How to Optimize Your Online Course Experience

How to Optimize Your Online Course Experience

If your planning on taking an online course such as the TOGAF® 9 course, learn how to optimize your learning experience with these tips.

Keyword(s): Online Course

The online education industry was booming well before the COVID-19 pandemic drove us online en masse. It grew by 5.8 percent between 2015 and 2020.

There's a lot to like about online education. It gives you access to courses you might not otherwise have been able to attend. You can also fit your education into your lifestyle.

If you're wondering how to become TOGAF® certified, an online course is currently your best bet. Yet, there can be pitfalls if you're not used to distance learning.

Are you keen to get the most out of your online course? Read on for our best tips.

Treat It Like a Live Course

Online courses and live courses differ little in terms of content. The real difference lies in the delivery method.

So, you'll get the best results by treating it like a live course that you're doing from home. That means setting yourself some boundaries around how and when you learn.

Take part in discussions to make sure you get questions answered and share knowledge. Students sometimes forget they can learn as much from each other as they do the tutor.

Create a timetable for when you'll watch lectures if one is not already provided. Schedule time for doing homework or interacting with others on the learning platform.

Different courses provide different means for students to engage. You might have group discussions, so make sure you read any required material, so you're prepared.

There may be a forum where discussions take place, so get involved with these. Remember to show up when you need to and ask questions.

Find a Way to Motivate Yourself

One of the biggest challenges of online learning is motivation. Other demands on your time can seem more urgent. Without the social interaction of an in-person experience, motivation takes a hit.

A solution can be to find a "study buddy." Are others in your company seeking to become TOGAF® certified? Form a study group so you can tackle the content together.

This makes you accountable to someone else to do the work. It's also been proven to create a more effective learning experience.

It also gives you a sense of connection to other students, and it can be a great way to get to know colleagues better.

Set up regular study sessions where you have to explain the content to each other. Teaching what you've learned to another person has two benefits.

First, it helps you solidify the material in your mind. You need to understand it before you can teach it.

Second, you'll each provide a slightly different perspective based on your own experience. This will give you a more rounded grasp of the information.

Network With Other Students

Don't have colleagues doing the same online certificate courses as you? You can still find a study group among your online classmates.

Network with other students and identify those who would like to review material in a group or pair. They may be in the same position as you and not have anyone from their workplace on the same course.

This gives you the same benefits as studying alongside colleagues. You can share perspectives and explore the material with a fellow professional.

Yet it gives you an extra advantage of networking with new people who also want to improve their knowledge.

You can also share best practices from other elements of your job role with each other. Feed what you learn back to your company so they can learn from you.

Create a Dedicated Study Space

One of the advantages of a physical, in-person course is that you go to a specific location. The classroom or seminar room puts you in the right mindset to learn. That's because merely being there creates an association between the space and learning.

You can do the same for yourself at home. Decide where you're going to study and create a study space.

You might keep the materials you need for the course in this area or have headphones to hand. Consider making it a calming space by adding plants.

The more you use the space for study, the more you create mental associations. That means you flip into study mode faster by sitting in your study space.

Consider turning studying into a ritual to get yourself into the right mindset. That might include playing ambient noise to cut out distractions. Or you might like to make a hot drink before you sit down to study.

Figure Out How You Learn

In educational theory, learning styles refer to whether you take in information visually, audibly, or by doing. In reality, there is no evidence these learning styles exist.

That said, people do have preferences as to how and when they learn best. You may be a morning person and want to study before you start your day. Or you may prefer to study in shorter chunks throughout the day between other tasks.

Spend time figuring out which routine will best suit you before starting a course to become TOGAF® certified.

You may find you learn better by taking notes by hand during classes and expanding on these later when you type them up. Or you might prefer to make illustrated notes so you can draw the concepts as you reach them.

It doesn't matter how you approach it as long as you find what works for you.

Get the Most Out of Your Online Course

Now you know how to get the most out of an online course. It can be challenging to keep yourself motivated when you're learning alone. Yet if you set yourself targets and hold yourself accountable, you can make it work.

Learning with others will help you tackle the course content more effectively. Networking and discussing material with others helps enrich your learning experience.

Enjoy the benefits of being able to study in a way that best suits you.

You can find TOGAF® 9 online courses here at Advised Skills. Click here to enroll so you can work towards certification.

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