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Published on November 19, 2019

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.

More About Learning

Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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