Elearning has opened up a world of new opportunities for colleagues at every level of your organisation. By enabling individuals to access course materials remotely and by removing the need to physically attend classes, they have made studying a much more convenient option, especially for those who are working full or part-time and who want to focus on professional development.
However, there is a knack to getting the most from these web-based learning programmes. So, if you, or members of your team are about to start a course like this, it’s worth paying attention to the following tips.
Firstly, it’s vital that you select a suitable course.
You’ll be investing your time and potentially your own money in this training programme and so before you sign up to it, you should make sure it meets your needs. There’s certainly no shortage of options out there. From business subjects in fields such as marketing and management to more technical programmes, like NEBOSH health and safety diplomas, there are plenty of courses to choose from.
When you’re assessing their suitability, pay close attention to course content and to the specific benefits that the programmes can bring. Also, make sure the training provider will offer all the relevant materials and support. If you’re unsure about anything to do with particular courses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the relevant training providers for clarification. It’s much better to ask questions at this stage than to sign up to programmes that turn out to be inappropriate.
Set aside enough time.
One of the biggest benefits of elearning programmes is the fact that it is much easier to fit them around your existing schedule than traditional classroom-based courses. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can get away with doing minimal work. If you want to pass these programmes and get maximum value from them, you will need to put in enough time. Rather than trying to snatch a few minutes here and there on an ad hoc basis to complete your tasks, it’s wise to set aside regular study sessions.
Try to plan ahead too, to avoid having to rush assignments or revision for exams. It also helps to mark off important course deadlines in your calendar so that you can ensure you stay on track.
Meanwhile, consider creating a to-do list at the start of each week that details the tasks you need to finish within that time. This should help you to keep your discipline and it means you’ll always know if you’re on track or if you have ground to make up.
Find a suitable study space.
In addition, it’s useful to have a designated study space where you can really concentrate on your course material. Whether this is your office, a home study, a local library, a bedroom or another area, it should be quiet and free of distractions. It should also be available for use whenever you need it. Trying to concentrate on your tasks with TVs blaring or people talking around you can prove impossible and it may scupper your chances of elearning success.
Also, ask your colleagues, friends and family not to interrupt you when you’re in study mode, and think about switching your phone off when you’re getting down to work so that your attention isn’t diverted by texts or social media updates. You might not be in an official classroom environment, but it’s important to ensure you don’t let distractions like these compromise your sessions.
Invest in the right tech.
Trying to focus on your studies can be difficult if you have to put up with a dodgy internet connections or faltering computers. So, if you’re not happy with your current tech set up, now could be the time to improve it. Also, because technology glitches can happen without warning at any time, it’s important to ensure you save your work on a regular basis and back it up. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use cloud storage solutions like Google Documents or Dropbox. These systems also enable you to access your work from multiple devices, giving you added flexibility when you’re studying.
Make the most of the available resources.
In addition, make sure you take full advantage of the resources available to you as a distance learner. As well as utilising all the learning material offered by your course provider, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your online tutors whenever you need it. Requesting extra information or assistance like this can make it easier to stay on top of the material. Get involved in online forums and discussions too. By speaking to your fellow learners in this way, you may be able to pick up a range of useful study suggestions and ideas.
Communicating with others on your course can also give you added motivation and it means you won’t feel like you’re learning in isolation. You might also have the chance to network with people in your industry.
Elearning continues to grow in popularity across the globe and by taking note of tips like these, you can fully embrace the development opportunities it can bring.
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