In the academic year 2018/2019 Kaleo College had the opportunity of Launching its online/distance learning program targeting those learners that would like to engage in our courses but do not have the time needed to sit in a physical classroom. Here are some tips to help our students ensure they maximize the learning experience, and obtain maximum benefit:
- Self-discipline: one of the critical elements of online/distance learning is self-discipline since you really do not have someone monitoring your attendance as would happen in a physical classroom. It is upon you as a learner to make the conscious decision that you will study, complete your course work on time, and attend mandatory or designed chats.
- Time management: across all learning disciplines, students hear a lot about time management. In online learning it gains a critical position because one has to balance studying with other obligations such as work or family. One has to therefore assign specific time to learning and stick to those timelines. This relates to self-discipline
- Procrastination: the student has the responsibility to ensure they complete their work in a well defined time frame, otherwise they will be completing their assignments and work at the last minute.
- Computer use skills: the basis on online learning is knowledge of word processor software, search engines, video/audio software, and keyboarding. Prior to starting an online course, the student has the responsibility to ensure availability of the necessary hardware and software, plus internet connection.
- Create the learning space: this basically refers to assigning a particular place for learning, such as clearing a room in your house or a corner in a room. A place that is quiet and conducive for learning. Avoid places with distractions.
- Develop a study plan: this makes the first three tips work well. If you have a study plan, then it makes it easier to complete assignments of time, and promotes self-discipline and time management skills.
- Create learning goals: as a learner be sure of what you want to achieve and the time frame set for that achievement. Goals make work manageable. This can include course expectations.
Ultimately, the success of online learning is dependent upon the student. You can determine your failure or success. Planning well is the first step towards success. Embrace self-disciple, time management, and create the temporal and spatial environment for your learning process.
Bether Njiru-Mulwa, Principal, Kaleo College