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Тips for effective online learning

6 tips to make your distance learning more effective

For effective online learning: set goals, create a learning space, reward yourself, manage time and actively participate.

Approximate reading time: 5m 33s

Online learning is a significant part of modern education, offering flexibility and access to a wide range of resources and courses. Despite these advantages, maintaining motivation and time management prove to be challenges for many students.

Have you ever spent hours in front of a monitor, reading a text repeatedly but remembering nothing?

Most likely you will attribute this to the fact that you are too tired and overloaded with information. It is quite possible that you are right, but keep in mind that the way the information from your online training is presented also plays a role in its faster absorption.

What you see is not necessarily what your brain perceives. Reading from a screen, learners don't always perceive the information you're presenting to them the way you want them to. Sometimes their prior knowledge and experience related to the topic impacts the information they take in. The good news is that you can take advantage of this and influence their perceptions, depending on how you provide them with relevant material.

If you are developing custom e-learning, you need to consider a few simple rules that will help your learners to better perceive the information offered to them.

In this article, we'll present a few tips to help you understand exactly how the brain is wired when perceiving information and how you can stimulate it to work more efficiently.

Making logical connections in learning for better memorization

Learning is an association-based process. Cognitive scientists prove that everything evolves around connecting old knowledge and making new logical sequences. They find that by making logical connections, a person can remember up to 40% more. All this explains why prior knowledge of a subject is very important for memorization.

When you develop distance learning (online learning), you can provide your learners with the opportunity to go back to their prior knowledge and use it to make associations between what they already know and the new subject matter. Help them to create new combinations and not just be able to reproduce but also understand the information. This will also make learning new knowledge easier.

The importance of order in learning

The sequence of online learning materials is particularly important for their retention. For example, if you are studying a historical event, you should start with the background, move on to the beginning and the conclusion, and finish with the end and the aftermath. If you start at the end, then go to the beginning, and end with the middle, you won't remember anything because the individual events will have no logical sequence. When the things studied are presented in the right order, the increase in memorized material can reach the aforementioned 40%.

Always think about how long we can hold someone's attention

It is well known that people who are vividly interested in the subject they are studying can be fully concentrated for 7 to 10 minutes. If their interest is not that great, it will linger even less.

Therefore, the strategies you can apply are two: give students an incentive to keep their attention beyond the time in question, or give them the most important part of the lesson synthesized at the beginning to make sure that at least it will be retained.

Learning is an active process

People learn better if they are active rather than passive during the learning process. You cannot rely on information being remembered only if it is read. For higher results, you need to provide students with opportunities to be active during the e-learning you create, for example through small tasks that require thinking and attention, opportunities to ask questions, give ideas, etc. All of these things will make them think about the topic being discussed, use the knowledge they have already gained to gain insight into it and learn it better.

Motivation - the main stimulus for knowledge

Motivation is the most powerful tool you can use to make someone learn knowledge better. If you provide someone with good motivation, you can be sure that the results will exceed your expectations. But what can stimulate students to learn faster? Some of the reasons are:
- More freedom about when and how to learn;
- a personal reward (incentive) they get from or in the process of their learning;
- receiving support from their learning environment, classmates or teachers.

Use images and pictures that stimulate memory

The use of images and pictures helps to increase the speed and quality of learning. It is much easier to remember something if we can associate it with an image in our mind. This is why books for young children are richly illustrated. From a young age we learn to associate an image or object with information.

It turns out that we are much more effective at remembering an image than text. An image can remain in our memory for up to several days after we have had the opportunity to look at it for only a few seconds. Therefore, to ensure a better comprehension of the given matter, accompany the main texts with appropriate pictures, illustrations, diagrams, etc.

Of course, this is not all you need to know about memorization, but it is a good basis with which you can start developing your distance learning (online training). It's best to apply these tips in combinations - that way you'll achieve greater results.

Tips for students when studying online

Self-motivation in the online learning process:

When it comes to online learning, the first step is to set specific goals. You want to know exactly what you want to achieve in each learning session or for each module. It's not just "learn something new" - it should be something measurable, like "understand all the basic principles of microeconomics" or "complete all the coding exercises in this section." That way you can stay focused on the goal and keep motivation high.

Next, create an appropriate study space. This means finding a place at home that is specifically set aside for studying - quiet, organized, and free of distractions. Perhaps a corner where you can enjoy some quiet. The idea is that when you sit there, your brain automatically goes into 'study mode', making it easier to concentrate.

Finally, don't forget to reward yourself. Every time you complete a task or module, give yourself something that makes you happy - maybe a little break with your favorite snack or time for your hobby. These small rewards act as positive reinforcement, helping you maintain interest and move forward with a smile.

Optimising the online learning process

First, don't just be a spectator in the virtual classroom. Get involved! Participating in online forums, actively engaging in discussions, and working on group projects can really transform the way you absorb new information. Think of it as participating in a big brainstorming session where everyone shares ideas and perspectives. Not only do you learn better this way, but you make connections with people who can be useful to you in the future.

Next, diversify the ways you learn. Don't limit yourself to textbooks and lectures. Videos, podcasts and interactive exercises can add new dimensions to your learning process. Imagine viewing the same landscape from different angles - each new perspective gives you a fuller understanding of the big picture.

Last but not least, seek feedback. Comments from your teacher and classmates are like a GPS for your educational journey. They help you understand where you did well and where you may have strayed from the right path. This feedback is an incredible self-improvement tool that allows you to focus your efforts where they are really needed.

Ultimately, online learning offers us the unique opportunity to learn in ways that best suit our individual needs and learning styles. Using these strategies, we can maximize our learning and make the whole process more fun and exciting.

Manage your time to achieve more

There is something very satisfying about planning your day. Get a calendar or some handy app and make a plan for study sessions and breaks. It's like making a personal guide for your day - you know when to study and when to rest. Not only does this optimize your time, but it also makes you feel more organized.

Think of your tasks like a playlist - there are hits you want to listen to right away (urgent and important tasks) and ones that can wait for later (less urgent). Evaluate which tasks are really important and put them at the top of your list. This will help you not to get distracted with trivia and focus on what really matters.

Finally, think of the Pomodoro technique as a series of short sprints. You work hard for 25 minutes, then give yourself 5 minutes of rest. It's like doing intervals when running - you maintain high intensity for a short time and then allow yourself a short recovery. This technique helps you stay focused and fresh without exhausting yourself.

See also our article Maslow's Theory of Needs, where you can learn how this model represents a hierarchy of basic human needs, placing these needs in ascending order of importance and tasking the person with satisfying them consistently.