So you want to sharpen up your skills to make you more attractive in today’s job market? You’ve decided to take an online course with TrainSmart Australia to make you more employable. But before you buy that business suit and start daydreaming about your future high flying career, take a reality check in what lies ahead. Studying online is growing at a dramatic pace. Its flexibility and immediacy is a big pull in luring those who want to improve their skillset. Independent Trainer and Assessor, Carey Wright has come up with some tips to ensure your on-line learning experience is enjoyable and ultimately successful.
Tip 1 – Stay motivated
Never lose sight of the ‘X factor’. “The X factor is the reason why we want to learn. If you always have that goal in mind, it will help you when times are tough and you become disillusioned”. Carey likens the experience of online learning with someone who wants to lose weight. “Don’t fall off the wagon, pin a message or slogan above your computer, which outlines the reason why you want to learn, let it become your mantra”. She advises that when you are lacking motivation and don’t feel like spending time on your studies, always remember why you are striving to secure that qualification. By having a motive in your mind, it will prevent you from becoming disillusioned when times are tough.
Tip 2 – Make it part of your routine
Don’t forget we live in a time poor society. Computers and modern technology are a huge distraction. We may think we are saving time by learning online, but there is a temptation to snatch back those hours allocated for study, to fit something else into our busy routine. Carey says “It is important to structure your online learning. Make sure you have time set aside two or three times a week. If you do break your schedule, fit it in elsewhere and don’t make excuses”.
Tip 3 – Stay in touch with your trainer
You may be learning online but at TrainSmart Australia the key to successful studying is staying in touch with your trainer. Make use of your trainer as they are also your mentor. Carey believes that people underestimate their importance. “They are here to help you and their main priority is to make sure you achieve the success you deserve. You should get into the habit of talking to them regularly. Just like a classroom set up you can receive instant feedback by talking to your trainer, so make use of them.”
Tip 4 – Avoid plagiarism
Never cut and paste from other articles on the web, avoid plagiarism at all costs. When you are under pressure, it is easy to find an article on the web and to copy and paste the words across, but in the world of online studying, this is a definite no-no. As Carey points out “It’s a quick solution but you will be found out. Write down your own answers. It’s fine to look up things on the web but don’t copy large chunks”. She also advises you check the questions and answer correctly. “Read the question once and then twice and when you have finished your answer, check your spelling and grammar and if you want a second opinion get someone else in your family to proof-read what you have written. If you are in any doubt over the length of an answer, talk to your trainer.”
Tip 5 – Ensure your work space is inviting
Make the desk where you work inviting. Ensure you have a chair which is comfortable and if you are using a laptop, have regular breaks. Let your study area be inviting. “There is a tendency to think the kitchen table will do as a makeshift office, but this is not acceptable” Carey explains. “Have a dedicated area to work, make it a pleasant environment and do not spend too long at your computer. Divide your study time into short breaks, no more than an hour at any one time, this will make everything far more manageable”.
So remember while online learning is flexible and easily accessible, it is also designed to be just as rigorous and demanding as traditional classes. But it can also be fun and don’t forget to reward yourself with a treat once you have achieved your weekly online study!