Distance learning continues to be a popular study option and remains the main alternative if you want to continue your education without having to undergo the conventional on-campus, classroom learning.
Online courses, no doubt, offer a lot of freedom and flexibility. If you are considering it, chances are that you already have a job or other commitments that you don’t want to give up on, while also aiming to improve your education. And that’s perfectly ok. That’s what online programmes are for, after all.
Online education is available for a wide variety of degree types and courses. You can follow only a topic course online, do a vocational and skills training or pursue full Bachelors and Masters programmes. And you can do it at both exclusively online universities and at established, prestigious ones that have introduced online degrees. Here are some online education providers that have good offers for Masters, Bachelors and short courses:
- RMIT University
- Nottingham Trent University Online
- Walden University
- York University
- LISAA School of Design
- London School of Planning and Management
- London School of International Business
But how to ace distance learning?
One of the main concerns you might have as a prospective online student is if you can successfully pursue a distance learning degree. With the right tools and tips, anyone can do it. You, too! So, without further delay here are five ways to put you on the right track to earning your online degree.
1. Pay attention to your syllabus
This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s also very easy to forget. Many of us fall in the trap of checking the course schedule only superficially and putting it aside very fast, just finding out from course to course what we have to do.
But the syllabus includes useful information about your professor, lessons, grading system, assignments and a guide that explains how you can access the online forums, libraries and course materials. Knowing what and how you are going to study and the materials you need can help you prepare a better study schedule and even do some things in advance.
2. Complete your assignments and submit them on time
Yes, in online education you have a lot of flexibility, sometimes even in terms of assignment deadlines. However, it is important to make sure you don’t bend this flexibility to much. Check deadlines and submit papers on time because some professors will impose a penalty for overdue tasks.
When you submit assignments on time is not only about showing respect to your teachers, but also to yourself and to your commitment to your education. The more you do it, the more confidence you’ll gain that will help you finish your degree.
3. Engage in conversations during online classes
One of the secrets of distance learning is that you have to find ways to stand out during webinars or any discussion that takes place in an online format with your ‘classmates’ and professors. Try to be as active as you can! It will positively contribute to the evaluation your professor will make. Plus, being an active member in online learning platforms helps you expand your knowledge and better understand the topic.
4. Stay organized and track your progress
Organisation is one of the key-elements for becoming a successful online learner. Be mindful about where and how you keep your syllabus, assignments, reading materials or research projects. For example, you can make one big file on your computer divided into sections, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. But remember to download everything in the matching file!
5. Learn to say NO to procrastination
Many online learners have the tendency to procrastinate either by skipping online classes or by not finishing assignments. To make it hard for the instant gratification monkey to mess with you, try making a plan in advance so you know exactly when you want to watch a course or a lecture.
For assignments, start researching the topic as early as possible. Note down the main ideas so you have something to work with when you start writing it. Keep the day before the deadline only for a final proofread to check misspellings, add or replace anything that you consider relevant.