How Long For Online Learning

Does college mean being in school every minute? Online and virtual learning is no longer an option for some students.

Watch yourself! It sounds obvious, but most of us are hard-wired to squint and pretend we’re learning our lessons — which means it’s generally much easier to succeed online than it is in person. So, if you’re hesitant to dive into online learning, listen up: here are a few tips to help you kick back and let someone else do the work for you.

Get Back

If you’re a class or course that takes place online, you probably spend a lot of time doing the foundational study — interacting with the professor, studying notes, and memorizing assignments. And let’s be honest: sitting at a desk staring at the screen during every class isn’t exactly the most fun experience. Then there’s the issue of packing up. Unless you’ll only be in one class, consider conducting your review and study sessions by yourself.

Once you complete the fun stuff — like the class, homework, studying sessions, etc. — it’s time to get back to the heavy lifting and detailed research. Make sure to do all your writing by hand or print it out or take to the computer. Why is that good? Well, by “cold typing” on your laptop, you’ll get to use the keyboard as a cue. Then try reading that work by hand or scanning a printed copy.

The e-Write Method

You may have a little extra time in the morning — or you may work from home. So for the few hours you can’t be in class, why not use that time to create an e-write? By far the best technique is to make a few notes, color them in with markers, and then print them out or look at them in highlighter. This is the perfect method of editing your work for the brief hours in between a class and homework. On your whiteboard, stick them up that include just your key points, the math or grammar that bugs you, and maybe even the answer. Let’s say you need to send an essay and need to make it a little bit easier to read for help. So, here’s how you’ll do it.

For the beginning and intermediate level classes, underline the foundation of your work. For the intermediate level classes, underline the math or grammar that bugs you. For the advanced level classes, highlight the answer. This works for essays, graded and ungraded — perfect for those who don’t do algebra.

Remember: Don’t Spend an Inordinate Amount of Time Reading

Since we’re focusing on the social side of online learning, let’s look at some less time-consuming ways to get your work done. Say you want to build a website for XYZ group and want to take the time to study the resources you’ll need for a first draft. Instead of kicking back on your couch on the weekends and trying to turn your internet to Netflix, do what many entrepreneurs do: shop around and look for the best possible price. If you’re paying $200 for course materials, do the math and know that it could be cheaper to buy it all and create your own materials, or it could be cheaper to buy the $200 worth and read the best, free ones.

And you’re never off-site, so investing the extra time to learn how to create your own website isn’t to late for most folks. Plus, there are several professional websites you can use to help in this endeavour. Some include Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy.

Live.Work.Learn.

Perhaps you need to work in another city or a different time zone, but if your college or professional organization is offering a “broadcast class” — a live, interactive class with video chat, podcasts, and videos — you can typically connect remotely. Set up Skype to begin and discuss your topic in advance, and then either attend the class or listen in on the audio feed. You don’t have to let the person next to you know you’re listening! The purpose is to get curious, talk, and learn!

According to Amazon’s best-selling books, there are a few other practical ways to use your internet-connected devices to help you succeed in a class — but remember: If you’re not sure what’s going on in class, ask questions beforehand and verify the answers with the teacher. That way, you’ll feel comfortable asking questions during class (because if you do, you’re not really asking questions at all!).

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