Madeline Gearheart | March 27, 2018
Tips for Online Learning at Home
Have you been thinking about going back to school or taking a class, but don’t have the time—or desire—to go sit in a classroom? Try online learning at home. With today’s technology and the availability of quality online learning resources, it’s easier than ever to learn a new skill from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.
Below, we share some of the benefits of online learning at home, tips for making the most of an online course, and where to find the best online learning resources for K–12 students and adults.
Benefits of Online Learning at Home
Online learning appeals to a variety of learners, from school-aged students to college students to adults. Some of the many benefits of online learning include the following:
Flexibility to work on coursework as it fits into your schedule
- Less time spent in the car since you don’t have to drive to class
- Learning at your own pace
- Less tuition than at a brick-and-mortar school
- Endless subjects available
- More comfortable learning environment
- Ability to learn from field experts and professors across the globe
Tips for Online Learning at Home
Once you register for an online class, it’s important to set yourself up for success:
- Set aside time to review lectures, notes, etc. Because online learning is so flexible, it helps to create some structure around when you work on your assignments.
- Give yourself a dedicated learning space. Just as you want to carve out time for classwork, find a quiet place or office with plenty of room to study.
- Update your technology. You may have to download the most recent operating system or update your word processing program to make sure it’s compatible for your class so you can do schoolwork effectively.
- Have reliable internet access. Online learning depends on your ability to be online. Upgrade your home internet service if necessary, or plan to spend time at the library or a café to do your classwork.
- Participate in online discussions. Since you won’t have face time with your teacher or fellow students, participate in message boards and in email threads.
- Brush up on your technology skills. In some courses, participation on message boards is required, or you’ll need to access a learning portal. Make sure you know how the technology works before class starts so you can participate effectively.
- Ask for help when you need it. If you don’t understand something, ask for help. Don’t wait until you get too far behind, whether you have a tech- or subject-related question.
Where to Find Online Learning Resources for Adults
Many adults look to advance their professional skills, start a new career, or learn languages online, but with so many learning sites available, which ones can you trust? Coursera and Udemy. Duolingo and FluentU are great sites for learning a new language. For even more reputable sites, look through Best College Reviews’ top fifty list.
You can also check with your local college or university. Some have complete degree programs online if you’re looking to change careers or advance your current degree. A few widely respected universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, offer undergraduate and graduate-level courses for free.
Where to Find Online Learning Resources for K–12
Online courses aren’t just for adults working a nine-to-five job. Millions of K–12 students across the country are taking advantage of online or blended coursework. According to Forbes, students who incorporated web-based coursework into their education made more progress in science than students who relied solely on textbooks.
With so many different learning styles, supplementing courses or learning completely online can be more effective for students who have difficulty learning in traditional settings.
Start with your child or grandchild’s school district and ask if it offers any online learning opportunities. Online K–12 schools should be tuition-free and employ accredited teachers. Find state-certified options near you at Connections Academy and K12.com.
If you’ve been thinking of taking an online class, there’s no better time than now. The best part? There are plenty of budget-friendly options to test before committing to a longer program or signing up for a paid course. Use the tips shared here to get started online learning at home.