We've all heard it: You can't teach old dogs new tricks. According to researchers at Dartmouth University, that's not quite true. It seems science bears out the fallacy of that old adage: You can teach old dogs new tricks.
Are you interested in taking online classes but worried you won't be able to work around your job? Take heart: eLearning has come a long way in recent years. Now there are many new tools to help keep adult learners engaged in the online classroom. Here are three strategies to help you get the most out of your lifelong learning efforts.
1. Participate in Student Discussions
One of the challenges of online learning is the isolation. By participating in discussion groups, forums and online chats, you'll get the feel of a live classroom right from your desk. You may even be able to organize offline study groups that meet in your town or neighborhood to discuss the coursework.
Teachers use several other methods to increase interaction in your online class. Don't be surprised if you are asked to be a student moderator and lead the discussion. Be bold and dive in.
2. Improve Time Management and Organization
Online courses sometimes speed through more material than you would cover in a traditional classroom setting. The more organized you are, the easier it'll be to success in your continuing education efforts. The first thing you should do is set up a calendar with all due dates and deadlines for the class period. Next, spend 15 minutes each week keeping that calendar up to date and filing away completed assignments. Here's another tip: Have a designated quiet place you can retreat to when it's time for online studies. That will make it much easier to stay organized and on track. Think of it as your own personal classroom annex in the home.
3. Ask for Assistance
Call it pride or maybe fear, but online students are often hesitant to ask for help. Remember that the teachers are there to help you, and they understand the struggles you're facing. Maybe you're mastering the new world of online courses, or returning to school for the first time in years. Either way, don't be afraid to reach out and get help. Good online teachers have seen it all before. They will show you how to focus your efforts and get on the right track.
Online learning is better than ever before. No matter what your is job or where you live, you have tons of options for online learning. Once you settle on your preferred platform, use these three strategies to survive and thrive.