Have you just been granted access to your first online training course? Or are you looking to add to your skill-set during self isolation, but don’t know where to start?
The online training format is very popular and convenient for most people - you can set your own schedule, learn from the comfort of your favourite recliner or home office and study at your own pace.
Taking online training is a great away to save you or your organisation money, as there are no travel or hotel expenses and it will also mean less time away from your daily roles and responsibilities.
Whether you are learning about different topics online or working through online training courses to earn qualifications, they both require self-discipline, strong motivation and willpower and time management skills.
In this blog article, we will share our 10 strategies for success to help online learners stay focused and inspired when participating in training courses or classes online.
Before we jump straight into the study tips, let’s talk about a few things.
1. You need to have a genuine interest in the material or at least be motivated by the benefits that the qualification could offer you (e.g. promotion or pay rise) otherwise you will not have the drive to complete the coursework.
2. You must sign up for the training course when you have enough time to devote to it because if you are only giving it a small amount of attention, then you won’t get much value from what you learn.
3. If you have not used online learning platforms before, then it is likely that you are going to learn some IT skills along the way, which should be seen as a positive rather than a frustration.
4. You need to identify what kind of online training package you have bought. How many days access do you have? Are there downloads that you need to print off? Have you also purchased the examination? When does the access time start from – is it when you first login or will it autostart?
5. Remember, you need to make a start on your online training course. Sometimes, we will get a call from a customer who has purchased a training package with 90 days access time and 88 days in has only completed 2 hours of the online training course and is desperate for an extension. Don’t laugh – it can happen really easily...
It is also worth mentioning that some people think that online training courses are downloadable like eBooks that can be read on the way to work on the tube or train, but in most cases online training courses require a constant connection to the Internet in order to play or complete interactive activities.
With this in mind, let’s turn you into an online learning machine!
1. Ensure That You Have Reliable Internet Access
Before you start the first online training module, ensure that you have good internet connection and that you are able to login into the online learning portal.
There is nothing more disheartening than setting yourself a goal, then being interrupted by a technological problem.
If you do run into any issues with the portal, then seek advice immediately from your training provider.
2. Create A Dedicated Study Space
You don’t need to recreate your school classroom in your home to participate in online learning, however you do need a comfortable space to work. When choosing a place to study, look for these qualities:
Light – A room without sufficient light will lead to eye strain, fatigue and may even affect your mood.
Ergonomics – Make sure that your laptop or desktop monitor is as close to eye level as possible, so you do not end up with back pain, stiff neck and sore shoulders and sit up as straight as you can. If you are uncomfortable or experiencing muscle pain, then it will distract you from studying.
Distractions – If you do not live alone, then let everyone in your household know when you are studying and ask them politely not to disturb you, so you can focus on the course material.
Keep Hydrated – Bring everything that you might need during your learning session to your study space, this includes a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated or healthy snacks.
3. Identify Your Learning Objectives
Whether you have been asked to undertake the online training course by your employer in order to become more knowledgeable in your field or doing it for your own personal development to open up more career opportunities in the future, then remember your reasons for taking the training course and it will help boost your motivation.
4. Plan Your Learning Schedule Like A Project
We have found that the best method for online learning is to plan your learning schedule like a project utilising Kanban Board software such as Trello, writing a daily to do list or even adding it to your Outlook diary. Even if you plan to only learn for one hour a day, keep it consistent and get the satisfaction of ticking it off your list.
5. Be Careful Not To ‘Binge Learn’
Keep your study sessions short and avoid the mindset that you get need to get through the online training course as quickly as possible. It could jeopardise your chances of passing the examination and you may end up forgetting what you have learned within minutes of course completion.
6. Take Regular Breaks In-Between Modules
Use activities like quizzes, games or videos to help check your understanding of the course materials and make notes of the main points you have learned, these activities are typically included in the online training package. Make sure to take regular breaks in-between modules or every 60 minutes to walk around and stretch your legs. Don’t let yourself get to the point where your brain can no longer retain the information going in.
7. Ask For Help When You Hit A Roadblock
If you have been stuck for some time on a particular topic or question in your online training package, then don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. You may benefit from asking a colleague or friend who has had experience of the course material or you can find online discussions where you can help each other through the rough patches
8. Reward Online Learning Milestones
If you have a training package, which includes a 60 day access time and you complete 30 days of online learning without giving up, then reward yourself with a little treat. It could be a new item of clothing, video game, a date night with your partner and work it into your online learning adventure. A reward will help you boost positivity, remain optimistic and give you the confidence to continue learning.
9. Review What You Have Learned
Throughout the online training program, you will need to revise and review what you have learned in order to prepare for the examination or assessment at the end. Regular revisions of the things you have studied will improve your memory and help you better understand what you are learning. Why not create your own flash cards for key learning points and ask someone to quiz you on concepts of the course?
10. Celebrate Your Success!
You have now completed the online training course and passed the examination/assessment with flying colours. What should you do now? You should be extremely proud of your achievement and celebrate your success with your loved ones. People are constantly learning throughout their lives and the more you learn, the more satisfied you’ll feel. Upon completion of the course, try another one.
Did you find our 10 top tips for learning online helpful? We would love to hear your own tips in the comments below.