Five Tips to Excel in Any Online Training Program
There are a lot of different degree programs that are offered online nowadays, medical billing and coding and paralegal training for example. With these programs, students are able to work at their own pace on the course content and continue to hold a full-time job while they are studying. This could be a huge relief but you’ll need to follow some advice if you want to be successful and see the program to completion
1. Check Your Email and Internet Settings
Before you begin your course, it is a good idea to find out what browser requirements you will need and check your internet connectivity and speed. You may have to adjust your pop-up ad settings and/or firewall or security setting. By making sure that the computer you will be using is compatible with the program content, you will save yourself a lot of headaches in the future
You should also check your email settings to make sure that important emails are not being sent to your spam inbox. It might be a good idea to add your course instructor or school as a contact so that you can easily search for either one in case you need to send them an email
2. Use a Calendar
Once you begin your program and receive the course syllabus, you should start planning your work no less than a month in advance. It is a good idea to keep a calendar either online or in pen and paper (or both!) of when assignments are due and when you have upcoming tests. You can also use the calendar to set goals for yourself
A calendar will help you to stay focused and ensure that your test scores or final grades don’t come as a surprise. If you don’t know when assignments are due, then you are likely to miss one or two which will affect your overall grade. Keep your grades up by simply doing every assignment and making sure that you never miss a deadline. There is no sense in letting late or missed work lower your score
3. Befriend your Classmates
One of the best parts of going to a college campus is having the ability to make new friends and form relationships with your instructors and the college staff. Without face to face interaction, it can seem like you are all alone in your program of study but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you find yourself struggling, you should email your instructor and ask if he or she knows of any study groups for your program. If not, you can create your own study group by emailing your classmates to set up a time and a place on campus where you all can meet. Even if you don’t get a lot of studying done, it will be nice to know that there are people out there you who you can reach out to
Another way to meet fellow classmates is to attend events on campus. Most college campuses hold events like guest speakers, job fairs, volunteer events, and holiday days where you’ll be able to interact with other students and professionals.
4. Create a Work Space
It’s a good idea to have a designated work space for doing your assignments so that you can focus on learning when you are at home. If you do your assignments while you’re sitting in front of the TV or doing other things, then you are less likely to remember the information because you were distracted by something else. Having a designated space also tells the rest of the members of your household that you need to be left alone while you are studying. Ask them to help you concentrate on getting the most out of your course by not interrupting you
You can decorate your work area with things that inspire or motivate you. These could be smells, pictures, or objects that help bring joy into your study process: a scented candle, photographs of family and friends, or a puzzle or game that makes you smile. These personal touches can remind you of why you went back to school in the first place.
5. Set Time Aside and Make it a Habit
Some people make the mistake of thinking that an online program won’t be as challenging or require as much time as a campus offered program. It’s true you won’t have to drive to a campus or spend hours sitting in a classroom, but this does not mean you can just breeze through your online program without putting forth any time or effort.
You should devote several hours a week to your program at a minimum. During this time, you can check your emails, review your calendar, study for upcoming tests, finish assignments, and network with your classmates. Having a consistent routine throughout your program is going to help you build upon the things you learn each week. If you miss a few days or a week, it has the potential to set you behind your classmates and force you to play catch up, so make time and stay on top of your course. The good part about an online training program is that you can choose the times that are most convenient for you.
With these tips, you can set yourself up for success in your program and develop the skills that employers are looking for like organization, time-management, and communication.