Distance learning offers the same qualifications available through bricks and mortar colleges. Whether that’s retaking your GCSEs or learning a new hobby, it’s possible to do so through distance learning.
Anyone with conflicting schedules can get back into education despite not attending any classes. No matter what your circumstances are you’re able to work towards your goals from the comfort of your own home.
But with the freedom online learning provides also comes responsibility. Online learning is a more independent approach which means you’re in control of what you do or don’t do.
There won’t be a teacher planning your lessons or setting extra reading before your next class. Or even making sure you do your homework. You’ll have to be your own teacher, which can be challenging. But doesn’t have to be if you know what to expect.
By being prepared for your online course beforehand it will ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your learning experience.
Setting up your workspace for Distance Learning
Online learning enables you to study from pretty much anywhere if you have your laptop and a stable internet connection. Whether it’s a local coffee shop, the public library or your kitchen, you’re able to log in and start learning.
However, just because you can study from anywhere doesn’t mean you should. For example, we advise you not to study in your bed.
This is because we associate our bed with sleep which will make it harder to concentrate on your studies. Alternatively, you might start to associate it with studying which will disrupt your sleep. Either way, it’s not a good mix.
Instead, it’s best to find somewhere you can sit comfortably in front of a surface large enough to lay out everything you need. Which leads on to the next point: putting away anything you don’t need.
That means making sure your work surface is clutter and distraction-free. This will help you stay on task as you won’t be tempted to check your phone or tidy up.
Only keep essential items nearby such as your laptop, notebook, water bottle and anything else essential to your studies. Hint – your phone isn’t one of them.
Planning in Advance
Online learning gives you the flexibility to study whenever suits you, but you shouldn’t leave it until the last minute. Give your distance learning journey structure by planning out your study sessions.
This will give a realistic overview of how long it’s going to take to work through all the modules. And help you feel better prepared for any oncoming exams.
The most successful online students plan in advance, factoring in work, family time and other commitments.
Whether that’s a holiday or your birthday, it’s sensible to admit you won’t be studying during these events. And that’s fine as long as you’ve made room in your schedule somewhere else.
If you’ve allocated time for your studies you’ll be more likely to buckle down and do the work. It’s far less likely you’ll commit to studying if you decide on the spot.
Planning allows you to separate your learning into manageable chunks. So if you struggle with studying for long hours, this is a good way to stop you feeling overwhelmed.
Staying Motivated with Distance Learning
Distance education is a more independent learning approach. This allows people the opportunity to get back into education without affecting your other commitments. But requires you to be a self-motivated individual.
And depending on how much time you have spare means you can be studying for up to two years. Even the most disciplined online students may occasionally find themselves veering off track.
If you’re finding it challenging to stay motivated then it’s important to remind yourself why you’re studying. Spend some time reflecting on your goals and aspirations, where you’ve started and how far you’ve come.
Seeing all the progress you’ve made will encourage you to keep going. Praise yourself for doing well and allow yourself time off if you need.
Another way to stay motivated is to set short-term goals that you can achieve within a study session. This will help keep you focused and build your confidence as you tick off your to-do list.
It’s also good practice to give yourself breaks throughout your study session. This will help your brain digest information and give you some time to refresh.
Having a range of different techniques in your arsenal can help improve your retention of knowledge. Which in turn means you’ll be able to demonstrate your know-how better in exams and/or assessments.
It also means you’ll be more engaged with your studies and make the experience more enjoyable.
You can do this by incorporating the following into your sessions:
- Mock exams
- Videos and Imagery
- Mind maps
- Post-it notes
- Voice recordings
- And flash cards.
Experiment with all the techniques listed above and discover what works for you.
One of the main ways of improving your learning experience is proper note-taking. This has nothing to do with the neatness of your writing but rather the intention behind the notes.
The ‘Cornell’ method is a solid choice that helps you systematically summarise all your information. You’ll start by dividing your page into 3 or 4 sections. which is a visual method which can really help people
The main body of the page will be for your main note-taking followed by a smaller section for questions and key points. The final section will be a summary of what you’ve covered and what you’ve learnt.
This is effective because it allows you to digest what you’ve learnt while you write the summary. As well as helping you condense the time it takes to review something effectively.
The sketchnote is another effective note-taking method that incorporates text, emphasis and symbols. The doodling feel is great for creative individuals as it helps you connect information with visual cues. And if your someone who finds focusing on note-taking challenging then this method helps to keep you engaged.
If the ones here don’t appeal to you then there are other methods which can be located here.
Start your studies today
Whatever online course you’re thinking of enrolling onto could be available at Stonebridge Associated Colleges.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges is one of the UK’s online course providers. We offer a broad range of courses from GCSEs to A Levels and more.
All our online courses have flexible payment options to help you spread the cost and tutor support. The experienced tutor will be an expert in their respected field offering constructive feedback and any assistance where needed.
To learn more about what our online courses could lead to by reading our blog here.
If you’re ready to get back into education get in touch or enrol online today.