It's been a year now that the novel coronavirus spread made people make the switch.
While some were trained with education technologies, many people learned their way to use them. Online learning proved the thing for sure. Even if the pandemic ends, we are confident that elearning is here to stay.
In our series of articles on eLearning, the post on "Effectiveness of E-learning For Students: What Studies Say" mentioned how crucial factors like student engagement, collaboration, peer interaction, feedback, flexibility, and motivation are prominent in the eLearning setting and the most critical component for a successful online learning program is learners' self-motivation and willingness to achieve their learning goals.
Although we assume that children and the youth today are digitally native and will know how to do all these digital classroom things, in reality, their behaviour in the online classroom is contrary to our belief of them being digital native.
In reality, online classes require equal effort, time and energy to make the most out of them. It's just that with the technology available at our hand, we can achieve a lot more than the traditional approach and in better engaging ways. Since eLearning's most crucial thing is learners' willingness, self-motivation, and some other characteristics, let's look into an online learner's traits for success in online learning.
Online learning brings its own kind of challenges. Technical glitches happen; multiple learning challenges may come to the surface. Persistence is the key to get through it all. Students who succeed in online learning settings choose to work on these challenges and are willing to tolerate problems they can't solve, seek help when needed, regularly work on every class and live through these challenges. What can help is Logging in every day and making progress.
2. Digital Reading and Writing Skills
Reading and writing are as essential in online learning as they are in the traditional classroom. Not only to communicate, but the learning material gets digital. Students should be comfortable with digital documentation, reading and typing. There will be assignments that will require students to type answers, as not all assessments are multiple-choice questions based. Working on these skills is one of the most important aspects to succeed in online learning.
3. Communication Skills
It seems like communication skills can solve all problems. Even to succeed in digital learning, students must possess effective and appropriate communication skills. Students should know when and how they have to reach out to their teachers when needed. Non-verbal cues and merely confused expressions on the face doesn't help an educator to provide you with the best lessons.
What would help is using communication tools provided by the school. Since most schools are working online, there are preferred tools for teacher-student communication that keep all education stakeholders in the loop. Students mustn't shy away from asking their queries.
4. Technical Skills
You aren't required to create software to succeed in online learning, but necessary tech skills are a must. These are skills like making a document, using a word program, navigating and primary internet usage and downloading application and software. You'll often be given an overview of orientation programs covering the tools you'd have to use. But for the necessary skills, consider learning from tutorials available.
5. Time-Management Skills
Time management is not only vital for you to succeed in online learning but in life as well. Well, looking at it from a learning perspective, there are two cases. Firstly when there are fixed class timings and secondly, where you get to access your classes anytime as per your convenience. There are cases where classes work on a combination of fixed and flexible timings as well.
It would help if you manage your time, depending on our class schedules. If your course requires you to be available at a fixed time, make sure you're prepared to dedicate that time to your lessons. If you are getting the flexibility to learn, then do not procrastinate and figure out your dedicated slot for studying.
It takes time to develop time management skills. Once you set these, they will benefit you throughout your life. A good start would be to plan for several blocks each week. Focus on your study and plan your work accordingly. Create your to-do lists and make sure you complete them. Other things that can help are reviewing the syllabus for your courses and developing a plan for completing the more significant assignments beforehand.
6. A Good Study Environment
Your environment affects everything you do. Needless to say, the right study environment can do wonders for students. Following tips may come in handy to create that perfect environment for healthy and prosperous academic learning in an online setting:
- Pick your spot in the house and make sure you get some quiet and peace there. It would be best if you had a quiet place to work, away from distractions and noise.
- Your time for studying shouldn't be given to games on your device. If you find it too tricky not give in to the temptation, uninstall them.
- Do not use your cell phone while studying. Remember, you're at "school", and you cannot use your smart devices for anything other than your education.
- You will be using the internet for your online education. Do not get into the trap of unnecessary internet surfing.
- Ergonomics are important. Adjust the height of your chair, desk and screen as needed. Maintain a healthy posture while working on your laptop.
- Bright, comfortable lights help with the decreased strain on your eyes from screen usage. Set up good lighting in your study area.
- The final point is to get organised. Do not create a mess of your documents and associated papers - neither on your system nor in your study area. Clutter and an unclean environment can demotivate you even if you don't believe it. Create virtual and physical folders to organise all your school paperwork and learning material. Set aside dedicated workspace or storage that's free from distractions, disruptions and digital junk.
If eLearning is your thing, make sure you check out other articles in our ELearning series mentioned below!