7 Rules of Netiquette (Infographic)

Netiquette – or “internet etiquette” refers to the the code of behavior governing respectful and productive online interaction. The infographic below, created by Touro College’s Department of Online Education, highlights 7 key netiquette rules to keep in mind!

Lecture Breakers Podcast: 5 Ways to Help Students Succeed in Online Courses

In this episode of Lecture Breakers, a podcast devoted to helping educators teach in more engaging ways, Holly Owens (Assistant Director of Online Education at Touro College) shares 5 ways to help students succeed in online courses. Holly discusses course design strategies to increase student engagement and ways to leverage technology tools to improve learning.

Check out more episodes at the Lecture Breakers website!

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

5 Ways Online Learning Can Benefit Special Needs Learners

The following is a guest post by Gabe Nelson, a home tutor who specializes in working with diverse learners. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Often times when considering how to best help students with learning differences, people turn to extra one-on-one help like with home tutoring. And while that can certainly be beneficial at times it can be only too easy to overlook resources they have right in their own home with internet access. 

Being able to learn online, either as a supplement for the classroom or as the primary educational resource can be especially beneficial to students who would like to pursue a higher education degree but still require individualized support. 

With “special needs” being an all-encompassing term that includes those with physical disabilities, are neurodiverse as well as those with suspected or diagnosed learning disabilities. It may seem like online learning and home tutoring may be better suited for one type of need over another when the truth is, online learning and home tutoring can offer a great support for anyone. 

If you still find yourself unsure as to the many benefits that online learning can have for special needs learners here are five great advantages to this underutilized educational option. 

Flexibility

There really isn’t a typical day for students who are diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing disorders or other learning differences, and therefore the flexibility that comes from the ability to learn online can be a real lifesaver for those who want to get a great education but struggle with finding the balance in a typical educational setting. 

The true flexibility of online learning is that the work will be there for students when it works into their schedule and day. For those who may attend therapy centers and have frequent doctor’s appointments, the flexible atmosphere of online learning can help them avoid having to miss out on days on school and potential truancy issues that may result. 

Students with ADHD and other conditions can struggle with the ability to focus for extended periods of time, but when they are enrolled in a virtual classroom, they have the opportunity to move around when needed as well as being able to complete their work in a familiar setting that can cause fewer distractions for their brains to process through.  

For students who have struggled to find the balance between having their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 Education Plans recognized and followed in high school, choosing an online learning path is a no brainer since the control is in the hands of each individual. Certain requests, such as untimed tests may still need to be accommodated, but online learning is better equipped to be flexible. 

No Travel Needed

Because online learning can occur from home, health compromised individuals can learn from a safe space without running the risk of being exposed to germs that could seriously harm them. It is also possible that if a student needed to be hospitalized for an extended period of time, they could complete the work so long as they had internet access. 

In a regular educational setting, a student may fall behind when they are unable to travel but with online learning, they can feel like they are part of a community and have the chance to form connections with others even when their physical limitations restrict how many people they can be around. 

Being able to learn from anywhere is a huge benefit that online learning brings to the community at large, and while it is often thought of for those who travel frequently it should not be overlooked for members of the community who for one reason or another are unable to make it into a classroom setting. 

Pacing Themselves

Simply because a student has special needs does not necessarily mean they aren’t academically advanced. It can be hard for these students to articulate their want to be challenged especially when paired with teachers who can’t overlook any secondary behavior issues or needs to recognize their intellect. 

Online learning offers the extremely beneficial option of being able to set their own pace. Whether they are highly motivated and would like to work ahead, or need the time and space to go a little slower than a typical classroom setting would allow, working online can give these students the chance to work at their own pace without a classroom 

Materials Tailored to Students

The right learning option can be tailored to suit whatever a student needs.  For instance, getting text-to-speech resources in a traditional classroom setting may be complicated but with assignments and texts available for online resources they may already be optimized to run through a specific program a student may prefer. 

It can be frustrating for students to feel as though they aren’t progressing the way they expect to, but online learning makes it easy for a student to reach out and ask for one-on-one coaching or instruction while saving them the embarrassment of standing out in front of a group. There is no reason a student needs to stand out as different when they are learning online. 

When the material is online as a video this also makes it possible for students to watch it many times until they can completely comprehend the subject matter, this wouldn’t be possible in other situations making the online classroom setup an excellent 

Appropriate Social Skills

While you may not immediately think of social skills being a benefit of online learning, certainly through group chats, video conferences and message boards students can build positive social interactions without some of the anxiety that in-person communication can bring to a situation. 

Knowing how to communicate appropriately online is going to be an excellent skill to have especially with the progress of communication online. With more people forming communities online, having multiple forums to participate in is only going to enhance their social skills further and help the students learn how to interact online safely. 

Group projects are a great way for students to engage and work together, building their problem-solving skills and helping them learn how to work as a team, all skills that may be more difficult or produce anxiety symptoms during an in-person class. Through the safety of their computers, they can learn these valuable skills in a way previously avoided for some students.

Conclusion 

When looking for a higher education course for students with special needs it is a wonderful idea to consider looking for online classes. Not only will it give students the potential and freedom to function without being limited by their extra requirements but it allows them to blend in with the rest of the students which may be a real relief for some. 

With so many benefits to learning online extending to everyone and not just those who have different learning needs, it isn’t any surprise that educational options have extended to online course work at a higher educational level. If you may need special accommodations on some level for your coursework, online learning is an option worth considering.  

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Gamification and Game-Based Learning

The following is a guest post by Mary Colbert, a content creator specializing in education. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

When discussing gamification and game-based learning there is often some confusion as to how they differ. Many people use the terms interchangeably but they are not the same. However they are often linked together so it isn’t always easy to separate them.

What is Game-Based Learning?

Game-Based Learning or GBL is using a game as part of the learning process. Some examples of GBL could be using monopoly to teach the basics of money management or playing scrabble to help improve vocabulary skills. However, today when people talk about game-based learning they are usually referring to digital game-based learning. Game-based learning teaches through repetition, failure and the accomplishment of goals which is basically the way players become good at video games.

What is Gamification?

In education gamification is the introduction of game-like elements into the learning environment to help motivate students and make the process more engaging. This is accomplished by taking some of the elements that make games fun and that motivate people to keep playing and using those elements in a learning situation. Some examples of gamification include:

  • Points/Badges : The use of points and badges provides tangible evidence of accomplishment
  • Immediate Feedback: Fast response to actions that are taken rather than waiting for a paper to be graded.
  • Levels/Quests: Provide missions and goals to be accomplished
  • Leveling Up: Indication of achievement and opening up of new missions, badges and activities
  • Collaboration/Teamwork: Accomplish a goal working with others

Although gamification involves using elements from games it doesn’t necessarily include playing games.

Benefits of Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Game-based learning and gamification have been around for a number of years at the elementary and high school level. More recently it has been making its way into higher education as it offers a number of benefits to students:

  • Increased engagement: One of the most touted benefits of gamification is that it increases student engagement. Studies have shown that adding game-like features in non-game context increases student engagement. Increasing engagement also leads to greater retention as students relate better to material through practice rather than just reading or listening to a lecture.
  • Instant feedback: Receiving feedback immediately through dashboards and leaderboards tends to motivate students. They can view how they perform relative to their peers, which will often motivate them to retry tests and activities to achieve a better ranking. It also provides motivation to move ahead to further lessons.
  • Collaboration/Social Connection: For some students it isn’t easy to create connections with others in their class. Gamifying classes helps promote social interaction and encourages students to work together. Team competition is an excellent way to promote student collaboration.
  • Increase enthusiasm: For some students just learning is enough to generate enthusiasm but for many that is not the case. Gamification helps to generate more enthusiasm in students through badges and other types of rewards. It makes the learning process more fun for them.

Disadvantages of Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Gamification isn’t the perfect solution to every learning situation and there are some disadvantages.

  • Shortened attention spans: In some students the fast pace and immediate feedback can shorten attention span. It can also lead to discouragement with other parts of the student’s education that don’t provide that pace and feedback.
  • All about the competition: Students can become enamored with the competitive aspects of gamification and GBL and it becomes more about winning than learning.
  • Some students won’t be motivated: There will be some students that simply aren’t motivated by the gamification of learning. They may have some misconceptions about the process that prevent them from responding well to GBL. Other students may dislike the competitive nature of some aspects of gamification.

The gamification of a class or course doesn’t ensure it will be successful. How gamification is introduced will determine the type of impact that it has.

Gamified Education Online

Gamified education courses have already been introduced with great success online. Gamification and game-based learning work especially well with online education. The following are some examples of popular eLearning sites that use gamification successfully:

  • Duolingo: Duolingo is a language learning website with over 300 million users. They teach 22 different languages and use gamification in every lesson to make learning a new language fun.
  • Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a well known educational website for match, science and other subjects that use gamification to encourage and motivate students. Each answer is immediately scored and points are given if correct. Badges are also awarded
  • TedEd: TedEd provides all types of videos that are both entertaining and educational. They also have a web app that allows users to make their own video lessons that are actionable.

There are all kinds of game-based learning tools and gamification platforms available to educators now. Without a doubt this seems to be the wave of the future in education.

 Author’s Bio: Mary Colbert is a huge fan of gaming in general. Not only is she fond of gaming as a form of entertainment, she is a firm believer in the educational benefits of playing games.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

5 Ways Online Students Can Create a Distraction-Free Study Zone

The following is a guest post by Bailey Caldwell, a freelance journalist specializing in education. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Studying is hard for everyone. It’s difficult to get into the groove and hit a stride and where you study makes all the difference. For online students, getting into the zone can be especially tough since they don’t have the discipline of attending class in-person or the freedom to study on campus.

If you’re an online student, you need to create a distraction-free space where you can focus, push yourself, and still relax. But don’t fret! We’re here to help.

Here are five tips to get you started.

  1. Dedicate a study space.
  2. Get rid of distractions. 
  3. Take brief breaks.
  4. Switch up your playlist.
  5. Invest in fast, reliable internet.

#1. Dedicate a Study Space

Designate a space in your home as your dedicated study zone. Instead of bouncing between your bed, kitchen, or desk, pick a single spot you reserve solely for studying. Over time, your brain will recognize that space as a place to study, and it’ll become more natural to concentrate.

To start, make your space appealing. Hang up inspirational quotes. Bring in lots of lights. Add a plant or two. Create a space that you want to be in. If your apartment is an icebox or sweltering sauna, pick up a portable heater or fan to make it more comfortable.

Even if you’re at home all day, following your routine and getting dressed in the morning will help you catch your groove easier. The act of changing your clothes and starting your day as you would typically helps wake up your brain and signal that it’s time to get moving.

#2. Get Rid of Distractions

A distraction-free study zone can help you retain more information and produce higher-quality work. The only problem? It’s especially tricky for online students since they decide their schedule.

To start, put your phone on airplane mode. Turn off your phone, unplug from social media, and go offline while you’re studying.

The flash of a new text or ping of a new notification can throw off even the best of students. Before you dive in, put your phone on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode. This will disable any calls, texts, or notifications and still let you use your phone as an aid while studying. 

If you’re studying at home, put down your gaming console, iPad, or any other distraction. Keep them in a separate room or stash them out of sight. If you’re heads-down in a public area like a library or coffee shop, put some headphones on and steer clear of noisy areas. Find a private room or distance yourself from the crowd.

#3. Take Brief Breaks

Once you’ve created the perfect study space, get out of it. No, seriously. Even if it’s a stroll over to the kitchen or a walk around the block, taking periodic breaks while you’re studying will help you be more productive.

But here’s the caveat: keep your breaks short. Longer breaks make you more likely to get distracted. The point of a break is to rejuvenate your mind so that you can go back into studying refreshed and refocused. Do something that takes five to fifteen minutes—take a walk, make some food, call your mom.

If you’re writing an essay, taking a break enables you to write better. Stepping away from your screen allows you to look at the piece again with fresh eyes. It also helps you establish a healthy cadence. The faster you go, the more likely you are to burn out.

#4. Switch Up Your Playlist 

Swap country music for classical music. Or acapella for ambient noises. Studies show that classical music is the best music for studying. Classical, instrumental, and ambient sounds can help people better focus, retain more information, and spark creativity.

A little Bach never hurt nobody, right?

Classical music also helps put you in a more relaxed and positive mood. So even if you’re stressed about an upcoming project or exam, classical tunes can help cool you off.

(Pro tip: If the thought of listening to Mozart’s symphony bores you, try searching for the instrumental version of the songs you like.)

#5. Invest in fast, reliable internet

A stable internet connection is paramount to success in an online course. Don’t let a buggy connection disrupt your flow (or grade). Prevent your internet from going down by investing in fast internet.

Even if you prefer to study outside your home, it’s always smart to invest in reliable internet since you never know when you’ll need it. Plus, you can’t always bank on a coffee shop or neighbor’s Wi-Fi.

It’s also smart to look at your laptop’s storage limit. Make sure your laptop has enough storage to handle everything from Science 3600 to English 101. If you’re continually saving documents or archiving lectures, you’ll need it.

Author’s Bio: Bailey is a freelance journalist whose work focuses on all things tech, cybersecurity, and internet. She enjoys researching and learning about new resources and technologies.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

The Powerful Impact of Virtual Classroom Software

The following is a guest post by Kamy Anderson, an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Information technology has revolutionized the learning environment. With the use of virtual classroom software or LMS software, education and training has become easier to use and more accessible.

Virtual classroom software is being incorporated into various organizations and learning institutions, and the worldwide e-learning market is expected to grow to $325 billion by 2025.

This is a trend that comes without an expiration date. Virtual classrooms have a lot to offer, and they’re reshaping the way we approach teaching and learning.

But what exactly is a virtual classroom? What are its benefits? Let’s find out.

What Is a Virtual Classroom?

In simple terms, a virtual classroom is an online learning environment. Through the use of specialized software, such as virtual classroom software or LMS software, teachers and learners can communicate, share ideas, collaborate, and more without ever being in the same room.

Of course, it’s necessary for both the learners and the educators to have a stable internet connection, and the virtual classroom software handles everything else.

This software provides:

  • Video conferencing
  • Audio conferencing
  • Online whiteboard
  • Learning materials
  • Live chat
  • Teaching tools and controls

With the use of virtual classroom software, the online learning environment is made to be very similar to the physical classrooms that we’re all accustomed to already.

The Many Benefits of Using Virtual Classroom Software

Seeing how virtual classrooms tend to mirror the physical classrooms that you can find in schools or even some companies, it’s easy to imagine that the two are not so different.

Instructors and learners can still interact. They can use various learning materials, take advantage of the whiteboard, and more.

Having said that, even the simplest virtual classroom software has more to offer, and teachers and learners can achieve much more than they ever could in a traditional classroom.

Virtual classroom software and LMS software facilitate:

  • Enhanced collaboration
  • Improved learning processes
  • Better accessibility
  • Better scalability
  • Affordability
  • Effectiveness

Let’s take a closer look.

Enhanced Collaboration

If two schools or companies wanted to collaborate, they would traditionally have to spend a lot of time on logistics.

Which teachers and staff will be sent to which school? How will they get there? When is the best time for both parties to organize the visit?

Collaboration required a lot of time and effort, not to mention a lot of money.

With the use of virtual classroom software, educators and staff can now easily collaborate wherever they are located.

One of the main features of virtual classroom software is video conferencing, which enables uninterrupted communication and interaction between instructors and learners.

Improved Learning Processes

Without the use of LMS software, corporate trainers, teachers, and online instructors have access to limited resources to enhance the learning experience of their learners.

Many schools in rural areas, for example, don’t have adequate infrastructure to provide quality education.

New technology is here to change this! Virtual classroom software empowers learners to travel around the world without ever leaving their actual classroom.

They can communicate with experts from various fields in real-time and learn from them. They can participate in seminars and classes happening on the other side of the world.

This all allows them to learn and retain more information than they normally could in a traditional classroom.

Virtual classroom software also offers room for personalization. The teaching materials can be customized to suit the learning needs of different learners.

Fast learners can easily skip ahead, while those who are falling behind can go through the materials as many times as they need and learn at their own convenient pace.

Accessibility

Any learner who has an internet connection and a computer, tablet, or smartphone can access the virtual classroom. 67% of U.S. companies, for example, offer learning opportunities via smartphones.

This means that any learner who isn’t able to go to classes can still learn. Those living in rural areas, or those who are bed-ridden and unable to leave their homes can still receive a high-quality education.

No matter where the learners and instructors are located, they can communicate and learn when they choose to do so. This enables you to create a global classroom where all learners enjoy equal opportunities for learning.

Scalability

LMS software enables you to customize every aspect of learning and teaching. Depending on the size of your classroom and the skill level of your learners, you can easily scale your teaching offerings up or down.

This is especially useful to companies as the employees can focus on improving the right skills at the right time, allowing learning to become more flexible. For example, any business or educational institution will keep adding human resources or learners to it. In a regular classroom model, it can create infrastructural issues or a company will have to expand the training material to accommodate the new requirements while managing the learners and meeting compliances can become tough.

Now contrast this with a scenario where a virtual classroom software provides almost endless possibilities of learning anytime, anywhere. Teachers can take on larger groups of students and businesses can easily track the training process of bigger teams with diverse skill sets.

An LMS which is designed to be scalable enough to grow as per the increasing needs can provide the right environment while cutting down the infrastructural and manpower costs that are otherwise associated with traditional modes of learning.

Affordability

Whether we’re talking about schools or companies, using virtual classroom software has proven time and time again to be more affordable than traditional classrooms.

All the tools, equipment, and materials are digital and can be accessed wherever and whenever they’re needed.

Companies don’t have to build an actual classroom, and schools and students who don’t have the means don’t have to invest in textbooks or expensive school supplies.

Effectiveness

There’s no denying the effectiveness of virtual classroom software. In face-to-face education, students typically have a learning retention rate of 8% to 10%.

When it comes to e-learning, on the other hand, the learning retention rate is between 25% and 60%, which proves the effectiveness of virtual classroom software.

This is mainly due to the personalization of teaching materials. All learners can learn at their own pace, go through the different lectures as many times as they need to, and gain instant feedback on their progress.

The Bottom Line

Using virtual classroom software and LMS software can bring many benefits to learners and educators alike.

This technology has revolutionized education and made it accessible to all learners around the world.

This isn’t a technology that will replace teachers or educators, but rather a technology that helps them improve all teaching and learning processes and assist students in reaching their maximum potential!

Author’s Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Why Groupwork is Important, and How to Get it Right

The following is a guest post by Brandi So, an instructional designer and online instructor. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

After seeing a presentation on the benefits of small cohort discussions in online courses, I started integrating a synchronous small group chat assignment in my face to face and online classes. I immediately saw the benefits of the assignment – students were making personal connections that bolstered their academic support network, as well as reinforcing course content in a way that I, as the teacher, could have never delivered for them. But as much as the success of the assignment sold me on its worth, it is the moments of perceived failure that have cemented my conviction to groupwork, small discussion cohorts, and synchronous student collaboration.

Some experiences can feel like failure, like when students differ on what constitutes acceptable communication styles in informal academic settings. Or when a cohort member fails to deliver on their commitments, and the rest of the group has to decide how to manage the setback. Despite how uncomfortable addressing these challenges can be – for myself included – the students learn lessons they’ll likely never forget, while gaining important job skills along the way.

Group work is about a lot more than just deepening student understanding of disciplinary content, although that is certainly one of its benefits. Groupwork offers opportunities to gain exposure to different perspectives, mindsets, cultural expectations and working styles. In essence, it helps our students gain crucial collaboration skills for a diverse workforce. Being sensitive to and proactive about differences in communication styles is critical for cultural competency, and taking on challenges when unexpected setbacks arise is a workforce skill that every student needs.

So, maybe you can tell that I am a fan of groupwork. And as a teacher whose professional mainstay is actually faculty development, I thought I’d share my suggestions of how to do it well – lessons I’ve learned the hard way, in most cases.

  1. Always start with the meta. Tell students what skills they will gain from the experience, and give them the language they can use to explain their skills to future employers. Telling employers that they have experience using virtual collaboration tools, balancing deadlines and goals within a team setting, and interacting with diverse colleagues is not merely lip service. These are critical job skills, ones that you can include in your evaluative rubric if you’re in the mood to drive the point home. As for the disciplinary skills, I like to head over the Arizona State University’s online learning objectives builder to create learning outcomes that actually measure the skills I am trying to teach.
  2. Get ahead of the “bad citizen” problem. One quick internet search for “group project memes” will quickly confirm that what students hate most about groupwork is the inevitability of a member not doing their fair share. There are several ways to get ahead of this problem, and students will feel much more confident if they know they have some tools at their disposal. Here are a few: Create discreet roles that each student must perform; have group members sign a team contract; incorporate a self- and peer-evaluation into the assignment; or have a mid-point check in for the project.
  3. Make the grading criteria abundantly clear, and give credit for individual contributions. Depending on the assignment format, you can sometimes monitor the individual contributions of each student. Other times, you might need the students to assess their own contributions and those of their peers. Regardless, in a higher education environment I think it’s fair to balance the scores between the overall score of the group, and an individual score for each student. Sometimes, I make the individual score worth 25% of the overall grade. Sometimes it’s half. It really depends on the assignment, and the ways in which students are expected to contribute to the overall goal. Last, use a rubric to score the group assignment, and share it with the students in advance of the due date. You can find lots of great group work at Rubistar.org, or create your own.
  4. Don’t go it alone – you don’t have to invent everything yourself. One of the most redeeming qualities among passionate educators is their commitment to sharing resources. I love the zombie-themed Surviving Group Projects resources from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Educational Innovation. And I always head to Merlot.org to search for curated learning materials in my discipline or learning format. In fact, I rarely begin designing an assignment without first looking at what my colleagues across the globe are doing as well. These time-saving gifts from the world of education are sure to inspire, refine, and elevate your teaching.

Author’s Bio: Brandi So is an instructional designer at Touro Colleges and University Systems, a instructor of American Literature, and a specialist in online education and active learning. She holds a doctorate in literature from Stony Brook University, and is an advocate for universal design for learning, open educational resources, and widening access and success for at-risk populations in higher education. You can reach her at: Brandi.So@touro.edu

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

5 Things Online Institutions Need to Understand About their Students [INFOGRAPHIC]

The following is a guest post by Shristi Patni, content writer and Chief Content Officer at Raletta and PR Bulls, and Navrajvir Singh, content creator at Cute Insides and Fun Travellers. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

This infographic visually explores what community colleges and online institutions need to understand about their students.
Learners/individuals seeking a blended or online education have a specific set of needs and expectations that can be best handled by a learning management system. 

This infographic was made by Navrajvir Singh, content creator at Cute Insides and Fun Travellers.

Author’s Bio: Shristi is the Chief Content Officer at Raletta (Digital Marketing Agency), and PR Bulls (Content Marketing Agency). She enjoys writing about food, fitness, finance and everything in between.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Top 7 Advantages of Online Learning [INFOGRAPHIC]

The following is a guest post by Shristi Patni, content writer and Chief Content Officer at Raletta and PR Bulls. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Online learning is one of the most powerful tools to impart skills and information to employees in training institutions or corporate companies, simply because it is a flexible, consistent, and convenient way to learn.

There are a number of challenges that an organization faces while training their employees in different departments. This issue has now been efficiently and effectively tackled with the help of online learning.

This infographic made by Navrajvir Singh (content contributor at Sauve Women and Surviving Spirits) highlights seven advantages associated with implementing online learning in an organization. 

Author’s Bio: Shristi is the Chief Content Officer at Raletta (Digital Marketing Agency), and PR Bulls (Content Marketing Agency). She enjoys writing about food, fitness, finance and everything in between.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

The Most Effective Studying Tactics for Online Learners

The following is a guest post by Stacey Wonder, freelance blogger and content specialist. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Your parents and grandparents probably never imagined how the education process would change in 20-30 years. Now, you can choose what, how, and where you want to learn without being bothered by location, time, or sometimes even money.

If you are eager to get knowledge without leaving your room, online education is what you need. It allows students all over the world have access to the classes and professional teachers’ assistance.

However, remote studying has its pitfalls, such as the lack of motivation, concentration, or organizational skills. What can you do to make online learning effective? Keep reading to know about the five tactics that every online learner should try.

1. Communicate with Other Students

Entering the common chat for all the students in your online course is a great way to avoid falling behind while socializing even if you are far away. You can simply chat just like with regular classmates, discuss assignments, or help each other with studying.

Such communication will not only help you find new friends and make your studying more interesting; it will also allow you to retain information when looking through the discussions between your peers.

2. Learn How to Take Notes Effectively

Notes are an essential part of studying. Unfortunately, most students don’t pay attention to the note-taking method that they use, which might have a significant influence on their effectiveness.

For example, there are effective note-taking methods that are proven to be effective in any format of learning – online or at the traditional learning institution. Here are a few of them:

  1. The Cornell Method. The uniqueness of this method is in its page layout – the division into a few sections, for example, title, keywords, questions, and summary.    
  2. The Boxing Method. The boxing method is helpful for visual learners (the students who perceive information through visual sources) as it implies breaking the page and the lecture material into logical parts that are written down in the small boxes. This method helps with structuring information and writing it down in a way that makes it easier to later.
  3. The Charting Method. This method uses charts for writing down the main aspects of different terms, events, or facts. This is the most convenient method of note taking for history classes or in cases when you need to compare something according to specific characteristics.
  4. The Outline Method. If you need to take a lot of notes on broad topics or follow the fast tempo of your lecturer, this is the most convenient method. It is similar to the outlines that you usually write when creating an essay or any other type of school paper. It implies using headings and subheadings with the combination of bullet lists and the key ideas written in the form of a brief outline.

So, the note-taking method that you choose depends on the specifics of the subject and the lecture format, but you never know what will suit you the most until you try more than one of them. Sometimes students might combine these methods to increase their effectiveness.

3. Don’t Take Long Breaks

Online learners often have an opportunity to schedule their studies as they want and dedicate time to online studies according to their busy schedule. While this is one of the core advantages of online learning, it often results in long breaks between lessons and study sessions, which isn’t good for proper studying.

If you take many long breaks between your sessions, you increase your chances of spending your time and money in vain as such studying won’t provide you with enough knowledge.

Our memory is a complicated system which demands some repetition from time to time. If you you don’t re-read your notes or textbook, you will probably forget almost everything due to the volume of other information that you perceive every day that replaces information that your brain considers irrelevant. This phenomenon can be proved by the Forgetting Curve of Hermann Ebbinghaus and the experiment with spaced repetitions.

4. Manage Your Time with Planners

Many students suffer from lack of motivation and self-discipline which we usually tend to describe as “the lack of time.” Let’s face it, procrastination takes big chunks of our time and decreases our productivity, especially when it comes to activities that might seem less compelling or relevant.

However, online learning can and should be scheduled just like regular classes in school. Why? Because it helps students to organize their time and get prepared for new study sessions. When your brain is used to the schedule of your classes that you regularly have, you

can see that it’s much easier for you to concentrate and focus on studying.

So, is there any option of how one can ease studying schedules for self-organization? Modern technology will provide you with the answer as mobile apps for daily planning are great for every student:

All these apps are highly effective when it comes to planning your studying sessions, tracking your studying accomplishments and writing down your homework tasks. Online learners will experience the benefits of these apps even more than regular students as they face the need to motivate themselves more and keep up with the course program without any help.

5. Stay Motivated

Motivation is one of the most important parts of self-development. If you lack the motivation to continue your online learning, try some of the following tips:

  1. Establish short-term goals. For example, pass the test, finish a book, complete an assignment, etc. Make a plan and track your progress. This way your growth will be more noticeable to you.
  2. Don’t forget why you do it. You took this online course for a reason, but with time you might forget about it. You can write down your main goal on a paper and put it in a place where you can always keep an eye on it. Or, you can even create a collage or a vision board.
  3. Develop a positive mindset. Sometimes studying may be challenging and overwhelming to the point when it makes you want to quit your courses. Remind yourself that every task that the teacher gives is manageable.
  4. Organize your workplace. Having a clean and organized workplace definitely helps with your motivation and inspiration. Try to make the most comfortable surrounding and avoid distractions to improve your productivity and feel happier.

Every studying program is manageable when you are motivated. Even if you fell behind because of procrastination, you can ask your teacher for an individual class, or hire a tutor to help you with certain tasks. So, never give up and keep a positive approach.

Wrapping Up

Online classes are great for everyone who wants to learn something new. Using different note-taking methods and having a consistent, serious approach will help every online learner to achieve the best results.

If you want to improve your online learning process, be sure to follow the simple pieces of advice listed in this article. Also, don’t forget to stay motivated – sometimes you need to remind yourself that the reason why you learn is to have more opportunities in the future.

Author’s Bio: Stacey Wonder is a freelance blogger and content specialist. She usually writes on educational topics, motivation, productivity, and self-development. When not busy with her projects, she creates short detective or fantasy stories.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.