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13 Reasons Why Online Learning Is an Effective Way to Learn

13 Reasons Why Online Learning Is an Effective Way to Learn

Over the years, education was restricted to the four walls of the classroom with a boring learning routine and sitting positions that are not ergonomic.

Joe Nemo, in Inc magazine, classified online learning as a $107 billion industry that nobody is talking about. He also affirms that teaching is lucrative, which establishes the belief that the e-learning sector will continue to evolve.[1]

So, what is online learning?

It is a teaching-learning platform that enables students to enroll and participate in courses via the internet. It does not require being present in the physical classrooms. They can join from any location as long as they are connected to the internet. Not only that, online learning is an excellent way for subject matter professionals and experts to pass on their skills, aptitudes, and knowledge in an impactful way.

Here’s why online learning is more beneficial:

1. Enhance Your Professional Skills

Online learning is a vital means of updating your skills, knowledge, and attitudes. In a fast competitive world, you need to go through a learning experience that is tailored to meet global demand. Freelancers and experience employees leverage online learning to enhance their career progression and cultivate highly-demanded skills in the marketplace.

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2. Improve Your Productivity

Learning equals earning. It is often said that you will need to learn first, then remove the ‘L’. This is true at both the personal and organizational levels.

Individuals who invest in lifelong learning and training development will always see a significant improvement in their productivity. Several courses are available online to assist you in achieving peak performance in your personal life and at work.

3. Enjoy Diverse Means of Communicating with Instructors

The flexibility that online learning provides over traditional methods of education makes it possible to communicate with instructors.

Technology simplifies these communication processes via live chat, email, as well as telephone conversations. You can also get feedback or engage in a Q&A session with a college professor. What an exciting way to network!

4. Save Time and Cost

Online learning is budget-friendly. You can search for courses that align with your objectives and budget. The traditional costs of education are expensive. As long as you can log into your course dashboard when you want to, you can save some money to pursue other ambitions.

5. Customize Your Learning Experience

Online learning affords you the privilege of customizing your learning environment. You can learn while commuting, in your house, at a friend’s house, or even set up your ideal classroom and complete your homework assignments.

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It will assist you in focusing on your academic objectives as it eliminates irrelevant distractions, which are common occurrences in a traditional learning environment.

6. Enjoy a Flexible Schedule

A significant benefit of learning online is flexibility. You have the privilege of engaging in some other rewarding activities. You can care for your family, work full-time, and earn a certification or degree. You can set academic goals on how many courses you want to take next year now.

Planning will help you to incorporate your learning goals to align with other schedules better.

7. Participate in Virtual Study Sessions

Learning requires active involvement and engagement. An optimum classroom design relies on the engagement level and the ability of each student to support the other and be civil in the process.

Some virtual instructors call it ‘contribution’. You can participate in virtual study sessions via discussion boards, assignments, seminars, chats, blogs, office hours, and the Q&A sessions.

You can as well present documents, utilize whiteboards during brainstorming sessions and share your screen as long as you have a computer, an internet connection, and a headset. Learning online is now easier!

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8. Review Course Materials Easily

You can access your course dashboard, which contains articles, podcasts, videos, and written documents any time you want.

Online learning makes it possible to scroll through the pages, utilize the find button, and take some online notes to understand the materials better.

9. Learn at Your Pace

Researchers at Suny Albany found that class attendance has a significant relationship with student success.[2]

If you are losing the drive to keep up with your colleagues, online learning provides you a means of knocking out some courses in no time. You can grasp each concept and theory as you have the opportunity to watch videos over and over again without disturbing the instructor. You determine your progress as you control your learning pathway.

10. Develop Self-Discipline

Online learning will compel you to develop self-discipline skills such as time management and project management.

You can leverage time management tools to schedule your time and activities using an online calendar. These lifelong skills will impact every aspect of your life.

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11. Be Evaluated Immediately

Waiting to obtain your examination scores in a traditional setting is annoying and nerve-racking. The online learning framework provides an instant scoring mechanism that intimates you with your scores having completed the online tests and quizzes.

12. Learn for Free

Yes! You can learn for free through your local library on Lynda. Lynda.com is a learning platform that was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015. You only need a library card to access the library- no subscription is required.[3]

13. Protect the Environment

Online learning minimizes the negative impact on the environment, which emanates from transportation and manufacturing. The infrastructure and the materials required in the traditional education establishments(buildings, desks, electricity, textbooks) are significantly reduced. This goes a long way in conserving natural resources.

Not only that, various academic institutions can save both time and money when they implement and expand their online learning platforms.

Bottom Line

Online learning will gain more popularity over the traditional means of education because of its flexibility and convenience.

If you have been nurturing the dream of gaining skills and expertise without borders, Lifehack Courses can help you gain deeper insights on some foundational topics including motivation, learning and productivity that can change your life positively.

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Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on April 15, 2021

9 Steps to Make Self-Regulated Learning More Effective

9 Steps to Make Self-Regulated Learning More Effective

You have probably heard of the saying, “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.”

That old cliché gets thrown around quite a bit in educational circles, but what really goes into inspiring people to become independent, lifelong learners? Read on to learn more about self-regulated learning and how to make it more effective.

Self-Regulated Learning

One theory about teaching people how to learn is through self-regulated learning. In the broadest sense, it’s the idea that individuals should set their own learning goals and work independently and with a sense of agency and autonomy to achieve those goals. It’s the opposite of a teacher handing out a worksheet and students completing it just because the teacher told them to.

Self-regulated learning is constructive and self-directed.[1] Instead of the worksheet example, self-regulated learning involves the students setting their own learning goals, deciding how to best achieve those goals, and then systematically and strategically working toward them. Teaching strategies like the Workshop Model and Portfolios are more aligned with self-regulated learning than a one-size-fits-all worksheet or lecture.

Workshop Model

The workshop model consists of three parts. Class begins with a mini-lesson, then students spend time working independently while the teacher circulates conferencing with students. Finally, the class ends with some kind of summary derived from what students learned through their independent work.

Heavy hitters in the workshop model are Lucy Calkins and Nancie Atwell.[2][3] Their work has been instrumental in spreading best practices so that teachers know how to create truly student-led learning experiences.[4]

Portfolios

Another example of an instruction that’s moving toward self-regulated learning is student portfolios. Students set learning goals and periodically reflect on whether or not they’re achieving those goals. They keep all their reflections and student work in folders and have periodic conferences with their teacher on how they’re pressing toward their goals.[5]

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The problem though is that the workshop model and portfolios require a different mindset and skillset from teachers. That’s where the theory of self-regulated learning comes in.

3 Elements of Self-Regulated Learning

One approach to self-regulated learning is to break it down into three components: regulation of processing modes, regulation of the learning process, and regulation of self. Dividing self-regulated learning in this way helps teachers know how to best help students work toward their individual goals, and it also gives us a glimpse into how we all can become more self-regulated learners.

1. Regulation of Processing Modes

The first step in self-regulated learning is to give learners a choice in how and why they’re learning in the first place.

In our worksheet example, students are completing the task because the teacher said so, but when we reset why we’re learning in the first place, we’re starting to create a foundation for self-regulated learning.

One educational researcher, Noel Entwistle makes a distinction between three different reasons for learning, and his work makes what we’re all working toward a lot clearer. Students can try to reproduce or memorize information, they can try to get good grades, or they can seek personal understanding or meaning.[6]

The goal of self-regulated learning is to encourage students to move away from the first two learning orientations (following orders and trying to get good grades) and move toward the third, learning for some kind of intrinsic gain—learning to learn.

2. Regulation of Learning Process

The next level of self-regulated learning is when students are in charge of their own learning process. This is also known as metacognition. Studies have shown that when teachers do most of the heavy lifting—deciding what’s working and not working for each student—there’s a reduction in students’ metacognitive skills.[7]

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When I was teaching middle and high school, we had a saying that if we left the building at the end of the school day more tired than the students, we hadn’t done our job. What that means is that teachers have to find a way to get students to do the heavy lifting of metacognition—thinking about thinking. And students need to accept the challenge and become curious about what’s working and not working about their individualized and (at least, partially) self-generated learning plans.

Boosting metacognition might include learning about how the brain works, what metacognition is all about, and all the different learning styles. Becoming curious about your individual strengths and learning preferences is crucial in beefing up your metacognitive skills.

3. Regulation of Self

Finally, there’s goal setting. If students are going to become truly self-regulated learners, they have to start setting their own goals and then reflecting on their progress toward those goals.

How to Make Self-Regulated Learning More Effective

Now that you’ve learned the important elements of self-regulated learning, here are 9 ways you can make it more effective for you.

1. Change Your Mindset About Learning

The first way to become a self-regulated learner is to change your mindset about why you’re learning in the first place. Instead of doing your schoolwork because the teacher says so or because you want the highest GPA, try to move toward learning to satisfy your curiosity. Learn because you want to learn.

Sometimes, this will be easy, like when you’re learning something on your own that you’ve self-selected. Other times, it’s tougher, like when you have a teacher-selected assignment due.

Before mindlessly completing your assignment, try to find “your in.” Find what’s fascinating about the topic and cling to that as you complete it. Sure, you need to complete it to graduate, but by finding the morsel that’s interesting to you, you’ll be able to start experiencing a more self-regulated kind of learning.

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2. Explore Different Learning Styles

There are lots of different ways to learn: auditory, visual, spatial, and kinesthetic. Learn what all those styles mean and which ones feel especially effective for you.

3. Learn How Learning Works

Another great way to become a more self-regulated learner is to learn how learning works. Read up on cognitive science and psychology to figure out how we form memories, how we retain information, and how our emotions affect our learning. You have to understand the tools you’ve been given before you can wield those tools most optimally.

4. Get Introspective

Now it’s time to get introspective. Do a learning inventory and reflect on when you’ve been most and least successful in your learning.

What’s your best subject? Why? When did you lose interest in a subject? Why? Ask yourself tough questions about how you learn, so you can move forward more strategically.

5. Find Someone to Tell You Like It Is

It’s also helpful to find someone who can be honest about your learning strengths and weaknesses. Find someone you trust who will be honest about your learning progress. If you lack self-awareness about your learning style and abilities, it’s difficult to be a self-regulated learner, so work with someone else to start becoming more self-aware.

6. Set Some SMART Goals

Now it’s time to set some learning goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. They’re a great way to become a self-regulated learner.[8]

Instead of just saying, “I want to get better at Spanish,” you might set a SMART goal by saying “I want to memorize 100 new Spanish vocabulary words by next week.” Next week, you can test yourself and measure whether or not you’ve achieved your goal.

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It’s difficult to see how we’re progressing and learning when our goal is vague. Setting SMART goals gives you a clear barometer for your learning.

7. Reflect on Your Progress

Goals don’t mean much unless you measure your progress every now and then. Take time to determine whether or not you’ve achieved your SMART learning goals and why or why not you did. Self-reflection is a great way to boost self-awareness, which is a great way to become a self-regulated learner.

8. Find Your Accountability Buddies

Armed with your goals and deadlines, it’s time to find some trustworthy people to help keep you accountable. Now, your learning progress is your responsibility when you’re a self-regulated learner, but it doesn’t hurt to have some friends who know what your goals are. You can turn to this trustworthy group to discuss your learning progress and keep you motivated.

9. Say It Loud and Proud

There’s a phenomenon where we’re more likely to attain our goals when we’ve made them public.[9] Announcing our goals helps hold our feet to the fire. So, figure out a way to make your learning goals known. This might mean telling your accountability buddies, your teacher, or maybe even a social media group.

Just know that you’re more likely to succeed when you’re not the only one who knows what your goals are.

Final Thoughts

Self-regulated learning is learning for learning’s sake. So, change your entire attitude about why you’re learning in the first place. Choose what you want to know more about or start with what interests you most when assigned a topic or project.

Then, set SMART goals and periodically reflect on your progress. Self-awareness is a skill that can be practiced and improved. Make learning your job and your responsibility, and you’ll be well on your way toward becoming a self-regulated learner.

You’ll never need to blame your learning struggles on someone or something else. Instead, you’ll have the self-awareness and abilities to be able to take your learning into your own hands and find a way forward no matter your current situation and limitations.

Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

Reference

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