Teachers are always trying to stay up to date, get new certifications, and take professional development courses. Many of these courses can be taken online, and they may span the course of a weekend or be a full semester long. If you're looking for ways to help you stay engaged during these online courses, look no further! We've curated a list of the best advice to help you get the most out of your online courses.
Make a Schedule
You must decide when you will be working on your online course ahead of time to spread out the coursework in a realistic way. You will want to look at the syllabus ahead of time and decide a day or two dedicated to a particular activity for your course. Consider scheduling your time for each task, such as going over your reading material, participating in discussion posts, studying, taking online assessments, etc. For example, you might read all course materials on Monday, contribute to the discussion posts on Wednesday, and work on assignments the rest of the week.
Use Study Tools & Apps
There are many online tools to help you be the best student you can be. There are websites that will help you with citations for papers, check your grammar and spelling, and even help you with research. There are add-ons for browsers, many of which are free, that will even read an online text for you! You can also use speech to text if writing papers is something you might struggle doing. Consider using a variety of tools to set you up for success. There are many options out there!
Pick a Place & Focus
Some students work best at a desk in their home, while others prefer to head to a local library or coffee shop to complete coursework. Decide the location that is best for you in advance and put it on your calendar. Make sure it is a place that will allow you to focus and avoid distractions. Go to that location every time you intend to complete your work. Studies suggest your brain can process better when it knows what to expect. Avoid using one place for many different activities, such as your couch where you sit and watch TV, eat dinner, and read a book in the evenings. The place you choose should be your haven for productivity.
Pace Yourself & Break it Up
Another way to engage when taking an online course is to break up the work into smaller, manageable chunks. Have a project or a paper coming up? Work on finding your sources during one period of time and focus on actually writing during another. In addition to separating your work, you can also set timers along the way. For example, setting a thirty minute timer on your device can help you get a little bit of reading done now so you can come back later when you can do more. If you chip away at the work little by little, you will soon find you have accomplished much more than you thought initially.
Whether you are taking a course for a bit of professional development or for your recertification, we hope these tips help you create a study plan for being successful during the next online course you take!