Better every day

Eric van de Graaff, ilearnr


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“How to complete 1 online course”: my top-5 tips

With the current pandemic and the need to work from home as much as possible, staff are shifting to working and learning remotely. Online learning providers offer many of their courses for free, so students stay at home and stay safe.

I have been working from home for years and have taken many online courses. I humbly believe I made all the mistakes you can make: from falling asleep on my desk to missing a class because I forgot about the switch to summer time. I share this top 5 so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Top 5

1: Relevant: Select a course topic that is really interesting to you and that you can apply in your life within 3 months. A topic that you cannot apply quickly is unlikely to have enough motivation for you to complete.

2: Realistic timing: View the schedule of the lesson and estimate the time you need to reserve by adding an extra half hour before and after each session. You will have to organize and manage your activities after class.

3: Commitment: Announce that you are participating in a selected course and what hours you will be spending so that you commit publicly to complete. This may feel uncomfortable, but it will help you build peer pressure and home support.

4: Social Learning: Find two or three friends in the group of participants and find a way to know their situation and reasons for participating. You can set up a Slack channel or WhatsApp group for that communication.

5: Experiment and have fun: try to have regular zoom meetings with the three of you and discuss your situation, your life stories, your progress, setbacks and dreams and make the interactions fun.

With this Top 5 I hope to prepare you on your first steps to a successful course completion. Class Central did an excellent job of bringing over 100’s of free courses from Harvard, Standford or Udemy together. My humble first course (Better Every Day) is also free.

I hope you enjoy the learnings. Do share your tips, mistakes and successes below! Stay safe and learn from home!