How to Succeed with eLearning
If you’re thinking about taking an eLearning course to better your career, gain the knowledge needed to achieve your goals, or just for the heck of it, good for you. You’ve already done more than 90% of people ever will just by looking into it.
Yet, online courses are so readily available and so flexible that it can be easy to accidentally fail them or just stop halfway through. Without the structured learning environment, the guidance of a live tutor, and the social element of learning in a traditional classroom setting, it can be easy to get sidetracked.
I got my degree via eLearning at age 35, so I know how to succeed when studying online. However, it did take me a few failures before I learned how to make it work. I want to share those lessons with you now. If you’re wise, you’ll learn from my mistakes.
eLearning Success Lesson One – Have a Strong Why
It may sound cliche or like a line from some sort of motivational book, but it’s true. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, you won’t see it through to the end.
My psychology lecturer told me this in my first (failed) attempt at university aged 18. I didn’t listen at the time, and as a young kid with no real ‘why’ other, than to have fun and try to get by, I soon quit his class and went out into the working world.
Yet, much later, in my thirties and with a wife and son to support, I had all the ‘why’ I needed to stay motivated. I also had the psychological burden of those previous failures to fuel me when the going got tough, so if you’ve ever failed before, don’t let it scare you off. That can actually become an advantage next time around as it serves as an extra source of motivation.
Whether you’re thinking of doing an entire eLearning degree or just a free online course on the basics of a subject you’re interested in, make sure you get clear about why you want to do it.
Some great reasons include
- To transition to your dream job or vocation.
- To earn more money to support your family.
- To broaden your mind and perspective on life.
- To gain the skills to start your own business.
- To keep your mind active and learn new things.
Write down your reason(s) for taking an eLearning course and pin the list to your wall. When you feel like giving up or lose motivation during a difficult learning curve, stoke your fire by looking at this list.
eLearning Success Lesson Two – Create a Quiet, Private Space to Study In
eLearning has many advantages, but one of the major disadvantages of taking free courses online is the endless distractions in your immediate environment.
Traditional learning environments are designed to minimize distractions, but your living room or bedroom probably isn’t. From the Facebook notifications to the tempting Netflix series, there are endless ways to get distracted when taking eLearning courses.
I suggest creating a dedicated ‘learning space’. It doesn’t have to be an entire room or anything dramatic. It could even be a specific room you don’t normally use your computer in, such as at the kitchen table after dinner.
Eliminate all possible distractions and sources of noise. If you just can’t help yourself, consider using software which limits social media sites and helps you stay focused. Once your brain learns to associate this area/space with study, it will be much easier to flip into ‘study mode’.
Whether the course is a few units or an entire year-long eLearning extravaganza, you’ll need to create this dedicated study space if you want to succeed.
eLearning Success Lesson Three – Find a Course You Enjoy
I know, I know, some subjects just plain suck, but they have to be learned anyway. While some of you will have the luxury of taking free eLearning courses you’re interested in, some of you will have to take less interesting ones just because your career advancement or some other means to an end depends on it.
Guess what? You still have a lot of wiggle room in this situation! Probably the best thing about Udemy courses and other eLearning endeavors is that you can find a specific course or teacher you like.
Take Udemy for example. I dare you to visit Udemy and type in any subject into the search bar. You’ll find dozens of options at a minimum on virtually any subject. That means you can take the time to find a teacher, a format, and a course which works for you.
Feel free to try various free eLearning courses on Udemy, but don’t be afraid to buy the premium ones either. They all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll be able to request a refund if you change your mind.
Once you find the course you like, it’s time to get down to business. With your reason why in place and your dedicated study space ready, there’s no reason you can’t succeed with eLearning.
I wish you all the best and happy studying. A whole universe of knowledge is right at our fingertips!