Without the internet, there’d be no Youtube (Beyonce music videos!), Instagram (fashion trends galore) or cute dog memes (I’m not crying, you’re crying!).
But beyond social media and music videos, the internet has unlocked an unlimited amount of information, where anyone can learn basically anything they want. The opportunities are endless (but so are the procrastination opportunities!)
There’s a big difference between browsing Wikipedia articles and enrolling in a structured online learning programme.
Choosing to enrol in an online course means you’re making a commitment to yourself to actively participate and learn from the experts.
So whether you’re brand new to learning online, or a seasoned online student, here’s our top tips to help you get the most out of your online learning experience.
STEP 1: Be a ‘self-led’ learner
Online learning gives the power to you. You’re suddenly in a position to learn on your terms; where you want and when you want (as long as you have internet and a computer!).
This sounds totally easy, right? Well, as a matter of fact, being a self-led learner is a skill that many online students need to work on, and it involves not only setting rules for yourself, but also (get this!) STICKING to them (#shock! #horror!).
It’s kind of like joining a gym that’s right near your house – maybe you signed up thinking something along the lines of:
“Seeing as the gym is right by my house, I’ll definitely go every single day, or maybe even multiple times a day. They’ll have to ask me to stop coming in so much!”
Now whether or not you’ve been this gullible about the gym (hello, unused memberships!), you can see how it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking convenience = motivation. Just because something is right at your fingertips, doesn’t mean it will take less effort to do – or that you’ll be free from distractions either. It’s exactly the same with online learning.
You need to motivate yourself to follow through on your learning commitments, which involves remembering what motivated you to start in the first place.
STEP 2: Find your natural learning routine
If you’re someone who enjoys sleeping in until the last possible moment, who needs a hundred coffees to get going each morning and prefers to answer in grunts until 9am, then congratulations! You’re not a morning person!
This means you’re unlikely to suddenly feel compelled to spring out of bed at 5am to work through your online course and, contrary to what Instagram may tell you (#WokeUpLikeThis), it’s totally okay to not be a morning person! You can still kick goals!
If you’re balancing other commitments like work, then identify a regular window where you’ll be able to dedicate your full attention to learning. This could be 2 hours after dinner and before bedtime where you can turn off all distractions and focus. Or perhaps you’re someone who prefers to learn in larger blocks, so a whole day on the weekend would work better for you.
Try out a few different times, and choose the one where you feel the most focused, calm and productive.
STEP 3: Create your perfect study setup
Once you’ve decided on your learning routine, block out the time in your calendar and set reminders so you don’t forget. Tell your friends and family about your new learning goals so they won’t tempt you to cancel your plans – it’s important to show up for yourself!
Set up your study space with a desk, good lighting, a comfortable chair and as few distractions as possible. This means putting your phone on silent and face-down!
If it’s been awhile since you’ve been a student, it can be hard to sit still and focus for long periods of time. Be kind to yourself and start off in half-hour intervals. Give yourself 5 minute breaks to walk around, check your phone or grab a cup of tea. The more often you show up to learn, the easier it’ll become.
Hot tip: Having trouble staying off distracting websites? Try installing website-blocking apps such as Self-Control to disable these for a set amount of time. This will force you to keep your attention on the most important thing – your learning experience!
STEP 4: Get social with fellow learners
Just because you’re learning online, doesn’t mean you need to do it alone! Our SYFB Programme encourages all learners to get to know each other through our regular Coaching Calls and the SYFB Facebook group, and this is one of the best ways for our aspiring fashion business owners to meet like-minded people and grow their professional network!
Studies have shown that people learn best in social environments – so interacting with your fellow students and sharing thoughts, questions and ideas will not only improve your own learning experience, but enrich those around you as well.
You only get out what you put in, so showing up to the Coaching Calls, commenting in the Facebook group and attending our in-person SYFB Meet-Ups in your city will all make your SYFB experience even better.
JOIN THE SYFB REVOLUTION!
Our SYFB Programme has been developed by experts in the fashion industry and filled with vital information for aspiring fashion business owners. Delivered over 10 Modules, our course will give you the knowledge to hit the ground running with your fashion business.
Let’s make the fashion business, YOUR business!