We like it or not, online learning will be our main option for longer than we expected. For some fields, like IT professionals, for instance, even before the pandemic, it was a common way of upskilling and part of their daily routine. Leaving the predictions behind, the reality is that we can improve our learning experience with some techniques.
If you are not used to the online learning world and it is facing some difficulties to catch up and get motivated to attend online classes, this is article is for you. We gathered tips from different sources and from our instructors to organise a selection of actions that can boost your online learning experience.
According to Sharon O’Neil, trainer manager at New Horizons Ireland, there are 3 main things which can be done in the first place:
- Decrease the notifications
- Put the phone in another room, or on airplane mode
- Get yourself on board and celebrate success
“We have been teaching online live classes almost every day since March 2020 and I can assure you that these 3 initial steps will help considerably in your online learning experience. Not only to avoid distractions, but the more immerse you get in your training session, the more you absorb and therefore more you will learn”, stated Sharon.
How to Decrease your Notifications?
If you have a laptop that supports it, in window 10 use can the focus assistant to stop interruptions. It is in the system, try the (lower right) of your pc. Click on it 3 times to cycle through the options.
Leave your Phone Away
At this point, we all know that mobile phones are not our best allies when we need to focus and get productive. Recent research from the University of Chicago found that “even if cell phones are turned off, turned face down or put away, their mere presence reduces people’s cognitive capacity.”, according to the study.
That is why our instructor Sharon always starts her classes suggesting to the students to leave their mobile phones in a different room if it is feasible.
Why it is Important to Celebrate your Success and Get Yourself Onboard?
That is honestly a tip for life, besides attending online training, it should be something to practice constantly.
“Life is easier if you get everyone on board. It is easy to remember to talk to your partners or families and ask them to agree not to interrupt you, but have you remembered to agree with yourself?”, Sharon asked.
It is hard to study online, be it a live class or a recorded one. Sharon suggests convincing yourself that this time is being purposefully spent and plan a reward for yourself for achieving that focused time.
“Remember to be kind to yourself and proud of yourself for every class and focus you achieve. For me, it is like mini Lego sets, if I achieved a good week of focus, I could go and build something. Find your reward!”, she concludes.
Besides that, what else can help you?
Set yourself clear goals about qualifications. Prioritise and check what will be more useful according to your current professional situation. Some companies have a clear training program aligning companies’ interests with employees’ careers. But some enterprises have not, so in this case an open conversation with your manager/superior can help you to clarify what should be your focus.
Online Course is a Real Course
An eLearning course or online live one is the same as in-person classes, there is no difference. So, you should not treat them differently. The same kind of commitment is expected of you.
Since most people are doing almost everything from home, it is essential to apply some time management techniques to your daily routine. If you are attending an online course, make sure to be in a quiet space while you are attending classes or watching the videos. We recommend blocking time off in your calendar, so you and the ones who need to know about it can see you should not be interrupted.
For people with kids it is important to negotiate this moment previously with your partner, so you can organise your kid’s routine in advance to not interfere during your training hours.
Technical Check’s in Advance
It seems obvious but is always important to mention that technology plays a critical role in your online course experience. When organising your study plan, make sure:
- Check your internet connection.
- Have the materials, manual, software’s all downloaded accordingly to the instruction you have gotten.
- Some systems require previous checks and agreements, make sure to do them at least one day prior to your class starts.
- Have headphones in hand to hear the lectures. Microphone it is also recommended so you can interact with the instructor if it is an online live class.
- Two monitors are the best option for tech courses and the ones with labs. It is not essential, but if you can organise it, you will enjoy more your experience.
How you Learn Best
We all have our particularities and not everyone learns the same way, so think about what types of information help you better grasp new concepts and employ relevant study strategies. If you are a visual learner, for example, print out transcripts of the video lectures to review. Learn best by listening? Make sure to build time into your schedule to play and replay all audio- and video-based course content.
Take Notes and Breaks
When you actively take notes, you are promoting active thinking, which can extend your attention span, so keep a notebook beside you during the training. Taking breaks is also important to rest your brain and improve performance. If you find yourself working on a challenging problem without much progress for an hour, take a break, go for a walk, breathe fresh air, etc.
Talent is the Result of Practice
Do not give up because your first online class experience was not so good. Everybody is navigating thought different waters now and it is the practice that led us to better results. So, keep trying and understanding your needs and how you can improve your online learning techniques.
New Horizons Ireland Training
At New Horizons Ireland we provide a wide range of courses in different modalities and covering different areas, such as IT technical, soft skills, apps for end users, professional development, and more. New Horizons Ireland's training can be delivered as online live, mentored learning, instructor-led classes, and eLearning on-demand. We can also customise our range of courses to attend your company's needs and deliver it as a private session to your group.
Contact one of our Account Managers to check our options and choose the best course path for you.
Sources for the article:
*Image from rawpixel.