Getting Started with your Online Course

By Zoe Taylor

Starting a new course is both exciting and nerve wracking. It’s a new start, a chance to better yourself and take some necessary steps towards your dream job. It’s best to get prepared before you start to ensure a smooth start and to allow yourself to excel during the course.

Find the right location
Some people like studying in the park, others like to go to their local cafe. Some find they can concentrate and learn best at their local library, or even just at their home desk. Find an environment where you can stay focused to allow you to get the most out of your course.

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Prepare your location
Just as finding the right place to study is important, it’s also vital to ensure that the location you choose is in optimal condition. Make sure there is plenty of light, minimal distractions, and plenty of room for you to spread out and do your best work. Also make sure you have access to the internet – that’s a really important one!

Get your study tools together
Make sure you have everything you need. Whether you like taking notes in a note book, typing them on your laptop or separately on your iPad – make sure you have everything you need before you start your course, or else things could be a little rocky for the first few days, and you might not have the smooth start you were hoping for.

Know how you learn best
You could already know this, or you could be yet to find out your best method of learning. Either way, make sure you have (or start to gain) an understanding of the study method that suits you best, because this is going to  ensure you retain information and achieve optimum results.

Make friends
It’s important to ensure you’re really active in group conversations or chats all throughout your course, but more so at the beginning, because this will give you the opportunity to meet your peers and discover who you’re going to work best with when it comes to group activities, or even just an online study group session.

Get to know your teachers
Obviously it’s not the best idea to converse with your teachers on unrelated topics all the time, but in the beginning make sure they know who you are. Introduce yourself and show your engagement by regularly interacting in class online discussions and asking lots of questions. This will benefit you a lot, because your teachers will appreciate your interest and initiative, which will inevitably make them more approachable whenever you need help. If you stand back and don’t interact a lot, you’ll come across as uninterested and this doesn’t look good to your teachers.

Create a timetable
Get organised by creating a weekly schedule. Allocate time for self paced study sessions and breaks in a way that will suit you, and won’t seem daunting – i.e., don’t allocate a 5-hour study session with no breaks! You can mix your schedule up too if it starts to feel repetitive and boring!

Decide how your breaks are going to work
It’s important that your breaks are the right amount of time and that you allocate enough in your day so that you don’t burn yourself at the end of the day, week, month or year! Check out this blog post for some tips on break-taking!

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Most importantly, make sure you enjoy your course!

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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