Or how to get the best out of an e-course.
1) If you can, set aside some specific times to work on the course, just as you would for a face to face course. If you put times in your diary and stick to them, you are much more likely to get through the material.
2) If this doesn’t work, commit to using ‘free’ chunks of time when you are near a computer or even on your phone. Stop what you are doing and work on some course materials as and when the fancy takes you. Use it as a break or distraction in much the same way you’d treat regular internet browsing.
3) Take your iPad, phone or even a print outs of the pdfs to a local cafe and work there. This gets you away from distractions and helps focus. Staff-rooms at lunch times are not ideal!
4) Give yourself as long as you need. If the course takes you twice as long, don’t worry about it.
5) Don’t use obstacles as excuses to stop. If you fall behind, or miss a few bits, don’t let that be your reason to stop altogether. Whatever you do is better than nothing.
6) Share your ideas, frustrations and interests with the other people on the course. This can act as a ‘virtual study group’ to keep you focused and can be a great to get help with ideas, too.
7) Use social media – tell your Facebook friends you are doing the e-course. Share your photos of the displays you create on the Facebook page or in the Flickr Group or tweet them. I love the feedback and it will also motivate you!
8) Blog, tweet or journal your journey through the course. Again, this creates accountability and interest, especially if you are sharing it online.
9) Come back to it. Life gets in the way sometimes. Make sure you’ve stored all your course materials somewhere easy to access and come back to them when you are ready.
10) Do one course at a time! E-courses sort of feel like an extra that you can fit in but if you are doing a PGCE or similar concentrate on that. Explain if things are getting too much and we’ll work something out. I’ll still be here when you’ve finished!