I love the constant access we now all have to quality education. And personally, I think it’s kind of crazy to not at least take advantage of online courses at one point in your life.
You’ve got courses everywhere from Business administration to nutrition, civil engineering, information technology, and almost anything else. Meaning we all have unique opportunities never available before in history.
So it sure would be a shame to waste it.
Let’s be real, it’s much too easy to get distracted when basically doing anything online. The Internet has this amazing ability to appeal to even the slightest sliver of boredom.
And I’m talking from first-hand experience.
So if you’re looking to make the digital leap into virtual schooling, then have I got a gift for you. I’ve made a list of 5 major traps that are almost exclusive to online students, meaning you’re going to have to be on top guard.
And *spoiler* most have to do with distractions.
There’s nothing like listening to a straight bop while you’re grinding out some school work. Or even better, a whole playlist that winds up blessing your ears.
Music is amazing at pumping at us and giving that motivation boost we need. For some students, it’s the only way they can focus on their task at hand.
But for other students, it may provide an easy alternative to concentrating on assignments. The beat might hit you right one time too many and suddenly you’re jamming (and dancing) to that innocent background song.
Or the lyrics may hit too close to your heart, and suddenly you’re either belting out the words or allowing each word to personally speak to your soul. If that’s the case, then you may be cured by simply switching to instrumental music.
In some cases, you also may only have to turn down your music to focus. But if you find your music to be a regular problem, then you sadly may have to give it up.
Or even if it’s not an issue for you, you might find that freeing up all your senses for your schoolwork could be the key you need to actually understand what you’re learning.
With in-class courses, your schoolwork could basically be in 1 of 3 places at all times. But with online courses, suddenly you’re saved work could be in one of literally hundreds of folders.
There’s nothing more stressful than going to turn in a lab, just to realize you actually deleted it when you cleared your desktop.
Or forgetting the name of an assignment and not being able to locate it ’cause you have no clue where you saved it.
Don’t worry–there’s a quick fix. Create a separate “mega” folder for all your online courses, and then make folders within to represent each course you’re taking.
Then you’re free to segment off each course by subjects, units, quarters, etc.
Running out of space
Not all of us have four-figure laptops with terabyte(s) worth of space. Some of us are actually constrained by the limit known as storage space.
None of us want to deal with a slow-functioning computer because of large quantities of saved schoolwork. But then we also don’t want to not save our schoolwork.
If you’re all about Google Drive and Microsoft Onedrive, then, fortunately, these cloud-based platforms could be all you need for your schooling. Google Drive allows up to 15 GB of free storage, and Onedrive allows up to 5 GB of free storage with a $2 monthly payment for upgrading to 50 GB.
But there’s still a large number of students out there (myself included) who prefer to save work in a conventional storage area that allows applications to run on your Operating System.
And if you like being able to access your saved material, regardless of whether or not you’re connected to the internet, then this next tip if for you.
Don’t store everything on your laptop/desktop. Use an SD card or flash drive instead.
Just don’t lose whatever storage addition you do decide to use.
Not setting a regular schedule
I get it, some of you may pride yourselves in being able to squeeze out any and every assignment by the grace of God before the due date. Your favorite nation may be procrastination, and that can be totally fine up to a point.
No matter how you look at it short-term or long-term goals, each of us generally has an end date in mind when it comes to education.
If you’re getting any kind of degree, trust me when I say you’re not going to want to pay for an extra semester because you didn’t finish the course on time.
So lay out a weekly plan for yourself to make sure you’re actually getting your mess done.
I’d imagine that most of your professors have weekly deadlines, but if by some miracle your course is completely self-paced then it’s up to you to create your own deadlines. (Ew I know)
Give yourself a ‘when’ for your courses and don’t flake out on them. Be it Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 to 12 or Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4, your schedule is yours.
Now, what am I getting on about? Any device you plan to have around you, or to be on while you’re doing your course needs to be on ‘no distractions’ mode.
The last thing you need are e-mails and/or text messages competing for your attention. It’s so easy to get off track and waste anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
There’s nothing particularly thrilling or fun about online courses so our brains may be looking to grasp onto even the smallest amount of entertainment.
I’m sure most of you will be working on a laptop so don’t allow pop-ups, and if possible, keep your phone out of reach.
So what now?
Own your courses. Even if you find yourself struggling with these traps, don’t give up on e-learning before you read Five Proven methods for completing ANY online course like a pro.
Chances are even if you think online courses are really hard right now, with a few less distractions, a little more focus, motivation, and encouragement, you’ll be on your way to a straight-A student.
But as always learn your self before you start learning new things. In-class learning might just be your cup of tea, oh, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But since you’re here, you’re clearly one of few self-motivated scholars that would love my weekly tips on how to excel mentally, physically, and academically.
I love sharing doses of knowledge that any student could benefit from, and I’d be honored if you joined my savvy sisterhood. Sign up with your email below!