Written by David Povey on Thursday April 23, 2020
By now many of us will have adapted to the new ‘normal’. We have made the change to doing so many things from home; working, shopping, exercising and even socialising, so it should come as no surprise that learning is no exception. This time provides an ideal opportunity to boost your knowledge, expand your skills and bolster your future career opportunities.
Over the last five years, thousands of students have enjoyed studying our virtual learning programmes from the comfort of their own homes, studying at their own pace and taking full advantage of the benefits that virtual learning has to offer.
Whether you are studying for an ICA qualification online for the first time or participating in other virtual learning opportunities, we have highlighted four key tips to help you make the most of your virtual classroom experience.
Now more than ever, many people are getting used to the discipline of working at home, and one key way of making that easier and more effective is by creating a good work environment. The same can be said of virtual learning. By creating a dedicated learning space with no distractions, similar to what you would have in a physical classroom, you will be more focussed and more receptive to learning. Put away unnecessary items in your workspace that might draw your attention, including things (both physical and digital) that you use for work. For instance, muting your email notifications if you think they are going to distract you.
A facilitator will be conscious of who is asking questions and try to balance out who they call on to provide input throughout a session, much the same as in a physical classroom. That’s why it’s important to remember that the old adage of ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question’ still applies; if you’re unsure of anything then don’t hesitate to ask a question. You may need to use a feature in the virtual environment to get the facilitator’s attention, such as virtually raising your hand or sending them a private message to let them know you have a question. Staying involved and paying attention is key to the success of a virtual learning environment.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of learning in a physical classroom is the interaction with other learners. Thanks to the power of technology, this experience can still be enjoyed while in a virtual classroom. Facilitators will often provide opportunities for this such as breakout sessions and group activities. Try to be involved in these as much as possible, as making the most of this valuable chance to collaborate, share ideas and gain individual perspectives will only improve your learning experience.
Learning doesn’t have to end when the session is over. By continuing to have conversations with your peers, you are not only embedding your learning but also creating a professional network which will serve you well throughout your career. Towards the end of the learning session, you may be set future activities by your facilitator, which can be done virtually with your fellow students and the learning experience can continue.
Virtual learning has many benefits. From the flexibility afforded by virtual classrooms to the instant interaction with your tutor and sharing knowledge with like-minded professionals. Virtual learning is a convenient, effective, and positive way to learn. By following the four principles above, you can maximise your virtual learning experience, supercharge your skillset and gain a new professional network.
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