If You Are New To Online Learning, What Resources Do You Need For Support?

Online education can be seen as a positive change by most folks and has most assuredly changed the way people learn in the past decade. The first step in taking this particular online education experience is finding the resources you will need.

If You Are New To Online Learning, What Resources Do You Need For Support?

Having taught online for more than 10 years now, I’ve often had to share this information with prospective students. To keep it simple, if you’re new to online learning, consider following these steps.

Step 1: Make The Transition Easy

Students often think of online education as it is widely advertised. To support this type of environment, you may want to see an account set up, if possible. More importantly, they often think of those involved with online learning as people sitting at home doing nothing. If you have to admit that’s not what they are, you need to start a conversation.

“When you first start out, I find that most people end up focusing on the online environment for the first few weeks,” says Tonya Moore of the nonprofit Tuition Free Universe, which provides information on lower-cost online education, “and then eventually they stop using online courses altogether.”

Step 2: Get the Recommendations

Because this is a moving target, it is important to surround yourself with quality input for success. There are many options, but I choose the following three strategies.

Invite qualified online courses from fellow students

Students typically provide low-quality, one- or two-semester review of online courses in order to gain support in regard to questions such as, “How does one achieve a quality return on investment in online education?” or “What about online courses fits the skills that make them relevant in today’s economy?”

A classic can serve as a very good interview tool. It’s usually an essay of sorts, but a student can run it for five minutes, or even 20. “If someone hasn’t done the course before, there’s a sense of a high level of failure,” says Moore. “If you’ve done the course beforehand, you’ll see improvement and a learning problem solved.”

Do a roundtable of industry experts to discuss topics such as funding, cost of living, and housing,

Then, select questions that are best suited to best answer the suggested topic. This demonstrates intellectual curiosity and a desire to learn, but it shows genuine attention to detail.

Are you feeling your confidence rising?

Doing homework and asking good questions can be your ticket to better classes and later success. Look for forums with a similar community spirit.

Some of the best can be found on the Pennypack Greetings blog. This forum has to be my favorite. Pennypack Greetings members post questions, they give answers, and they be ready to provide feedback based on their research into specific topics.

Step 3: Do A Job Hunt

One of the first steps in anyone’s learning experience is something called a GED, or General Educational Development. The GED tests 14 written and oral questions in addition to numerous assessments. The entire test takes roughly one hour, plus you need a parent, but you’re able to pass it in less than a week.

You’re in for a different experience with online learning. More time is required. Other barriers exist.

Steps 1-4: Review The answers

Create detailed lists, in Microsoft Word or on excel, so you know exactly how you answered the questions. Make sure you’re understanding the basics and specifics. Set your own guide for achievement: Are you a multi-level skater? Can you read 20/5 and 5/5? Maybe you’re not just a reader, you’re a director. How do you see yourself as a learner?

STEP 5: Action

Use the process outlined above to really assess progress and apply the information found in step 4. If you enjoy it, continue and enjoy a smooth experience. If you don’t, you should just stop.

If you don’t have a college education or need extra practice, your results can be limited. For example, Moore notes that the ideal online education award level might range from an A to a B+, depending on how good you are.

Online learning is not the be-all, end-all. It does offer benefits to certain people, but students should feel proud in the work they have done to help themselves, their colleagues, and their future selves.

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