Online learning has undergone significant and rapid growth over the past couple of years (and will only continue to increase in popularity over the next decade). As a student, it’s imperative that you learn how to master the art of online learning if you want to be successful.
How to Get More Out of Online Learning
Online learning has officially exploded. The pandemic-related shutdowns of 2020 took what was already an industry experiencing great momentum and raised everything a few notches. Almost overnight, millions of students were taken out of physical classrooms and thrown into virtual settings. The biggest areas of growth occurred in the K-12 space and higher education.
While most schools have returned to classroom-based options, the face of online learning has forever changed. Online courses and hybrid options are now the norm in both public and private schools. And now that young students have grown accustomed to online learning, it’s paved the way for a higher degree of acceptance in the marketplace. When confronted with an online learning option in the future – whether as part of a higher learning curriculum or professional development course – it’ll feel natural.
When you look past younger students and study the trends in online learning among adults in the workforce, online learning is surging there as well.
“Clearly many, many more people have learned online this year and I think that everybody now has gotten a taste of what’s possible with online education and therefore, I do think we will see a shift in the system towards online learning and that it will continue,” says Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage.
Whether you’re a younger student in high school or college, or you’re someone who is looking at professional development courses to continue growing in your career, online learning is here to stay. The sooner you can learn to master the art of online learning, the better.
- Make Sure You Have Reliable Internet
It’s a lot less challenging to find good internet these days than it was 10 years ago. Whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or on an airplane, accessing the internet has become simpler and more cost-effective. Having said that, this is one of the keys to successful online learning.
If, for example, you’re preparing to travel and know you won’t have access to good internet, you’ll have to plan ahead by securing a mobile hotspot and/or download offline resources that can be accessed without a web connection. Whatever you do, don’t put yourself in a position where you need internet but don’t have access to it. This is one time where online learning becomes useless.
- Choose the Right Learning Platform
So much of your success as an online student depends on the learning platform you align yourself with. So make sure you choose wisely. Look for a platform that meets your needs (both in terms of the format, price, and practicality). Depending on the type of course or program you’re looking for, there could be a number of choices.
Let’s say you’re looking for a CPA review course. If that’s the case, consider what separates each program from the competition. The Wiley CPA Review Course, for example, offers adaptive technology that reviews your aptitude levels and then adjusts the course content based on your biggest areas of need. Other courses simply give you a static curriculum and tell you to study.
- Practice Time Management
As is the case with any form of learning, success is rooted in commitment and consistency. You can’t cram all of your study time in the day before an exam and expect to succeed. Your brain needs time to immerse itself in the content and commit the knowledge to memory.
Proper time management will help you succeed in an online learning environment. Schedule study time out on your calendar and create daily and weekly goals for yourself.
- Block Out Distractions
One of the keys to online learning is figuring out a way to block out distractions so that you can maximize the benefits that come from learning in a virtual environment. We recommend putting yourself in a “study bubble” when it comes time to learn. This means putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode and setting up some sort of website blocker to prevent you from visiting distracting sites (like social media, news outlets, etc.).
Adding it All Up
At the end of the day, online learning isn’t all that different from traditional classroom-based learning. While it can be argued that there’s less interaction and engagement with other students and peers, anything lost here is made up for by the convenience and access that online learning platforms afford.
If you’re looking for a way to become a more efficient student, this is it. Devote yourself to mastering the art of online learning and good things will happen.