Taking online courses can be very convenient for many people. However, online learning requires time management skills, self-discipline, willpower and strong motivation. Below are 10 top tips to help you stay motivated and get the most out of your online course.
1. Choose the right programme
This may seem very obvious, but it is important to take the time to research the course you will be doing. You will be investing your time and money into this course so it is important that you know what you are signing up for and what certificate you will have at the end of it. We have a range of CPD courses in SEN, resilience and wellbeing. If you need any help choosing a course that will be right for you, feel free to call us on +353 1 651 0618 and ask to speak to one of the programme directors.
2. Understand online learning practices
The virtual classroom is a lot different to the traditional classroom you may be used to learning in. It is not an easier option of learning, it is simply a more convenient option for many people. You must be willing to dedicate a significant amount of time to online classrooms and study. The ICEP tutors are there to help you through your studies but you must be self-motivated and be able to stick to course work deadlines.
3. Make sure you have reliable internet access
This may seem like an obvious point when talking about online course, but it is so important to have reliable internet access as you will need to make contributions to online learning forums, interactive assignments and upload assignments to be graded. Downloadable PDFs of all modules are available from our courses if you prefer to read off a printed sheet. However, all assignments still need to be submitted online. Technical glitches do happen so make sure to keep a copy of all work you complete in case anything should go wrong while uploading your end of term assignment…nightmare.
4. Have a dedicated study place
Having a dedicated work space will make it easier for you to focus on your studies. Make sure this space is quiet, organised and distraction-free. Ask your friends/family to respect your work space and consider turning off your phone to avoid unnecessary distractions.
5. Build a study plan
Having a study plan is crucial for online learning. During school/college you would have received your timetable of lessons and you would have been expected to attend all classes. Online learning is no different you need to set aside time each week to study, attend online classrooms and participate in online forums/assignments. Plan ahead to allow yourself plenty of time to complete assignments, ensure you allow enough time for each module/assignment and most importantly stick to your schedule. If you do find you are behind on your work and you think you will not complete the assignment on time, contact your course tutor and they will hopefully be able to help you.
6. Incorporate offline study time
Although you may have everything you need online, it is important to use more traditional study methods every so often. All content on the University modules and CPD courses run by ICEP Europe is available to download in PDF version. So you can print off your notes and study them offline and take notes with pen and paper. Sometimes this I exactly what’s needed to fire up the neurons in your brain and get your creativity flowing.
7. Ask for help when you need it
The online tutors, technical support team and programme advisors are there to help you in any way they can. Don’t be afraid to post in the forums or email the team at ICEP Europe if you are having any difficulties throughout the course. If you don’t ask for help you risk falling behind in the class, which will lower self-esteem and may lead to you not being able to finish the course. By posting your questions on the online forums you may also be helping other students who were have the same issues.
8. Take regular study breaks
It is so important to take breaks from your study. You may feel under pressure to complete an assignment or finish a module, but working nonstop will only lead to you getting tired and frustrated. Take a break, make sure to leave your study area, a change of scenery is essential. Go out and take a short walk around the block, this will help maintain balance, renew energy and go back to your studies with a clear mind.
9. Participate in online discussions
Online learning may seem like a solitary experience but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure to engage with your virtual classmates. The online forums in all ICEP Europe courses create a community of learning that both students and tutors benefit from. Your virtual classmates could be from across the globe and their insights into the subject may be intriguing, read other students posts and respond to their questions when you can. The forums are an excellent space for added learning that can be ignored by some students.
10. Say motivated
It can be tough sometimes to remember why you started this course and what you want to achieve. Make sure to stay focused, motivated and remember:
– You will have good days and bad days
– To take breaks
– Treat yourself when you complete your assignment
– Decorate your workspace so that it inspires you, add inspiring quotes/pictures to you wall.
– Make sure to take time to yourself every so often
– Have snacks nearby to keep you energy up
– If your having a bad day stop, go outside, take a few deep breaths, and remember why you took this course and what you are trying to achieve.
For a full list of online professional development courses click on the CPD COURSES link at the top of the page.