Making the Most of Your Online Design Courses
Congratulations! You’ve just enrolled in a new online design course and you’re ready to take your education and training to the next level. It’s an exciting time and you want to do the best you possibly can! However, working on your own can take a lot of self-discipline. Learning to balance and manage your time isn’t always the easiest task. But not to worry! Thankfully, there are many tips and tricks on how you can balance your busy schedule, get your assignments done, and make the most out of your online course!
#1: Find a quiet study place
Life is filled with distractions. Trying to complete your work while balancing a busy lifestyle and hectic schedule can be challenging! When it comes time to sit down and do your work, try finding a quiet work space dedicated to your studies.
I like to clear off a small desk or table area to give myself enough room to study and work effectively. But all students are different! If a quiet study area just isn’t possible at home, try taking a trip to a local library or a nearby café or coffee shop – most of these places now have Wi-Fi that people can access freely!
#2: Stay Organized
There are a lot of different ways for you to stay on top of your organization throughout your online course! Here are some suggestions:
A Calendar: This will become your best friend. Use it to stay on track with deadlines and goals you’ve set out for yourself!
Binders: Binders can also be incredibly useful! They’re a great way to keep your important papers all in one place and to store them away without making a mess.
Apps: If you’re person that prefers to keep all your information with you at all times then you’ll love apps for keeping on top of your studies! You’ll want to check out Class Manager which is a free online app to help students manage their assignments and plan out their studies. 24me and Quip are also great apps available to help you manage your to-do list and much more all at once! Browse this list of apps to find even more tools to help you stay organized!
#3: Review, Review, Review!
One of the wonderful things about an online design course is that you’re not confined to a classroom. You have the possibility of re-watching and re-reading whatever material you feel necessary. Use this to your advantage! Grab a highlighter and underline whatever you feel might be important. Take notes whenever possible and do extra research on terms you may not understand. Always remember, you can ask as many questions as you need! Fully understanding your course work is what is going to give you the step ahead when it comes to success.
#4: Set Realistic Goals
The flexibility of an online course is a dream for anyone who is trying to fit their studies into a very busy schedule. But it can also be an added challenge when trying to stay on top of everything all on your own.
Try setting small realistic goals and reward yourself when you achieve them! Small goals could be setting time aside to read a chapter or getting through one of your assignments. This will give you the extra motivation you need to continue through the course and to complete everything on your desired timeline! Every student is different, so always remember to make goals and timeframes that work for you.
#5: Always use your Feedback!
Most schools will have a system of grading that includes feedback from a tutor or instructor. Your feedback is a very valuable tool. It’s your way to really understand exactly what your tutor needs from you for future assignments. Applying your tutor’s suggestions will help you to grow as a student and probably improve your grades as well!
Studies show that students who are able to use their feedback positively are more inclined for success. Often times there are hidden gems of advice within your feedback that you don’t want to miss! The feedback is there to help you succeed and is very relevant to the field you are trying to break into. Try taking notes when reviewing your feedback so that you can apply it to the next assignment. If you need clarification or just want to ask questions, remember you should always ask!
#6: Use your Student Resources
Your student resources can be an incredible help throughout your design course! Whether it be accessing electronic materials, a career center with job searching or resume building tools, or a student forum you can use to connect with your peers, using these tools can help you achieve success in more ways than one!
I personally find it really helpful to make as many rough copies as I need for my assignments so that I can ensure things turn out exactly how I want them too! If you are able to print off multiple copies of your assignments or templates, I would recommend using that to your advantage! Always make sure to check out all the extra resources your school has to offer after you’ve enrolled in the course! You never know what might be available for you to use to make things easier throughout the course.
#7: Don’t forget to ask questions!
There’s never any harm in asking questions when you don’t fully understand something! Reach out to your school for the clarification you need; the extra help will really make a difference.
Remember there is no such thing as a dumb question and taking that extra step might be just what you need to bump your grade up and to get the most out of your course!
I hope these tips and tricks give you a better idea on how to get the most out of your online design courses! Remember everyone is different and it’s best to develop a schedule and routine that fits your lifestyle. If your course is self-paced then there is no rush to completing it, so take your time and do the best you can, but most importantly enjoy yourself every step of the way! Taking the plunge and enrolling in a design course online to pursue your dream is an amazing accomplishment and hopefully everything mentioned above helps achieve exactly what you set out to do!