Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, we’ve all had to adapt to a new world. The way we live, behave, interact with each other and work have all been impacted. The pandemic has certainly had some devastating consequences to both our loved ones and our livelihoods. The world’s tourism and hospitality sectors took a beating as everyone was told to ‘stay home to save lives’.
On the flip side, it’s highlighted our resilience and flexibility. New ways of working have emerged, most obviously moving business online to allow employees to work from home.
Some industries have thrived with home deliveries, online shopping and exercise classes rising to meet the needs of everyone unable to leave the house. Taxi drivers were no longer picking up party revellers but groceries.
Online learning reached new heights as people could no longer attend face-to-face learning or training in classrooms. When people were stood down, lost their job, or needed to update their skills to stay current, they headed to the virtual world of online courses.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) estimated that on-the-job learning decreased by 25% due to the COVID-19 pandemic and results showed that fewer learning opportunities were available for disadvantaged and low-skilled workers.
Industry research showed many workers who were stood down or lost their jobs during the pandemic looked to retrain in different industries or update their skills by participating in online learning. More than a third of people who took part in the survey have taken part in some form of ‘lockdown learning’.
While many people had no choice but to take up learning online, it has indicated some very surprising results.
Online Learning: What are the Numbers?
Results have indicated that online learning improved a student’s retention rate and the speed at which they learn information.
On average students are said to retain 25-60% of material from online learning, but only 8-10% in a classroom setting. Similar studies indicate that elearning takes 40-60% less time to learn, compared with traditional classroom environments. Learning online blog – Benefits of online learning
While some traditional learning institutes struggled through the pandemic, needing to transition from face to face learning to online platforms quickly, experienced online learning organisations were already set up, proving to be the preferred and obvious choice.
There are so many advantages to learning online. People of all ages, abilities and experience can participate to improve their career prospects, learn a new skill or simply to expand the knowledge. With online learning, students can also build their workload around their lifestyle.
While self-directed learning definitely requires discipline, there are great tips and tricks to help you achieve your goals.
Tips on Staying On Course
- Set up a designated study space and work at an appropriate desk height. Not only does a study space get you into the right mindset, it helps you focus on your course work with minimal aches and pains.
- Make a daily timetable and diarise key events, like course end date and scheduled webinars. This will help you focus on your next task. Break the workload down so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
- Schedule in achievable blocks of time to work on your learning. If you’re not a morning person, don’t set your alarm for ridiculous o’clock as you won’t stick to your schedule.
- Set achievable goals – don’t expect to churn out 24 hours worth of work in four hours. Be realistic or you’ll just disappoint yourself.
- Plan out your tasks before you start to maximise your time and achieve small goals. This could be as simple as reading your learner guides or materials or watching one webinar.
- Celebrate the small wins. Get excited about ticking that task off your to-do list!
- Add variety by making use of the different learning materials available. If you’re enrolled in a formal qualification, take advantage of the resources available on the institute’s website. There’s also plenty of videos and information on the world wide web!
- Think about how you learn best. Perhaps you remember information by watching, reading or doing. Work out what best suits your style.
- Reach out for help when you need it. Don’t just sit there staring at your screen. Ask for help through the learning institute, friends, family or industry experts.
While the pandemic is far from over, and isolated lockdowns continue to spring up across Australia affecting our plans and lifestyle, we should be proud of our strength, resilience and adaptability. We’ve discovered new ways to stay connected with each other. Businesses have adapted to a new technology-driven way of life to reach their employees and customers.
And people continue to find safety and reliability in online learning.
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