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You’ve just enrolled in your first online course, but are you ready for what’s ahead? Taking online courses can be very convenient for busy professionals. However, online learning requires time management skills, self-discipline, willpower, and strong motivation, as it may be challenging for online learners to successfully complete their courses. In this article, I’ll share 7 key tips for online learners, in order to help you stay focused and motivated.

1. Understand the difference between online and face to face learning

The first thing you need to realise is that online courses are not an easier way to learn, but rather a more convenient one. To successfully learn online, you need to establish a schedule for learning, consistently attend course modules and fully commit to your learning process. In fact, online learning can be more demanding than face to face training, as you have to listen to all the content and provide personal feedback through assessment tasks and online forums.

2. Identify your learning objectives and goals

All of our online courses have specific learning objectives. However, it’s essential that you align these objectives with your own professional goals. The value of your participation in our online courses comes through understanding how the content relates to your work environment. You get the opportunity to make changes that not only benefit yourself, but also the firm for whom you work.

3. Have a dedicated place and time to study

The flexibility of online learning also means that you need to make a specific effort to create a dedicated place and time to study. You need to decide whether to study during or outside work hours. When studying, you need to remove all distractions including social networks. By establishing a study framework, you’re more likely to complete the course in a timely manner. Otherwise, you could easily find the course taking significantly more time than expected.

4. Ask for help when you need it

Whilst it may appear that you’re completing the course in isolation to the presenter and other learners, in fact you have ample opportunity to ask questions and give feedback at a personal level.  Whilst you’re one of many learners, the nature of our courses means that you have the benefit of 1:1 feedback and advice when you need it. You can also engage other learners through online forums.

5. Establish specific goals for implementation

Any type of training is only as effective as the change in systems, processes or behaviour that it creates for learners. All our courses are structured to deliver SMART actions (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound). These actions become the foundation to achieve ongoing changes when the course has finished. And the time and task management skills you learn along the way can be put to good effect with future projects.

Follow these study tips for online learners and you will be able to make your online learning a fun and enjoyable eLearning experience.