What do you need to do to get ready for an online course?
We’ve called on our insider knowledge of the subject here at the Ben Farmer School of Real Estate to put together six simple tips to help you prepare. So, if it has been a while since you were last in school or you’re a newbie to online learning, keep reading for helpful hints.
While flexibility in where you study is a big part of the appeal of taking classes online, it helps to have a regular spot for doing your coursework. How so? You establish a routine that can boost your focus and productivity. Pick/set up a study space where you’ll be comfortable and ready to learn. At home, this could be anyplace from dedicated office space to the kitchen table or a corner nook. Have an alternate space too – perhaps the local library or a cozy booth at the coffee shop.
Most courses don’t require the latest, fastest computer with bells-and-whistles software. You should nevertheless check beforehand (ideally before enrolling) to make sure your hardware, software, and internet speed fit the requirements. Check the school’s website for a list of the tech specs. Similarly, download any software or apps you’ll need ahead of time to avoid a last-minute scramble. Plus, test everything as far in advance as possible to make sure it works.
Since online courses typically don’t have a set time for you to attend class, it’s important to have a plan for staying on top of your schedule. Review the syllabus up front, check out any due dates, and make a study calendar. A quick web search will turn up an array of apps for that. Figure out how much time you need for classwork and assignments. Then schedule accordingly. Set aside a certain number of hours per day or week and be sure to leave some leeway for the unexpected.
One of the things that you don’t want to happen is a scenario where your computer or internet fails, you have no alternate plan, and you have a quiz, test, or assignment due. Make a contingency plan for how you will complete coursework on time in the event of a technology glitch. Have Plan A and Plan B. Also, sign up for a cloud storage account if you don’t already have one (see if the school has suggestions) so that you have a strategy for backing up important files.
There is no way to know if, at some point, you might need technical assistance or advice on an issue with your studies. And by its very definition, an emergency can’t be predicted. But, if one occurs, it could keep you out of class. So, find phone numbers, as well as email addresses and links for connecting with your instructor, technical support, and other services you may need. Don’t wait until you need help and then feverishly scroll the school’s website. Make a list before class begins.
By their very nature, online courses can sometimes leave you feeling a bit isolated and as if you are learning all on your own. Putting a support network in place can help with that. Ask family and friends to be a cheering section to encourage you to stay on track and maintain successful study habits. Reach out to introduce yourself and build rapport as soon as you get your instructor’s contact information. And visit the discussion forum early on to meet future study buddies.
If you know what to expect from your course, are technologically ready, and proactively take steps to start off on the right track, you position yourself for success in online learning. Then, once your course is underway, you can increase your chances of realizing that success by taking an active role in learning, contributing to discussions, staying organized, and resisting procrastination.
Want to Know More About Our Online Courses?
If you would like to learn more about our online courses, feel free to give us a call at (912) 692-1085 ext. 2.
Or just click to browse available online classes. The list includes sales pre-license, broker pre-license, sales post-license, and continuing education.