Digital progress and online technology have been an enormous help to both teaching and learning alike. Technology has enabled learning not to be tied to a classroom, a desk, or even to the place where a teacher teaches. Education is now possible almost anywhere globally, as long as you have a charging cable and an internet connection!
E-Learning has skyrocketed in popularity over the recent years as more people opt for learning from home or learning in their spare time alongside jobs or other commitments. However, online learning presents its own set of unique challenges; and it certainly is not for everyone. Online learners must be able to self-motivate, self-discipline, and self-manage their time, work, and focus.
Unlike a regular classroom, online learning in a home or otherwise outside of school environment presents distractions, opportunities to drift off, and many other options rather than the necessary learning. Online learning requires an immense amount of self-driven focus.
E-Learning necessitates self-directed learning and self-discipline, skills that are becoming more queried after in the modern workplace. This article will deep dive into five ways of a successful online learner; identify some of the available digital tools around today to assist in the online learning journey.
5 Ways Of A Successful Online Learner
Figure Out How You Learn & Work Best
You can take hundreds of online tests to identify your learning style, but it should be relatively apparent for most self-aware individuals. I first discovered I was an auditory learner when I realized I could recite backward and forwards a tv show I had only watched twice and known the words to every song I had ever listened to more than one.
However, some people are visual learners, some are kinesthetic learners, and some need to read and write before they fully take something in. Every single person learns differently, and there is no way to streamline learning styles to be a successful online learner.
This is why online learning is so great! Figure out how you learn and study in a tailored and pleasing way to learn best. This way, you will retain the knowledge that you gain throughout your online studies most effectively.
Self-directed learning needs to be tailored to the way you learn; otherwise, it will be ineffective. So, step one is figuring out how you learn best and working from there. If you do not know yourself, you will never learn or retain anything during your online education.
Have Small, Achievable Daily Goals
Setting goals is a crucial component to achieving anything. Any successful online learner will tell you that the way to make real progress when it comes to your long-term ‘life’ goals is to set smaller, more achievable, daily tasks and goals for yourself.
For example, if your overall aim is to complete a degree or high education program, simply setting this task for yourself will be unhelpful and too overwhelming. You have probably heard the saying, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ And this is true!
To achieve big long-term goals, you must have short sub-goals which allow you to achieve progress on your overall goal, with little achievements of smaller goals along the way.
Breaking down the day into small, achievable tasks will allow you to feel as though you are achieving and break the day down into bite-sized pieces. Forming these to-do list tasks will be formative in building habits of achievement and follow-through for the future.
I usually opt for a good old-fashioned daily to-do list, as it helps my Type-A personality, but it honestly depends on how you work best. Some people set alarms on their phones for when they want to start and finish specific tasks, and others have people in their lives to keep them accountable for their short-term goals.
Find What Already Works Well
Online learning is a beast, and there is an infinite number of tools available online to help you in your search for higher education. Still, it can be effortless to get bogged down in the sheer volume of available tools online.
Sometimes you may spend more time researching what programs and tools to use in your online learning than actually using them to learn.
A good old-fashioned Google search is the easiest way to get started in your search to find what online tool works well. The best bet as a successful online learner is to research what has worked for those before you.
There are so many choices out there, and you do not have the time to sift through them all and find your perfect fit. Lookup tools that have worked best for new online learners such as yourself. I guarantee you there are many articles that line out the most suitable options concisely and efficiently to sift through manner.
Discuss, Write, and Talk About your Learning
To become a successful online learner, discussion is vital, and it is something that is often missed out due to the potentially isolated nature of online learning.
- Why do you think our teachers in primary school made us do oral presentations?
- Why do you think group projects and discussions were so prevalent in secondary school?
It is because it is psychologically and scientifically proven that once you talk about something that you had learned that learning is cemented in your brain in a way that it was not before when you had read it, heard it, or watched it.
Additionally, talking about something that you are learning will allow for further knowledge development. It opens the stage to a conversation, debate, and other people’s thoughts and opinions on what you are learning.
Once you convert your online learning into another format such as writing, talking, or discussion, it cements in your brain more solidly.
Assess your Progress
Self-guided education can encounter difficulty when it comes to tracking progress ad assessing results. You might be thinking that online learning makes it impossible to achieve entirely impartial or unbiased results when you control your learning. This is why it is essential to use outside sources to check your work, knowledge, and progress.
Sometimes it is even helpful to get a second opinion on your progress if you know someone personally with experience in the field you are studying or even asking someone online. Online learning means that tracking your progress is entirely up to you; there is no educator to guide you and refocus you if you wander off track.
As I stated at the very beginning of this article, online learning is a beast. Deciding to self-direct your learning is fearless and courageous; and can have tremendous long-term rewards in your personal and professional lives.
Online self-directed learning teaches an incredible amount of self-discipline, personal awareness, management skills, and many other crucial workplace development skills. No matter how you are completing your online learning, it is essential to set boundaries, expectations, and goals for your learning and plan to achieve.
Hopefully, these five top tips for the successful online learner will allow you to build a stable plan and steady outline for your self-directed learning future.
About the Author: Ashley Halsey is a professional full-time article writer for Lucky Assignments Cardiff and Gumessays.com, who writes primarily about business and education topics. As a mother of two children, she is constantly trying to multitask while taking care of her two sons. She also lends her skills as a tutor to Research Papers UK.