10 Tips to Improve Your Online Learning Experience

Online LIVE (OLL) from New Horizons is instructor-led training delivered virtually, giving you the freedom to attend class from anywhere—at home, at the office, or at a New Horizons location. Utilizing the eLearning platform, Adobe Connect, Online LIVE provides a rich, engaging, live classroom environment that allows you to easily interact with instructors and fellow students.

Of course, the faculty and staff at New Horizons undergo extensive training to make your online education experience a successful one, but to further ensure that you get the very most out of your online learning with us, our instructors have compiled a list of the top ten tips to get the most from your online learning experience:

1. Test Your System Ahead of Time (Virtual Classroom and Labs)
When you receive the pre-class emails that advises you to test your system before class (Virtual Classroom Environment), take the advice, and click the test link several days before your class. Taking the time beforehand to ensure that your desktop has the latest plugins for your training software will save valuable time and stress on the first day of class. If your class will include virtual labs, test this ahead of time as well, and launch the test lab (Virtual Lab Environment) from the PC and network from which you plan to attend class.

2. Consider How You Will Communicate with Your Instructor & Classmates
To communicate with your instructor and classmates, you can either use your computer’s microphone/audio system, or you can use the chat box window. If you choose to use your computers audio system, having a headset is ideal. Again, take the time before class and test your headset for properly functioning volumes—both the headset earphone and the headset microphone.

Note: Those who have a microphone are much more likely to ask questions and participate in discussion than those who are using chat only.

3. Courseware
Review your courseware email prior to class. These emails contain the access keys and instructions on how to redeem your e-book prior to class. If you have not received your courseware email two days prior to class, contact your Account Executive.

4. Set-up Your Own Classroom Environment
If you are attending class from work, let your coworkers know that you are training and will be unavailable during the day. Change your voicemail to indicate that you will be in training for the week and available on a limited basis, and set up your email to automatically reply to all emails that you are in class for the week.

If you are taking the class from home, set up a separate work space away from your normal household traffic. If you have an office, that would be ideal. If not, be creative. Figure out where you will be interrupted the least and set up your classroom there.

5. Don’t Be On-Time for Class—Be Early
You should log in at least 15 minutes ahead of time. That way, if you have any technical difficulty logging in, you’ll have time to resolve the problem before class begins.

6. If You Know that You Will Miss Part of the Class, Inform the Instructor Ahead of Time
Generally, the instructor will be happy to address any questions you may have about the material, and you can plan to review the missed sections on your own.

7. Use the Step-Away icon in the “Attendee Status”
If you have to step away from the class for an unplanned interruption, use the step-away icon. In addition, if you’re going to be gone for more than 10 or 15 minutes, type a quick note to the instructor via the chat box to let him or her know when you will return. This is important to the instructor for a couple of reasons:

If the instructor asks a question, he or she will not expect a reply from you.
Some labs require a lab partner to be present. If you are not present when a lab begins, your instructor can determine the best way to handle the situation.

8. Stay Focused
There are many distractions available to you on the Internet. Avoid the temptation to let your attention wander when the instructor is covering a topic that you are familiar with. Remember, one of the benefits of attending a class is that students can share information about a topic that they’re familiar with. Don’t miss the opportunity!

9. Participate
Class participation is key to getting the very most out of your online learning experience, so be sure to get involved in class discussions and share your related experiences. In addition, ask questions: if your instructor has not addressed a particular topic you would like to discuss, ask about it. This is your class.

10. Understand that Online Learning takes as Much Commitment as a Traditional Classroom
Plan to put the same time aside that you would for a face-to-face class. That way, you will be able to get the most out of your class, so you can and will enjoy it!

As online learning becomes increasingly popular, we hope that the above tips will help enrich your experience. And if you have never taken an Online LIVE course with us, we encourage you to reach out to your local New Horizons Representative and ask to audit one of our Online LIVE courses.

And of course, if you are a past student of ours, we welcome your feedback: What additional tips do you have for your peers? Drop us a comment below—we would love to hear from you!


NH Learning SolutionsCindy Velazquez

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