10 Effective Tips To Become A Successful Online Learner

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To effectively learn online, create a learning environment, get rid of the distractions, learn necessary soft skills, and stay committed. 

With the prevalence of Covid-19, online learning has increased even more. This is especially true for students in every corner of the world.

But not everyone is used to online learning. Some even find it quite challenging since there are some obstacles like geographic location, internet facilities availability, and the right devices. If you have all three, online learning can be super effective since it offers convenience and flexibility.

Online learning requires the same level or even more dedication than regular in-person learning. 

There are endless courses and certifications available, but you have to be responsible and focused enough to begin what you start. Or else, you will just be singing in plenty of different courses and just have spam emails of reminders to finish the course.

Is Online Learning Easier?

The short answer would be no. Even with all the latest tech facilities, learning is still not that easy. Yes, you will have access to tutorials, visuals, examples, videos, recorded lectures, and unlimited research material. Still, there are also plenty of distractions, spam links, and online ads to blow your focus out of proportion.

Besides a healthy attention span and dedication, you also have to have basic computer skills and be free of other medical conditions. Some conditions, like epilepsy or other eye-straining disorders, can make it difficult to continue online learning.

However, if you are free from the above-mentioned conditions, then here are ten tips to help you become a successful online learner-

1. Create The Perfect Study Environment

Creating the right environment for online learning is essential because you have to factor in a lot of things.

Here are the things you must ensure-

Look Into Authentic Sources

Like we said earlier, you can find almost unlimited resources to expand your knowledge but do not take your information from any website. Select legitimate websites and courses that have credibility. 

If you want to look for research papers, visit Academia.com, Google Scholars, Researchgate.net, or Plex.page, where you can use Advanced search to look through 9 different knowledge bases and over 6,236,000 articles.

Plex Page also claims to have created a massive database with over 20 million articles and created the largest online knowledge hub in the future.

Besides these, if you want to know about current events, visit The Washington Post or Huffington Post. To verify credible websites, look for .edu or .org at the end of its name. The internet is full of information, but it's your job to select the right source.

Create A Quiet Surrounding

A nice and quiet environment will help you focus more. It is best to select someplace that will not be disturbed by outside noises, TV noises, or annoying roommates.

Beware Of Random Browsing

You can easily be distracted because of the thousands of websites available. One moment you are watching a tutorial, five clicks, and 10 minutes later, you may end up watching funny dog videos without even keeping track of time.

Switch Off Your Phone

If you are not using your phone for studying, then switch it off. Let your friends and family members know that your phone will be off for a set time, so they do not worry.

We all know the addictive nature of social media and how easily it can distract us. Studies have even found the sounds of notifications may trigger dopamine, which makes it more addictive.

Delete Your Games

If you can, then uninstall the games on the device you are using for studying. It’s best to have no distraction. Keep your games on a separate device. Or use devices like tablets or Chromebooks.

You may think one match of FIFA or Call of Duty will not waste a lot of time, but you can quickly lose track of time if the games get too intense.

Ensure Ergonomics & Comfort

Since you will be sitting for most of the time, make sure the chair’s height is right, do not slouch over, and adjust the screen’s height.

Try using an office chair for maximum comfort. Make sure your feet do not dangle over for a long time and do not keep your eyes glued to the screen for more than 30 minutes. Take a break once in a while and do some light stretching.

Also, make sure to keep the other lights on while you are studying. Keeping just the RGB led lights on may give an aesthetic vibe, but you should turn on the other lights to avoid straining your eyes and concentration.

2. Persistence Is The Key

Online learning is really not much different from regular learning, but you have to be more persistent. A lot of self-study sessions go into online learning.

You may even face technical difficulties, but you have to learn to overcome them. Set in daily task schedules, log into registered courses to make regular progress, and do not hesitate to ask for help.

3. Sharpen Your Time Management Skills

You can learn tons of cool software by watching tutorials and practicing. Learning Excel, SPSS, Adobe Photoshop, and other essential software have never been this easier.

But you have to manage your time strictly and not overlap your schedules. It will just demotivate you in learning. Typically, in physical classes, you would have a set time to learn about a course through your teacher’s lectures but online, you might not have a fixed time.

This flexibility might be great, but it also has drawbacks. So maintain a to-do list and review your objective daily, so you don’t have to procrastinate later.

4. Figure Out What Works Best For You

Not everyone learns the same way. Some learn better through extensive research; others prefer audio and visual aids. You have to figure out what is best for you.

If you are a student, figure out if you are an early riser or a night owl. If you are an early riser, then make studying your top priority right after finishing breakfast. If you are a night owl, then fix a couple of hours to study after dinner.

But if you are a parent and need to spend time with the kids during the evening and the morning, then carve out sometime when the kids are occupied.

If you are a visual learner but get frequent headaches watching the screen, then buy a printer to print out the pages and study. If you learn better from audio aids, then carve out time to properly listen to audio & video lectures.

5. Brush Up Your Communication Skills

You have more than enough resources online to remind you about your tasks actively, but that can sometimes be overwhelming. 

Sometimes you have to ask for help. If it’s an online class, then ask your friends and classmates for help. You can also use online platforms offered by the University to connect with your teacher and clarify any confusion. If that does not work, then try their cell phone directly. Trying their cell phone should be the last resort but do not hesitate to use it.

You can also use sights like Reddit or Quora to ask questions in helpful communities. There will always be someone there ready to help. Remember, no problem is insignificant, and you are not alone. 

6. Learn Computer Literacy

You will either be using a desktop, laptop, or smartphone. Use whichever you find easy to use, and have some knowledge about the technical skills you will need to navigate your way.

You may not be able to access all the files and read them online. In that case, you have to know how to sign, download, and open the file. For reading offline, you may need to use MS word and acrobat reader. You may also have to use Winrar to unzip the downloaded files.

Accurately browsing the internet is also a skill you must learn. You have to be able to tell the difference between an authentic source and made up crappy news portals.

Then there are tools like Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, G Suite, and Office 365 that you will have to use from time to time.

7. Find Your Motivation

Aside from persistence, you also need the right motivation. You started your online learning for a reason, and we understand that it is easy to get demotivated.

But dig deeper and hold on to that motivation. It may have been the hunger for knowledge, the pride to accomplish more, the fascination to learn new skills, or the opportunity to get a better degree, an education, and a better job. 

Whatever the reason, hold on to it.

8. Be Liable For Your Deeds

You should maintain your to-do list and review the things you have completed. If you were unable to finish a daily task, hold yourself accountable, and not try to convince yourself by petty reasoning.

Self-accountability is essential, and this helps in personal growth as well. You may have reminders, but you are not likely to have a professor to actively remind you about your tasks.

Final Thoughts

Online learning can be extremely effective if you can get rid of all the distractions and focus. You may have hindrances along the way but consider the tips above to make the best out of online learning.

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