Online learning can be a little daunting to someone who has never tried it. You might picture it as being stuck at a desk for hours on end in front of a glaring screen. Or, sat in a public library trying to ignore others while you attempt yet another test. This used to be the case with online learning, but not anymore! With advancements in technology, the speed of the internet and the way people use the internet, online learning is becoming the norm. Within minutes you can find yourself enrolled on a course and studying it from pretty much any location in any part of the world.
There is no denying that online learning is different to studying in a classroom or at university, for one thing you don’t have to attend a physical classroom. But that doesn’t mean you miss out on any of the learning, some would argue that online learning is easier and better suited to modern day life. There’s no need to set time aside to go to a lecture, you don’t have to physically travel to get to your lesson, you don’t have to take time out to study, instead you can fit studying in around your day to day life.
What about the actual online learning though? How does that work? What do you do? What do you learn? Let’s be honest, the questions are endless with this, but we can answer the main ones to give you a better insight into the whole process. So, what’s first? Well, that would have to be the enrolling. Find a course you want to study, do your research and make sure you are choosing the best option for you. Get in touch with the online college or school and ask any questions you may have, don’t worry, they are used to being asked everything under the sun about their courses, it’s what they are there for! Once you’re happy and ready, go ahead and enrol yourself on the course, this is usually done either through the website of the college or over the phone. You will need to provide simple details about yourself, where you live, the course you want to enrol on and of course how you want to pay for the course.
Now this is where the fun starts, you have your welcome email and your log in details, the time to access your course has arrived. Navigate your way to the college’s online learning system, this is usually called a LMS (Learning Management System) or online campus. Once logged in, take the time to have a look around, just like with an actual school/college/university, you wouldn’t sign up for a course and then regimentally just go to the classroom and back home, would you? So why would online be any different?! Take the time to get to know the platform, read any resources or information provided to you to help you with your studying before you get going. And of course, be sure to introduce yourself to your tutor! They are the ones who you’re going to be working with and they are always a wealth of knowledge that you are going to want to use.
So, you have read all the resources, you know your way around the learning platform, you’re ready to get going with your online learning. Load up your online learning materials and get going, at first things are going to feel a bit daunting, you’re going to feel like things just aren’t sinking in or that you’re just not quite grasping things. But that is OK, the truth here, everyone feels like that at first! The key is to not give up. As you work through the materials, be sure to attempt all the self-assessment tasks, do the research, don’t just rely on what has been given to you, use your initiative to explore your theories and the ideas discussed. This must be one of the greatest advantages of online learning, the freedom that it gives you. You’re not constrained by a homework deadline or class length, you’re free to put your full efforts into finding out more about a particular topic that really excites you and gets you thinking.
So now you know how online learning works, why not take that step and get yourself enrolled onto a course and give it a go. You can see all the different types of courses available here and best of all, enrolment takes no more than 10 minutes. So what’s stopping you?