What’s your college education worth when the times you study are also time you live?
What You Could Have Done To Improve Your Learning In An Online Course
Right now, many employers prefer job applicants to complete an online course to build their digital footprint, work experience, and overall marketable skills. However, online learning doesn’t always turn out to be the right fit for everyone — including employees with specific abilities and requirements. These are situations where employers should first consider training them offline instead. Here are five ways you can benefit from an offline learning experience.
Experiment With New Skills
The best way to see how you can get better is to test it out online — but not so much by doing your homework. Have a go at the online quizzes and exercises to learn your online course material. Note down which sections you struggled with in particular, and how you were able to conquer them. Learn what you’re good at, and if something comes up that you need to improve on, you’ll have the confidence to dive right in.
You can review those points as well as the actual course content to truly understand what you need to work on to improve. This provides a clear trajectory for improvement, leading you to a better overall skill-set that will be more visible to employers on the job market.
Get Curious About Your Environment
Something that might be missing from your online education is getting more hands-on experience with your environment. What’s even more important than learning more about your source material, though, is making sure that you are feeling the ambiance of where you are learning.
Use your commute as an opportunity to talk with fellow commuters, or watch a movie with your headphones on while you’re stuck waiting for the bus. The best way to experience that environment is to allow yourself to be more open to the experience while you’re there, and only check in with yourself to see if you’re having any noticeable learning. You might even get your co-workers or company host an open data workshop that will be an awesome opportunity to actually see what they’re doing in the real world.
It’s one thing to be in a classroom, another to be in a playground with the kids. While some college buildings are quiet and orderly, with few distractions, this is not the case in most classrooms. You get to watch the students around you, and participate with them by making your own noise, or making a motion to answer a question they bring up during class.
You’ll be less likely to make mistakes during test-taking because you have a mentor to offer some sound advice and suggestions in real time. You’ll also get to see how you compare with your peers, without being completely anonymous in the results. Whatever you do, just be a jerk.
Pretend You’re Learning For The First Time
If you’re just embarking on an online course, or if you’re not yet sure how you’ll learn new information, pretend you’re new to everything — including studying for a test. Playing with the new material is exciting for your imagination to be stretched, and it helps you clear your head and relax.
There’s nothing like relaxing in your own home, and you’ll be more likely to get excited about studying through the tasks instead of worrying about missing something. You’ll also get some great hands-on experience through a different approach to learning that will be different from what you’re used to, and help you get accustomed to your course material and other things you have to do for it.
An online course is taught in a relatively slow pace. Basically, an online course gives you an opportunity to focus on a few things to get an idea of what you’re learning. Remember how you were in high school — knowing everything about all subjects seemed overwhelming at first, and then you found ways to process the information and process it into something useful. You’ll get some similar feelings during an online learning experience.
Practice telling interesting and concrete questions to your instructor, or poking fun at your mistakes. Maintain the focus on the task at hand, and when your mind wanders, the instructor will let you go back to focusing on what you were doing. Make sure that you’re still writing your answers as well.
How Employers Value This
Now that you know what to do to enhance your learning in a different environment, you’re ready to find out just how well that learning will play into the interview process. Next time you start an online course, you may be able to speed up the pace to a head faster in an offline environment.
And maybe you won’t be able to do both, but be realistic about it: online courses are a great way to try new things, and prepare for a skillset you may find valuable to your future.