful online learner. You must take the online classes seriously. Otherwise, you won’t make any progress in your course.

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