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  • Sarah Williams

Top Tips for Completing Online/Distance Education as an Adult

woman typing on a laptop

So, you’ve decided to go back to school. Maybe you are upgrading to advance along your current career path, or perhaps, you are completing a program with the goal of entering a new profession. Whether you have already attended post-secondary education or haven’t had the chance to do so yet, distance education is certainly a different experience than attending in-person classes! Here are four tips for an ideal distance education experience.

Get familiar with technology!

When completing a distance education program, most of your course material will be accessible online, on a platform such as BrightSpace or Moodle. Before starting your course, you need to become comfortable with this platform. If you are intimidated by any of the tech tools you will need to use, make sure to look at any tutorials provided on the platforms themselves and even take a look at YouTube. Don’t let discomfort with technology affect your learning.

Create a schedule to follow

Making and sticking to a schedule to complete your schoolwork on time is a must. At the beginning of your semester, look at due dates, test dates or any other important dates to be able to plan when you’ll need to be spending the most time on schoolwork. After that, find specific blocks of time each week that you will reserve for schoolwork, and try to keep them the same going forward in order to create a studying habit.

Resist the temptation to concentrate on your physical life

Because your student life will be occurring almost entirely through technology, it is easy to be tempted to close the laptop and focus on tasks and concerns going on in front of you. However, if you let yourself become too distracted by your life, you may end up having to neglect your personal life to catch up on schoolwork later, or even missing deadlines. By planning out your semester and communicating your needs to your family members, or even manager (if you are working), you can go a long way towards balancing your student life and your personal/work life.

Benefit from the experience!

You made the decision to attend school for yourself, so allow yourself to enjoy it and take as much from the experience as possible. Participate in discussion forums and live lectures (when possible). Ask questions of your colleagues and instructors if you are having difficulty. This way, distance education can feel much less isolating.

By following these four tips, you will be able to enhance your online learning experience and avoid some of the pitfalls that virtual students may face. Try your best and have fun!

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