How to succeed in distance learning?

06 Aug 2021


For practical reasons, often linked to the exercise of a professional activity, many people are now turning to online training to follow their courses at a distance. However, while the advantages offered by such a system are numerous and are of interest to various learner profiles (jobseekers, people returning to school, adults undergoing professional retraining or upgrading, etc.), the risks of failure are not negligible. Whatever your situation, here are a few tips to help you follow a distance learning course under the right conditions.

Learning to learn

At the beginning of your course, you may need time to get used to the distance learning system that is offered to you. Before you can acquire new skills, you will need to learn to be independent, in other words, to "learn to learn". Some organisations, such as IPAG, will offer you tutoring and specific modules to speed up your adaptation to digital learning.

Setting goals

Start by assessing how much time you can devote to your training each week and estimate your ability to take one course after another and maintain your concentration. Set reasonable weekly targets for yourself, so that you can keep up the pace. In the beginning, you will probably have a tendency to move too fast and study for hours on end. Keep in mind that you need to make steady progress without burning out.

Organising your schedule

Distance learning gives you a great deal of freedom in managing your time. Apart from the few synchronous courses where your presence is essential, the replays and the many asynchronous training modules allow you to work at any time of the day or night. Dedicate certain time slots exclusively to your learning and don't forget to take regular breaks. If you have a job at the same time, try to separate your work life, your personal life and your training time.

Creating a dedicated study space

Correspondence courses also allow you to learn wherever you want: on the road, in the park, in the library, in a co-working space or usually at home. In the latter case, make sure you have a space where you can concentrate and separate your learning space from your living space as much as possible. Also make sure you have a good internet connection so that you can participate optimally in the various video conferences that will be held during your training course.

Exchange with other learners and teachers

At first sight, distance learning does not seem to facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges or communication between the learner and the trainer. And some students may quickly have the impression that they are learning in isolation and end up being discouraged. However, there are many educational tools that can make interactions more fluid: the virtual classroom, the chat attached to each videoconference or the forums dedicated to your class. Today, most digital learning platforms allow you to access a workgroup that facilitates informal exchanges, but always in the "school" space.

Choosing the right training organisation

Whatever your career plans are, there are many online courses available to train you today. Don't rely solely on the cost of studies, beware of overly attractive offers and take the time to choose your online training course carefully. Not all online courses will lead to a diploma or provide a proper follow-up. Some online programmes are more like banks of teaching resources - sometimes of mediocre quality - than programmes consisting of courses specifically designed by qualified teachers or trainers, as is the case with IPAG Online. You should therefore choose an organisation, a training centre or an establishment that already has experience in face-to-face teaching and delivers recognised diplomas that are listed in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP).

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