3 Best Practices for Your Online Learning Experience

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  • Online learning is gaining widespread acceptance. It includes everything from online degrees, to mid-level level education from places like Udemy, Lynda and Skillshare. You can even find basic how-to videos where you can learn real skills on platforms like Instructables and YouTube.

    The rise of online educational sites simply means that consumers are becoming more accepting of the concept of online learning. As a student, you may be poised to get the required skills and education to improve your career perspective. But while online education offers extraordinary benefits, there are things you can do to improve the experience. Adopt the following best practices for online learning, and you’ll not only enjoy the experience but also increase your chances for success.

    Download Your Class Videos

    Students come in all shapes and sizes. You might be a busy executive studying for your graduate degree part-time or a full-time student struggling to keep up with your tuition costs. Either way, you’ll have a much easier time viewing your course videos if you download them and watch them on the go. For a busy executive, it means getting the information you need when it’s most convenient, and if you’re a full-time student, you can watch your videos offline without compromising your expensive data plan.

    Downloading your lectures is easier than you think. Once you obtain the appropriate permissions, check your hard drive to ensure that you have sufficient room, and use a program like YouTube Downloader to download your lectures.

    Engage With Other Students

    Online learning is not for everyone because it requires a lot of independent learning. Find the support you need by engaging with other students on forums and online chat sessions. Student collaboration is crucial to your online education success. Use it to compare notes, catch up on your studies, collaborate on projects, and offer moral support.

    When it comes to tools for online collaboration, there are numerous options. Many of them are not only highly rated, but also easy to use. Google Docs, Skype, SlideRocket, BigMarket, and MindMeister are just a few examples of tools that are designed to support group collaboration. From video chats, to sharing docs and computer screens, they all support students in their quest for online learning.

    Study Environment

    What constitutes an ideal study environment varies from one person to another. Some students need absolute silence to get their studies done, and others need some sort of background noise in order to concentrate. Whatever your preference, you need to choose a well-lit area that is free from distractions to focus on your classes. You’ll accomplish more in thirty minutes of no distractions than you would with one hour of continuous interruptions. Designate an area in your home where you can “attend” classes or watch your downloaded videos. If you cannot find such an area in your home, you should make a habit of going to the local library or coffee shop.

    Online learning may seem simple on the surface, but it takes commitment and a lot of planning in order to succeed.  Make sure you remember to respect IP when using downloaded videos.

    Brian Richardson is an online teacher. He loves to write about how to enhance the online experience on teaching blogs.

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