Many people have begun online study courses recently and they are set to become even more popular in the future. This is an attractive option as these days you can study anything you want to from the comfort of your own home. Whether you are planning a new career or learning a new leisure activity, the world of online study has something to offer everyone. So, how do you make sure that you succeed in your course once you have embarked on an online study program? Here are some tips that should help.
Focus on Your Goals
You have decided to join this online learning program for a reason, so make sure you are clear in your own mind what that reason is. This will help you stay focused on your goals as you go along. It is easy to get excited about learning something new, but once you have been trying to juggle studying with the rest of your life for a while, the novelty might begin to wear off. Keep your goals fresh in your mind by writing them down and referring back to them when you feel the need for a motivation boost.
Do Your Research
Choose the course that is right for you at the time. For example, if you are interested in a career in nursing, Elmhurst University offer a fantastic accelerated nursing program online. This is aimed at students who already have a bachelor’s degree though, so if you have not reached this stage yet, it will be necessary to study to this level first. Study programs often offer different levels depending on your existing knowledge, so make sure your course is pitched at the right level for you. If it is too easy, you might get bored, but if it is too difficult, you might struggle to keep up. Either way, you will lose motivation. Getting it right in the first instance will save you a lot of worry and even the necessity to change courses somewhere down the line.
Know how long it will take you to complete the course and plan the course content around the exams and assessments. This will help you avoid getting lost along the way. If you know how long it will take you to qualify or complete the course, it will help to keep you motivated. Plan your study schedule before you start the course, and you will know exactly what you have to do each week and in each study session. Don’t forget to schedule in time for a break when you need one too. Avoiding burnout as much as you can will greatly improve your chance of completing and enjoying your course.
Be realistic about what your expectations are. You are not going to qualify as a brain surgeon after six months of study, no matter how keen you are. Set yourself realistic goals as you go as along and that way, they will be easier to achieve. You will feel a lot better about your studies if you find that you are ahead of where you need to be rather than falling behind as this will demotivate you and make you want to give up.
Use the Available Resources
A good online course will provide you with a lot of resources to help you succeed. Make the best use of these by identifying which sections go with which parts of the course and using them at the appropriate point. It is a good idea to read the resources that relate to the topic you have chosen immediately before you start studying it, as this gives you some good background knowledge of the subject. Make notes that you can then refer back to when it comes to revision time and this will simplify the revision process too.
Remember that your tutor is there to help you, and to answer any questions that you might have as you go along. You may not see them in a classroom environment if you are studying online but this doesn’t mean you should shy away from asking for help or starting a discussion. Your understanding of the subject could be the difference between whether you ace the course or fail it, so use your online tutor as a good learning resource too.
Your Fellow Students
It may be easy to forget that your fellow students are there as you are not physically sitting in a classroom with them. However, they are going to be an excellent group of people to learn from and their help and encouragement will keep you motivated. The great thing about online learning is that, as everyone can be at a different point in the course, you will often have people available to chat to online that have just finished the module you are stuck on, or who can offer you a solution you may not have considered. Make friends with those on your online course and you will find a real community spirit of likeminded people with common interests and goals. You could be surprised at just how much difference this makes to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support from those around you, such as your friends or family. They may not know anything about the course you are studying, but they can lend a hand in other ways. For example, do you need a colleague to cover a shift while you sit an exam, or could you ask your cousin to pick the kids up from school while you finish an assignment? You will probably find that you need a lot of practical support to finish your course, especially if you are trying to work full time and juggle other commitments too, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. You can always return the favor when the opportunity arises if you are able to.
These are just a few ideas to make sure your online study journey goes smoothly and that you get the results you want from it.