Staying Inside, Learning Online
In these unusual circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all spending more time on our digital devices. Online courses have also seen an increase in traffic as a result. If you have recently started such a course, you must have noticed online learning requires a very different approach from what you’re used to! Here are five strategies to help you navigate these foreign waters.
Strategy 1: Reflect on how you learn best
One of the key characteristics of online learning, especially MOOCs, is that how you learn is largely up to you. What kind of environment helps you to concentrate on learning? Which tools do you prefer to use? Do you learn better by interacting with peers, or by reading quietly by yourself? Give these questions some thought and adjust your learning accordingly!
Strategy 2: Plan your learning
Self-regulated learning offers you a lot of flexibility, but that can be a mixed blessing – if you don’t manage your time properly, you might fall behind. It’s a good idea to mark times when you’ll be working on the course on your calendar, even if it’s just 20 minutes every day. Also, keep an eye on the course timeline – that way, you won’t miss any important deadlines.
Strategy 3: Use a learning diary
The amount of information on an online course can be overwhelming, so it’s very important to zero in on what’s relevant for you – your work, your life, your personal circumstances. You can use Web 2.0 tools like Sutori, Adobe Spark or Sway to create a learning diary, where you jot down any useful ideas or resources you glean from the course.
Strategy 4: Use a personal learning network
Research shows that successful teacher professional development involves teachers exchanging and sharing their expertise with each other. Learning online offers you a great opportunity for such interaction with colleagues from around the world. So make sure to take this opportunity and connect with peers to discuss and share the daily challenges you face in the classroom.
Strategy 5: Find support when you need it
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Knowing when and where to ask for support is a key characteristic of a successful online learner. However, support in online learning environments can be found in many places – and not just with your instructor. You are much more likely to find a quick answer to your question or concern by checking the available support resources, such as the FAQ, or by raising it with your peers on the course. Using this approach, you’ll be acquainted with online learning in no time!