Tips for Online Learning

Tips for Online Learning

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Determine Your Goal

What is your goal in taking an online course? Are you trying to get a better job, change careers, or start a new business?

Whatever it may be, it is important to stay focused on that goal. It will help keep you motivated and committed to complete the course.

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Identify the Right Tools

Most of the courses referenced on Career Discovery NYC site require a computer, learning tablet, or mobile device and access to the internet.

If you are in need of a low-cost computer or learning tablet, try doing an online search for “refurbished laptops” or “refurbished tablets.” The online courses require a computer and may not be compatible with a mobile device.

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Develop a Study Schedule

It is important to create a schedule that works for you to complete the course. This requires you to be intentional, and stay consistent.

  • Create a study calendar with all important dates, like assignments, quizzes, and presentations to save on your computer calendar and mobile device. 
  • Look at the recommended amount of hours per week that will be required to complete the course and set aside time for learning. For example, “From 7 – 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, I plan to take my online course.”
  • Make a to-do list of tasks to complete each week to help prioritize and stay on track of goals for the week
  • Set time-limits for each task to help you stay focused

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Set Up a Dedicated Study Space

Working from home can be a challenge. You might be at home with family or roommates, personal responsibilities, along with the constant noise of electronics; consider turning off your mobile notifications when studying.

Make sure your study space is quiet, organized, free of distractions, and accessible when you need.

  • Find a place in your home where you can work peacefully. Avoid setting up in front of a television or on a bed.
  • Try to work at a desk or table. If that is not possible, consider getting a portable lap desk. Make sure that your work area is free of clutter (which can also become a distraction).
  • If you have a lot of people around you, consider investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to muffle out the sound.
  • Once you set up your study area, make sure that you consistently use this area to complete your work. Eventually, you will develop a habit of working when you are in this space and it will help you be more productive.
  • Set boundaries. Let family or roommates know the times that you will be studying, and ask them not to disturb you during those times.

Check out the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer’s Working from Home Toolkit for more tips.

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Get an Accountability Partner

Taking a new course is exciting, don’t keep the news to yourself! Tell someone that you trust and ask them to check in with you periodically to see how you are doing and if you are on track. You can also hold yourself accountable by doing a weekly check-in to see if you are on task.

If not, don’t stress, revisit your weekly schedule and study plan. You may have to increase or decrease the time you have set aside to take the course. Ask yourself, “What is working?” and “In what areas do I need to change some things around?”

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Connect with Other Students

Career Discovery NYC links you to a community of online learners through our provider websites.

Check out the online forums, ask questions, share your work, and most importantly connect with other students in the learning community.

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Student writing in planner with laptop on desk
Young man using headphones and laptop at home on couch in living room
Young mixed race woman sitting at the desk in her apartment, typing at the laptop while having a coffee
Son/Grandson using digital tablet with his mother/grandmother
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