Many students underestimate the workload that is associated with online learning. It is important to be prepared and plan ahead to ensure you get the most out of your Online Learning experience. Stay motivated and disciplined by exercising good time management skills. Apart from succeeding in your studies, you will also enjoy the experience.
Your biggest enemy will be time. Especially if you have family, work, leisure and study all playing tug-of-war. Be accountable for your study time by setting yourself realistic and achievable goals.
- Understand how the course is structured
- Determine, carefully and accurately, what it requires from you on a weekly basis
- Create either a daily or weekly study plan
- Ensure the plan covers all study requirements:
- Software practical activities and remote labs
- Webinar attendance
Be Familiar with the Tools and Service EIT offers
The online teaching methodology = TOOLS. Become familiar with these.
Moodle: This is your learning management system, your most important communication tool. Once you receive your password, practise navigating around the system. It contains the information you need to successfully complete the course (and is also a great way to network with other students).
Blackboard Collaborate: This is the software used for the live and interactive webinars. During your first few classes be brave and practise interacting.
- Be strict on yourself – use your study plan to schedule each session – these sessions will prove to be both engaging and invaluable. All webinars are recorded so if you are unable to attend, you can view the recordings and catch up.
The Microsoft Office Suite: Know your way around the Microsoft package. If you have a Mac, don’t panic! Either purchase the suite or use Open Office. Become comfortable with the software’s key functions.
E-Learning Coordinators: They are real. Be kind and honest – Your Online Learning coordinator is highly experienced and will be your biggest fan. EIT coordinators strive to support you throughout your course.
IT Student Tip #1
This is an insightful recommendation on organising time from a past student. Good time management ensured this student was able to 'keep-up', whilst relieving the stress from assignments.
Student:“At the end of each session/webinar, I attempted to answer those questions in the assignment which related to the session I had just completed. This effectively gave me a week to complete those questions. I sometimes used my lunch hours too.”
EIT Student Tip #2
Use Your Resources
A member of the EIT Alumni comended their Online Learning Coordindator
Student: “My experience with EIT coordinators was always a leasant one. Regardless of my queries or concerns, they always assisted me in a very professional and expedient manner. Whether it realted to my inability to attend a session, problems experienced during the online sessions or issues arising with the assignments, I was always satisfied with the outcome.
Lecturers: Your gurus. They are industry experts based nationally and internationally. Glean what you can from them.
EIT Student Tip #3
Graduates commented on their appreciation of EIT lecturers
Student:“The passion and the knowledge that they showed throughout the course was remarkable",
"Each and every one of them (EIT lecturers) was always 'there' to help and answer questions"
"I had contact with the lecturers and students to discuss problems and bounce ideas off".
Your Class Mates: These are real people in the same boat as you. Nurture your relationship with classmates, regardless of their geographical location. Meeting with them once a week, during the webinar, will motivate both you and your peers and ensure you build important networks, globally.
EIT Student Tip #4
Classmates and Colleagues
Past students discuss how and why their classmates and colleagues were so valuable throught their studies
Student:“The interaction I had with the other students was a highlight. I appreciated all the questions and general comments. It is extremely humbling to have people from around the world add comment and opinion to a webinar.”
"It may be hard to believe of a distance learning course, but I felt a real sense of camaraderie with the other students on the course - I think that the ability to chat in real time with the during the webinars fostered this bond".
Webinar Schedules: When they are published on Moodle read them carefully. It is very easy to misinterpret when yours will run because of the global scheduling. Check if you are unsure.
Reading Materials: They are chosen with care to broaden your learning and reinforce concepts presented by your lecturers.
EIT Student Tip #5
Study and Learning Resources
Students have comented that the easy access to study and learning resources was a great benefit to their experience
Student: “I benefited greatly from the presentation of the reading material which made self-study enjoyable and beneficial”.
"Listening to the lecturers' live webcasts as often as I needed helped reinforce the course content for me."
Your coordinator will ensure you receive these once they have been delivered and reviewed. Store them carefully. They are an important resource for your assignments. EIT also publish useful resources through social media, so keep an eye out for the latest updates.