Distance learning has opened doors for people who want to gain new skills but for whatever reason are unable to take traditional, classroom-based courses. However, we understand that the idea of studying by yourself can seem like a daunting, and perhaps even an isolating, experience.
But there’s much less to fear than you might think. There are a lot of similarities to classroom-based learning – they are similarly structured; the content is the same and most courses encourage you to interact with your instructor and fellow students. There certainly are some pitfalls, but you can safely avoid them by following these four tips.
- Set a fixed time and place for studying
It can be difficult to find the time to study without a dedicated workspace or an instructor giving you work to do in class and reminding you about upcoming assignments. Therefore, the first thing you should do when enrolling on a distance learning course is allocate a specific time and place where you can get on with work. It doesn’t matter if it’s your office after dinner, the kitchen table on a Saturday morning or the train on the way home from work. The important thing is that you create a schedule and stick to it.
- Familiarise yourself with the technology
You should get to know the tools that you’ll be using before beginning the course. This might include the web page where the syllabus and other information is kept, your webcam or applications for viewing content, such as PowerPoint. You’ll be relying on these technologies throughout the course, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure that they work and that you’re confident that you know how to use them.
- Manage your time
There are two potential problems with setting your own timeframe to complete assignments. The obvious one is that you might fail to keep up with your work and fall behind. But there’s also the risk of rushing through your work to get it done as quickly as possible.
Either way, you won’t be getting the most out of your course. Managing your time effectively is essential to taking in and understanding the content. If you go too slowly, you’ll lose momentum and risk forgetting important concepts. But if you go too quickly, you might not take in what you’re reading or give yourself time to reflect on what you’ve learned and whether you truly grasp it.
- Engage with your instructor
Just because your instructor is on the other end of a computer screen, it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to interact with them and ask questions. In fact, this is a crucial part of the learning experience. You should feel comfortable about letting your instructor know when you’re unsure about something; after all, if you’re wondering about it, other students probably are too.
- Give distance learning a try
If you’re interested in taking a distance learning course, we’d recommend our new ISO27001 Certified ISMS Foundation course. This modular recording of our popular one-day classroom course, which is delivered in Cork and Dublin, teaches you everything you need to know about ISO 27001, the international standard that describes best practice for an information security management system (ISMS).
ISO 27001 is one of the world’s most popular cyber security standards, offering a broad range of insights into how to prevent data breaches and other cyber security incidents.
Our one-day course explains how ISO 27001 works, the benefits of certification and the core elements of implementing an ISMS. Book before the end of June and save 10%.