7 Top Tips For Mature eLearners
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Mature eLearners: 7 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Online Courses

So many questions must be entering your mind. The main one probably being “if I study online, will I be able to study properly and apply the same level of commitment that pupils do when they attend a classroom?”. Often, online learning suits mainly mature “second chance” or career change students, clearly indicating that some pupils find this method of learning preferable to full-time attendance on-campus. And, indeed, for many mature eLearners , it is their only possible route as they often work full time, have children, care for parents, or have other factors preventing engagement with full time education. Others simply prefer the freedom and flexibility afforded by online education.

Online education can provide an enriching experience for those who prefer to study in this way. We know that the skills you gain studying online can shape your future career. It’s exciting. You will learn how to thrive on self-motivation as studying on your own is a similar experience to working on your own and being self-employed. You will understand a lot more about your inner abilities, some of which you never even knew you had.

In this article, I’ll share our 7 top tips that will help mature eLearners get the most out of their online course, as well as achieve success and a fulfilling career afterwards.

1. Before You Start

Do your homework. Shop around, so to speak. Let’s assume the idea that, after your online course, you would like to pursue the career of interior designer. Most clients when choosing a professional interior designer tend to opt for somebody who has completed a formal education program, so make sure you pick the right one.

Check credentials: Does the provider have high standards? Also reputation counts of course. Overall satisfaction and excellent retention and achievement records all add up to a great organization. Friends referrals also work well; students are often encouraged to leave positive feedback for others to view and take advice from.

2. Home Discipline

It helps to stay focused. Wherever possible try to set up daily times when you know you will concentrate on your course, tasks, homework, reading, researching, and studying. If at all possible, create a corner in your house that’s your dedicated "study" area. Decide what time you will start and how many hours per week you will dedicate to this, and try to stick to it. Coffee breaks are allowed of course.

3. Flexibility

In many online programs you are not required to attend classes any point throughout the course. You study at your own pace and timing, from anywhere in the world. You can also check out timings that will suit your lifestyle, such as those that do not stick to set terms or semesters deadlines. That way you can choose when to start and when to expect a finish date.

4. Work Experience

Did your online degree course offer any work experience or career guidance? Find out if they are able to provide you with advice about work placements (very often from previous students who have set up their own businesses following graduation) or relevant trade institutions they are affiliated with.

5. Reward Yourself

Take each step as it comes. Don’t be too bold: Set yourself realistic goals and achievements. Once completed, make sure you reward yourself your favorite treat. A day out with the kids? A spa day? A small holiday somewhere? This will make distant goals seem more real and attainable.

6. Full Support To International Students

If you decide to opt for an international course provider, ask yourself: Does your course provider offer support to you as an international student? Every student is different and every student needs a bespoke, individual support. If you have to juggle family commitments, either as a career or a parent with kids, there will be some challenges to consider, even before you start your studies.

Reputable course providers offer a Student Support Team –or similar service– that work side-by-side with students to help plan each own individual study program tailored to individual circumstances. This also helps with recording each own’s progress and providing crucial understanding, guidance, and motivation.

Some organizations also provide unlimited access to tutors either via email or phone. Inquiry about those details before you decide. With the digital age, watch out for useful virtual learning apps that provide you with access to all the course information, along with links, news, and advice. You may want to see what kind of online student forum is available: Nobody wants to feel alone, even if it’s out of office hours, and no matter which country you live in.

7. The Outside World

Think carefully about the kind of job you may would like to enter once you’ve graduated. To be successful in the exciting world of interior design for example, you will need to be successful in finding clients and understanding their needs; you also must have excellent interpersonal skills. It’s not just the clients you are dealing with, you will need to liaise with other professionals to design and construct interior spaces (e.g.: architects, engineers, and contractors: Basically anyone involved with design projects).

Make sure your online course provider will offer you tips and advice about techniques, trends, and innovations within the industry on a regular basis. Attending relevant trade or exhibition are also useful for networking or research reasons.

Good luck!

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