The world of education has changed drastically in the last 30 years. Thanks to the development of the internet, nowadays more students than ever before have access to higher coursework and learning programmes. But while these courses have greatly improved accessibility to students around the world, they also present their own unique challenges and difficulties.
Here are some of EDHEC’s top online course tips for success that will help you gain a rewarding online learning experience.
Set Up Your Work Space
The first step towards a productive online experience is to set up a productive space.
When possible, a dedicated area in your home or office is the best solution for taking an online course. If this isn’t possible, try to bring in specific, personal elements into the space that signal its transformation into a learning environment — even something as simple as a portable light, a writing utensil case, or a particular coffee mug can be enough to create your personal working environment.
Make sure you have what you need to keep relaxed and concentrated on the material, bringing snacks, water, and coffee or tea as needed.
A productive workspace is as free of distractions as possible. Find a secluded location either in your house, in a calm coffee shop, or in a co-working space to complete your coursework.
Your space should also be clean, comfortable, and organised, with all relevant files, paperwork, and learning materials readily available.
Create a Calendar
Increased access to online coursework has significantly increased the number of students participating in higher education, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into graduates.
Statistically, over 40% of online students do not complete the coursework they started.
One of the things you can do to ensure programme completion is to accurately gauge the level of work required for starting. How many hours a week will I need to complete the regular coursework and homework for each unit? How long does the programme last? Will there be certain weeks where I need to take a break and catch up? Preemptively ask yourself these questions, you can guarantee that you schedule the amount of time needed to complete the coursework for each lesson.
Once you’ve established a general outline of the time you’ll need to complete your coursework, create a consistent time of day or day of the week in which you complete your work.
If you work best after hours make sure to dedicate lesson time in the evening; if, on the other hand, you consider yourself an early riser, scheduling your study time in the early hours of the morning is the best way to guarantee online coursework success.
Always Hold Yourself Accountable
One of the most difficult aspects of an online course is actually completing the course!
While lower costs and time flexibility make online coursework particularly appealing, the reality is that online education can be just as challenging if not more challenging than traditional in-person learning.
Make sure you have the discipline to follow through with the entirety of the course before you start; remind yourself this is an investment in your future and your professional profile, both financially and personally.
In a traditional classroom setting, your professor and classmates are physically present to create and uphold objectives and checkpoints. While this might also be true to an extent with online learning depending on the structure of the course, online learning is designed to allow much more individual choice in the completion of tasks and assignments.
It is therefore up to you to regularly set completion goals for yourself. If needed, call upon a close friend or family member to help you stay on track, or even connect with a classmate early on in the course to help keep each other accountable.
Pick the Right Programme
Online learning has steadily been growing for over a decade, but the recent pandemic has forced many traditional schools to convert to online learning systems. This has created even more options in what can already be considered an oversaturated market. It is more important than ever before to be particularly discerning for the quality of an online course programme before enrolling.
Check the following:
- The contents of the coursework: Any decent online programme will have an overview of the topics reviewed covered throughout the duration of the course, either directly on their website or readily available upon request.
- The legitimacy of the school: Verify the validity of the teacher(s) of the course — are they professionals in the field? Higher education institutions must go through a rigorous accreditation process by at least one governing body, so check to make sure your online programme is accredited by the right institution.
Even an exceptional academic institution doesn’t necessarily translate into high-quality online learning. EDHEC’s online programmes are not only accredited by multiple international associations, but are also specifically designed to be taught online.
All online courses utilise EDHEC’s proprietary e-learning system, based on:
- dedicated support from EDHEC permanent professors
- privileged interactions and coaching sessions with both professors and academic mentors
- new technologies for tailor-made learning
- innovative learning experiences (such as team building, seminars, business games, etc.)
Once you have completed these online course tips for success, you’ll be ready to tackle your online programme head on!