Online Learning Tips Online Learning Tips Introduction Students today are very much attracted to asynchronous learning as many of such programs ensure user’s autonomy to a great extent. However, online learning, especially asynchronous learning is not an easy way of learning…
Students’ frustrations can be attributed to their lack of knowledge regarding the scope, limitations, and challenges of online learning along with the drawbacks of the learning program and curriculum. Frustrations and Needs of Online Learners The number of online learning programs has dramatically increased over the last two decades. Subsequently, the cases of students’ frustrations also have increased to a great extent in a way that hinders their educational opportunities. As Hara and Kling (1999) point out, the paucity of prompt feedback is one of the potential causes of student frustration in web-based learning. Learners’ autonomy in this regard often turns to be an impediment to their own active interaction with the tutor when there is no specific login time for learning activities. Frustration is the outcome when there are no clearly stated instructions and guidelines. In that context, a fresh student, normally who is not a computer savvy gets disappointed of the unfamiliar learning system. Lack of technical expertise along with the complexity of the learning interface can intensify the frustration and stress. Strategies for Effective Online Learning First of all, as a learner you must understand that online classes, no matter whether synchronous or asynchronous, differ a lot from traditional classrooms and learning methods. Online learning normally is not bound to stipulations, and hence this in turn increases learners’ responsibility in meeting their own needs. As noted in the Illinois Online Network database (2010), the major problems with online learning usually fall into several categories including but not limited to technology, the facilitator, the online environment, the students, the administration and faculty, the curriculum etc. In order to get rid of the current stress, you must identify in which of the above areas your learning problem persists. If you find that lack of technical skill has limited your learning potential, it is advisable to get assistance from a third party. This can be a friend or a relative who would teach you the essential things in no time. As Brosche (2010, p. 70) reminds, if you find that the instructions are ambiguous, do not hesitate to request clarifications from the facilitators before you start doing things, because “well begun is half done”. Another thing you ought to do is to identify what type of a learner you are. People, based on their learning habits can be categorized into ‘dependent learners, independent learners, competitive learners, collaborative learners, participative learners, avoidant learners’ etc (Stavredes, 2011, p. 18). For instance, as Stavredes (2011) points out, if you are a competitive learner, you will be interested in attending tests and getting grades. In contrast, if you are a collaborative learner, you will like group works, interactions, and discussions. Participative learners are usually interested in class discussions and hence concerned about learning environment whereas avoidant learners are normally driven by strict deadlines and punishments for not meeting them (pp. 18-19). Obviously, you belong to one of these groups, and identifying your position would help you overcome the current frustration. To illustrate, if you believe that you are a competitive learner having great zeal in tests and results, other activities like collaborative programs may annoy you, for the outcome of your effort would be a bit disappointing one. However, ...
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