Covid-19 and digital innovation have forced many providers of education to provide a range of options for the delivery of their programmes. Many providers have switched to fully online learning provision and students need to adjust to the new changes away from face-to-face classroom engagements. Online learners can benefit from the following advice that is based on years of experience in different specialisation fields).
Procrastination: It is not uncommon for learners to procrastinate. Learners should mindfully decide to persevere and remain in control of their studies. Interaction with other learners and the instructors may be very useful to overcome feelings of desperation.
Revert to initial reasons for signing up for the study programme. Learners should remind themselves of the strength and initial belief in their undertaking to pursue a specific study programme, rather than to dwell on negative feelings. Even though learning conditions may have changed along the way, learners should trust their institution and its good reputation to guide their progress. Learners are not alone and should keep in contact with peers who have a positive attitude, keeping in mind that, in the real world, change is inevitable.
The minimum required to pass is not enough. It is not a good idea for learners to limit their inputs and reading to the minimum required to pass a module or assignment. Additional reading will expand a learner's vision and understanding, subsequently creating a stronger sense of control.
Seek assistance timeously. Learners should seek guidance from instructors or any of the available channels, including their peers before a problem spirals out of control. Learners will be informed about the avenues they can pursue assistance to resolve problems.
Record and honour submission dates and deadlines. Learners should consciously plan their work and review their responsibilities in accordance with submission dates and deadlines. This includes an understanding of what the various assignments entail so that they remain in control of their workload. The snowball effect when work starts piling up can be very stressful.
Organise documents effectively. Many adult learners are employed and have to simultaneously deal with work-related documents and appointments. Hence, learning material should be organised properly to ensure that there is no confusion or opportunity for unpleasant surprises.
Manage time well to balance work, studies and socialisation. Learners should devote enough time, on a regular basis, to their studies rather than to function on a "need-to-do-so" basis that does not account for the volume and complexity of different assignments and tests. Intentional study and socialisation times will prevent feelings of guilt and the notion that studying disallows any form of pleasure.
Reconsider study techniques. It might be necessary to try out different study techniques for separate study modules. Options could be discussed with peers to decide how to best deal with specific subject content.
Take the instructors' feedback seriously. Do not hesitate to contact your instructors when recommendations and comments are unclear. Instructors take pride in their students' progress and do not mind enquiries.
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