Online learning gives students the flexibility to learn at any time, and from anywhere. It’s a great advantage especially for professionals who still want to continue working full-time, students who are pursuing different programs concurrently, or for mothers or fathers who have domestic responsibilities that require them to be at home. The key, most students say, is not underestimating or discounting the value of the course, or the effort required to do the course.

Any online learning course requires students to have great clarity on what they want from the course, and be organized, committed, motivated and disciplined. Essentially, traits that any student should have – whether they’re learning online or offline! But what makes things more challenging for online students is the constant self-motivation they need to bring to the table if they’re serious about upgrading their skills. They may not have regular face time with professors (unless they’re enrolled in a course with live online classes), and most timelines have flexibility built into them to accommodate different schedules.

But online learning is truly the future, with a projected 50% of all university classes in the US having a large e-Learning based component by 2019.

So how do you make the best utilization of the self-paced online course that you’ve signed up for?

1. Estimate the time you can give

It’s critical for students taking up online courses to estimate and plan beforehand how and how they’re going to fit in course work, assignments, and studying into their schedule. Based on that, look for courses that give you the flexibility of self-paced learning.

2. Build the online habit

It is best if you could pre-decide when during the day and where – either at the office or at home, you’re going to work on the course. Also, try to avoid long breaks and try to work at least an hour a day. This gives a sense of continuity and helps build a regular learning habit.

3. Understand and learn the technical requirements beforehand

Set up your computer with whatever software you may need to use during the course, and spend time on understanding what the prior requirements of the course are. You don’t want to spend your time with computer upgrades or learning or updating your tech skills when you should be instead concentrating on the course material.

4. Reach out for help if you need it

If you’re starting to feel swamped or if the course material is overwhelming, reach out to the course instructors for support. Be proactive and don’t wait for things to go overboard.

5. Remember to network – online or offline!

Just because you’re doing an online course, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reach out to your fellow students or your professors. The first thing is to create or update your LinkedIn account to reflect your ongoing training. Keep it up-to-date and use it to build your professional network amongst classmates or other students also in similar courses.

And never lose any opportunity to meet face-to-face in case your institution organizes meet-ups for the batch. You can also take the initiative and take the online-offline – set up a coffee meeting with your classmates to discuss possibilities or course material. 

A self-paced course is a great way to learn something new, at your own time and convenience. All it takes is a bit of planning and dedication, and in no time you will have a new skill added to your list of know-hows. Happy learning!

Jigsaw Academy Can Help

Jigsaw Academy has helped many students build a career in analytics. Our courses are designed for people who have no prior experience in analytics. Everything, from statistics to programming to predictive modeling, is taught from scratch.


Are you ready to build your own career?