Online learning provides a great way to refresh old learning and develop new skills you need to advance your career, to find a new job, to change your career or to learn new skills just for fun.
A recent research shows a very high dropout rate of 93% rate. Indeed, online classes require more self-discipline than on-campus classes and the learners need to keep their motivation high to complete their courses.
As a learner, how can you overcome this problem? What can you do to be part of the 7% that will complete their online courses?
The following are some tips I’d like to share with you to hopefully help you complete successfully your courses:
1- Having a good reason for taking an online course will motivate you to stick with the course. Choosing a course to advance your career may be an important motivator. Results from this year’s Coursera Learner Outcomes Survey showed that 84% of career-focused learners who completed courses reported career benefits.
2- Having a learning plan will make a difference! Ask yourself : what skills you want to learn or improve in the next 6 months or a year, write them down and track your learning activities. Follow the SMART goals rule to set potentially achievable learning goals.
3- Before enrolling in any online course, spend sometime investigating the course outline, prerequisites, and suggested weekly workload before to start a course. You can also read the students’ reviews to help you decide which courses to pick. The Class-Central.com, which analyzes and compares MOOCs, can help you find the best MOOC that fits your needs.
4- Usually, we feel more committed to finishing an online course that we’ve paid for. If you buy a verified certificate we really want to commit to complete a course as suggested by this research.
5- Schedule time each week to study your material and stick with it. Find the best time for you (for example every Saturday morning) and eliminate the distractions during this learning time. Make sure that the time you allocate for studying is more than what is recommended for your course.
6- You need to free some time for your learning and therefore you need to give up something. That might be TV, social networks or something else!
7- See how things go during the first weeks. If you’re not getting a lot out of a MOOC, stop taking it and pick another one that may fit better your needs.
8- Don’t enroll in too many courses at the same time. My recommendation is to start with one course at a time. Keep in mind that most online courses are repeated, so you should be able to take a course that you’ve missed later if it doesn’t fit into your schedule.
9- Online courses provide less opportunity for group interaction than most on-campus courses. Use the discussion forums to share with others, enhance your learning and hopefully to keep yourself motivated.