18 Online Learning Tips and Secrets (2021)
These online learning tips may come in handy if you are considering taking an online course, or you are one of those parents who intend to enroll their children in one. Thanks to many advances in technology, online learning success is no more a dream that hasn’t come true.,. With the flexibility and convenience that online learning brings, many would falsely believe that it takes less energy and time compared to a traditional classroom which is not true. These 18 online learning secrets will help everyone from young learners to college students to adopt an effective strategy.
Online learning tips and secrets for parents
The strategies in this part are mostly beneficial for parents with elementary-level children who are taking online courses but can be adopted for teenage students as well.
1. Provide a suitable environment for online learning
A highly-effective classroom is bound to possess various features; from adopting efficient classroom management techniques by the teacher to classroom equipment and resources. When your home becomes the new educational environment for your kids, you need to organize your space to accommodate their new study station. In fact, the most important factor in children’s online learning success is having access to decent online learning requirements.
- Space: Find a quiet place in your house or dedicate a part of your kids’ room to their study space. Try to find distractors (visual, auditory, or a mixture of them) and eliminate them as much as you can. Let your children personalize it to their own satisfaction but ground some rules to ensure that they would be focused on educational materials. For instance, they are not allowed to take toys, listen to music, or eat snacks in this part of the house.
Another essential thing that you should do is to provide items they need; stationery, electronic devices, and a desk. Not to mention that take into account proper lighting and ventilation as they have positive impacts on learning progress.
- Schedule: “A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done,” says author and time management expert, Peter A. Turla. Children tend to procrastinate school homework and subsequently receive poor grades if they don’t follow a plan. Our advice for online learning success is to sit down with your kid and prepare a flexible schedule.
Doing this is absolutely important as it allows kids to know what exactly is going on and makes them feel involved and in control of the situation. Hence, their potential stress for such a new experience can be totally vanished or minimized. Besides scheduling not only motivates them but teaches them prioritizing and self-discipline.
- Device: This online learning tip might sound quite obvious! The only thing we would like to remind you is to choose the right device for your e-learners. Find out what device is suitable for your kids and make sure that there is no technical difficulty. Some courses like Scratch require using a certain platform or installing a particular software. Don’t worry if the new environment might be challenging for them. Although it may seem hard at first it doesn’t mean kids can’t pick it up fast.
2. Do research about the platform
Is your kid taking an online coding course? Take Minecraft for instance, spend some time on the website to familiarize yourself with the platform in order to help your young learner when they face a problem in finishing a task. Your children may need your help with the tools at first and this is perfectly normal, but let them explore the platform by themselves. Don’t do their job for them as it is a great disservice leading to dependence rather than learning.
3. Understand their fears and potential stress
Talking about feelings is one of the most important online learning secrets that parents often neglect unintentionally. Once the study station is ready and children have been introduced to the platform, it’s time to sit down and ask them how they feel.
It goes without saying that being in a new situation is stressful for everyone. As a parent, you always need to encourage your kids to talk about their emotions and online learning is no exception. If they feel frustrated about something related to the online course or their overall experience, motivate them to speak up and help them as much as you can. For example, if they need feedback on a task or they need assistance to handle something.
4. Guide them through online learning but don’t do it yourself
In traditional classrooms, teachers sometimes come across parents who do their children’s homework for them. This is a destructive attitude as children, like anyone else, tend to learn new skills by doing it rather than only observing. Remember that the whole purpose of doing homework is to practice more and reinforce learning.
5. Maintain frequent breaks between classes
Working for long stretches is not productive for anyone without frequent breaks. Children can’t focus for more than a certain time period. In fact, the average attention span of a child according to childhood development experts is about two to three (in best case scenario, five) minutes per year of a child’s age. To achieve success in online learning, it’s better to let them have a snack and stretch their legs after some time. You can just exactly mirror their school breaks at home or change it if your schedule allows.
6. Monitor online progress occasionally
Even if you are a super busy parent, take time to check the assignments they’ve done at least once a week. Depending on your learners’ age, level of independence, and the online learning course they are attending, this time can be changeable. We suggest checking their work daily since compared to traditional classroom learning, online learning is more complex. Better to catch them early and help in case they haven’t figured out a task.
You can even teach them basic time management techniques through this. For instance, give them time to finish a task in 30 minutes and show up afterward to check it together. Have they accomplished the task or they’ve been playing games?
7. Praise and Motivate
This online learning tip shouldn’t be restricted to education only. Always let your kids know if they’ve done a good job. Try to use “process-based” phrases such as “you’ve figured out how to do this and done a great job on this task” rather than “person-based” phrases like “you’re a smart kid.” Process-based praise and motivation help kids believe that they are capable of taking up challenges and improving their performance according to Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.
8. Allow them to spend time on online video chats with their friends
In a physical classroom, pair work and group work allow students to compare their answers, share their opinions, and reach a solution together. More importantly, it does boost their confidence. If your child‘s friend is attending the same online course (or you can find anyone else who is willing to be your kid’s partner), let them have video chats to talk about their success, achievements, solutions, etc. as it is a way of reinforcing the materials they’ve learned. This online learning tip is also essential for homeschooled children.
9. Let them have fun
Thanks to the many advantages of online courses, children may have extra time on their hands. Try to use this time for bonding with your kids. Spend time together on the playground, watch a virtual tour, or do a physical activity.
Online learning tips and secrets for college students
As an adult student, you are responsible for your own learning. These tips and techniques can help you to reach online learning success.
10. Be persistent
Remember that you have paid for this course and it’s not anything less than a traditional class setting. It even takes more self-discipline and self-motivation to achieve success in online courses where there is little or zero supervision. In other words, you may surprisingly need to do a lot more to make up for the inadequacy of face-to-face interaction. For example, set reminders for yourself to deliver assignments in time because the professor may not actively remind you.
11. Prepare a suitable environment
Dedicate a part of your place for studying only. A decent desk and a comfortable chair is probably the best option. Eliminate any distractions from this area; including your phone, junk food, and other people (unless you are all working on the same project)! Make sure that everything you need is within your arm’s reach.
12. Adopt proper time management skills
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” These online learning tips can only help if you plan wisely and stick to it. For doing so, you need to adopt time management techniques that suit you well. Make a flexible schedule and study efficiently. In addition to this, the Pomodoro technique (staying on a task for 25 minutes and having a 2-minute break before starting again) can help with your concentration. Some people tend to skip the 2-minute break because they think they have just focused on the task. If you are one of these people, change your intervals to your own desire.
13. Acquire basic technical knowledge
Not all people are good with computers but if a minor thing goes wrong on your computer—software malfunction or your Internet connection for instance—you must be able to fix it on your own. Be open to discover new things.
14. Stay motivated and independent
You are in charge of your learning; “it’s your road and yours alone. others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” You shouldn’t expect much encouragement or support from your tutors. They are just there to show you the road. Try to understand and improve your studying style for online learning success. Break a task into chunks.
15. Maintain interaction with your fellow course-takers
Exchange your phone numbers and email addresses to keep in touch with one another. Some of these friendships can last for long as you share a mutual passion. Besides, you can count on them when you need assistance.
16. Exercise regularly
You may spend a lot of hours behind a computer. While physical inactivity leads to certain health risks, exercising helps your body to maintain a better blood flow to the brain, leading to a greater concentration. In fact, this is not only an online learning tip but something that every student needs to do. However, the significance of exercising is more for online learners given the amount of time they spend behind desks.
17. Share what you learned online with friends
This way you remember the course material even better! Actually, studies show that knowledge retention is better among students who teach the things they have learned compared to those who re-study the same material for the same amount of time. You can make a group on WhatsApp or other apps for effective communication and find out each others’ perspectives and tips.
18. Reward yourself
It can be as simple as playing a computer game or meeting your friends. Keep in mind that you need to have fun at the end of a long day or else you will soon be discouraged and exhausted. Motivating yourself is also easier if you promise yourself there is something exciting as soon as you finish a task.
Thanks to advances in technology, you can find hundreds of online programs these days. It’s not easy to find the perfect one that suits you best, but with some research and applying these online learning tips and secrets, failure wouldn’t even be an option. We offer some of the best online programming courses for kids. You can find more information on our courses in the best programming languages for kids. If you need further information do not hesitate to contact us.
Editor: Michael Mitryakov | Writer: Negin P
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