Essential Tips on Online Learning

Essential Tips on Online Learning

The coronavirus crisis has affected students at all levels, and it continues to do so as the new term begins with continuous updates to safety guidelines. As students look set to receive less face-to-face teaching hours and more digital alternatives, they must adapt to new ways of learning. We’ve compiled our top suggestions for students who are adjusting to this new digital element of their education journey.

Set a learning space

While spending less time on campus might allow for you to enjoy a different kind of morning routine with no commute, making sure that you are learning in the right kind of environment is important. For example. If you are attending your virtual sessions from your bedroom, rather than getting up/dressed and ready for the day, then you risk blurring the lines between home and study. Ensuring that you have a clear space to work in with little background interruptions is key, and even if it is a small area, it will encourage the right mind set.

Find ways to be social

While co-ordinating group study/catch up sessions might seem like a digital endeavour, making the effort to chat to your course mates can help you all maintain a sense of normality throughout your studies. From attending online seminars and tutor sessions, to simply catching up on the work you are all progressing through, these interactions will become invaluable when you are accessing fewer contact hours with your peers and tutors. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges for students and teachers alike to overcome, but with the right resources you can still enjoy a social element to your learning, albeit digitally.

Set goals and stay accountable

When you aren’t studying at college or attending sessions in person, only you can be accountable for your productivity and how you manage your time. Tackling this might mean making a daily to-do list and setting clear, yet realistic goals for yourself. Giving yourself a clear idea of your workload for the week ahead on a Monday morning could work for you, planning in time slots for each item on your list.

Self care

Having online sessions can mean that your routine is quite different, spending more time learning independently. While many students are used to socialisation and structured days, online learning will mean spending more time off campus and planning your own time. This means that looking after yourself is essential, as spending too long behind a screen can have negative impacts on your productivity. In turn, if you aren’t following a set structure, then your concentration will likely be impacted.

Making sure that you are well rested, and that you aren’t exerting yourself over hours that you wouldn’t usually cover are both good for creating a healthy routine. While online learning is more flexible, it also requires a lot of discipline both for study and for making sure that you are looking after yourself too.

 

Many students will be navigating new splits between online/offline studies, as education providers commit to the ‘blended learning’ approach, which preserves learning amidst unprecedented circumstances. By adding each element outlined above into your online learning approach, you can get the most out of your studies this term.

Our Top Tips for Setting Good Study Habits

Our Top Tips for Setting Good Study Habits

Starting your journey into further education might seem daunting, and the course that you choose will warrant certain requirements from you in order to succeed. Having the right habits set in place early in a new term can prove invaluable as you progress through your qualification. To help you get started on your FE journey, our Enrol experts have compiled some top tips on and habits to build to help you navigate the Autumn term.

Have a diary/planner at the ready

With schedules likely to look slightly different this year, organisation will be key. Whether you’ll be attending college, starting an apprenticeship, or taking on a placement, keeping a track of your study hours and deadlines/assessments is essential. Whether you prefer a physical diary, or an electronic alternative, ensuring that you’ve got one early in the term is a great way to develop your self-management abilities. This can also be a great place for you to keep any shorthand notes that you can revisit afterwards, and you can keep a record of essential information.

Build a rapport with your tutor early on

As colleges, apprenticeship providers, and course leaders adapt to reduced face-to-face contact time with students, it might seem harder to build a rapport with tutors. However, education providers will have likely prepared approaches to tackle this, meaning students can still access support from a member of staff as studies resume. Settling into your FE course and understanding what is required of you from the offset is key, so course leaders will encourage consistent communication in person where possible, and digitally. Taking the opportunity to see your tutor is a great way to keep track of your own progress, and getting into the habit of this will be beneficial in the long term.

Plan your time and be realistic

Some courses have core hours such as a FE college course or an apprenticeship, but they will likely still require further work outside of these hours at home. With a professional qualification, students are often already in employment, and studies have to take place during evenings. This means that your study time should be delegated appropriately, and while this seems like an overwhelming task, it will help to give you a structure to your own learning. Getting into a healthy routine when it comes to planning your time is also a skill best mastered at the start of your course, meaning you’ll be in good stead for your assessments later in the year. This is also helpful for those who are studying alongside being in part time employment.

Committing to these habits will both enhance your success and widen your skill set, showing your ability to apply organisational skills, communicate consistently, and manage your own time independently. By implementing the routine outlined above early on in your studies, you will be prepared for your course when it comes to assessments and grading.

What Is a Vocational Course And What Are The Benefits?

What Is a Vocational Course And What Are The Benefits?

A vocational course is a further education route into a specific career, with studies that relate to the job and the wider sector of choice. The aim of a vocation-based program is to equip learners with the necessary skills to secure a career in their chosen field.

There are three kinds of vocational qualifications:

  • Vocational courses: lead to a specific job.
  • Vocational subjects: areas of study closely linked to the broader employment focus of the chosen industry.
  • Apprenticeships: students train and work in a certain job role, and they are paid as they learn, and work aligns.

Vocational courses are often regarded as a traditional college route, because they lead students directly into work. A vocational course tends to be offered at a Further Education college, and the education provider will have a range of partnerships with local employers. In this way they differ the most from A-levels or higher education, as they fuse work experience with active learning.

Vocational subjects have widened in terms of scope, and there’s an extensive range of options available, giving learners the ability to turn their passions into employment. From marketing, accountancy, engineering science, and many more, learners of all ages can pursue these options as a further education route. This boosts both the chance to begin higher education, and also to secure career progression/employment.

Often regarded as a practical route for students, whereby in most cases study involves first-hand experience, giving students the chance to apply skills they have learned in the relevant career environment. From entry-level all the way through to Level 8 programs, vocational courses cater to a diverse range of experience in applicants.

A vocational course can be the perfect way for young people to make their first step towards a career they may have in mind, or in some cases, they can translate as backing in the form of UCAS points for students applying for higher education. Students who do choose to pursue higher education after having studied a vocational course have the benefit of practical experiences, which can inform the theory based aspect of most university courses. Students who pursue higher education directly after A-Levels may not have the same first-hand experience of the subject they are going to study, and vocational courses can be highly advantageous for this reason.

While most vocational courses are taught in colleges or offered as part of an apprenticeship, some options such as BTECs are taught in schools. Students who study a BTEC in school may also choose to continue studying for other qualifications such as A-Levels.

Whether your goal is to access a career that you have set your sights on, or if you’d like to broaden your skill set and boost your likelihood of securing a place at university, a vocational course could be the perfect option to match your ambition. Utilise the Advanced Course Finder Tool with Enrol today, and pursue your passions.