Productive online learning could be measured by how much you apply learned concepts, courses completed, or both. Ultimately, it can be a game changer for you in your tech journey. The rising popularity of e-learning is no doubt because of its flexibility, comfort, and extensive knowledge base.
There are millions of registered e-learners. However, a large percentage of them do not get to the finish line. For example, a report shows that out of the vast number of registered users on Coursera, only 55.4% complete their courses. The reasons for this are not far-fetched; the most common being lack of time, motivation and unmet expectations.
Hack Productive Online Learning Through Self-awareness
Alvero Videla, a one-time street food vendor, taught himself PHP from scratch through consistent nights of sacrifice and e-study. Before this, he knew that he had a knack for computers and problem-solving. This, combined with the financial incentives motivated him to break into tech through e-learning. In his words:
I always liked working with computers, mainly because they appealed to my knack for problem-solving. – Alvero Videla.
One salient point to pick from this is that he had an answer to the “why” of the reason he wanted to learn how to code.
The story of Jason Wang shares a shimmering similarity with Alvero Videla. In this article, he talks about three questions that should influence any life decision; whether it’s deciding to take an online course or otherwise:
Is this something that excites me to my very core? What’s the short-term value? If negligible, is the long-term value worth the short-term sacrifice? If monetary, am I able to sustain myself through the short-term costs? – Jason Wang.
So, the next time you want to enrol for an online course thinks of the “why” factor. Why do you want to enrol for that online course? The answer to this question should be solid. It is the primal step in having a productive online learning experience.
Become Besties with Self-motivation and Commitment
Ken Rogers made a full transition from landscaping to being a top IT professional. He recognises the great power of self-motivation and determination.
Anyone can learn to be self-motivated and teach themselves programming. Or start a successful business. Or achieve a long-term goal. – Ken Rogers.
Rogers did not come from a privileged background nor could he afford to go to college to get a computer science degree. However, through his sheer grit and perseverance, he made effective use of free online resources that helped him get his first 6-month trial internship.
Elvis Chidera’s Journey is also moonlighted by a deep sense of motivation and conviction.
In 2012, I was just a village boy from Nigeria who had nothing but a dream and a Nokia feature (J2ME) phone. – Elvis Chidera.
Elvis, a 24-year-old developer, at the start of his career, would write out his code on paper; spending hours typing this code into his Nokia phone. It took him several months of daring motivation for his first successful project that paved way for his success to be launched. Throughout that period, he did not give up.
These stories demonstrate how having a strong answer to the ‘why’ factor, also drives a deep sense of motivation. Both Elvis and Ken were curious about technology and problem-solving. This, no doubt, fueled their burning passing for programming and building valuable projects.
Whether it’s a short online course or a series of Youtube tutorials, it is rewarding to set goals. Your goals can vary; from big ones to even small ones, and they are important.
A big goal can be getting a high-paying job after a course. On the other hand, understanding and practising core concepts in each lesson module you complete can be your small goal. Irrespective of size, goals give you structure, and direction, helping you to track your progress.
What are your goals for that online course you want to take?
All the successful people we have spotlighted so far had goals. Alvaro had a vision for a local maps app and gave himself a deadline to complete it. Ken’s earliest goal was to build a portfolio and document his experience while Elvis wanted to learn how to build a website.
Making Out time is an Investment
The bad news is that time flies, the good news is that you’re the pilot. – Michael Altshuler.
Time can be very elusive and the world is getting so fast-paced that you can forget about the courses that you have enrolled for. Unintentionally, you may find yourself stacking up courses that you never take or complete. However, this is where sacrifice comes to play. To have a productive online learning experience, sacrificing time to take the course(s) you’ve enrolled for is vital.
Elvis learned HTML and CSS every day after school. Ken had to be at work by 6 a.m. but still made out time to study PHP and Laravel in the evenings and on weekends. Both persons had a set goal, understood their schedules, and squeezed out a little daily time to commit to learning. You can too. Don’t you think?
The time spent trying to learn more and improve yourself is an investment in how exceptional you will be in your career. Be intentional about creating and piloting time to your advantage. It is not easy but it is doable. This leads us to our next point:
Saying Goodbye to Distractions
A great way to save time is by getting rid of distractions. This brings us to the story of Gwendolyn, a restaurant manager who at the start of her career spent all her free time surfing the net on how to break into tech; distracting herself. Eventually, she decided to be committed, spending a full year learning how to code. However, this does not imply that you have to pause your life for a year to have a productive online learning experience.
The key takeaway is that you can start now to excise little distractions and set a target period to study every day, if possible. Turn off your notifications, and give undivided attention to the time you are to study. By doing so, you are treating the course like you are taking it in person. You can also practice rewarding yourself with short breaks every time you successfully hit your study target.
After taking note of these 5 simple hacks for productive online learning, the next step is to practice. Take time out to choose a course based on strong reasons, set goals, make out time by saying goodbye to distractions, and be committed. You can totally do this. Happy learning!