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How To Be a Successful Online Coaching Student

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 09/12/2014

Learning online is a path that many students choose to take for its convenience and affordability. Not only does it help make post-secondary or general learning easier for those with busy schedules, but it means that location doesn't matter when it comes to taking the courses that interest, or are of value to, you.  

Being an online student as a whole requires discipline to ensure that you get the most out of your learning environment and are as efficient as possible throughout the process. Training to be a coach requires the same commitment, if not more, so that you can train to become the most effective coach possible. If you're thinking about taking an online course, here are some tips to make sure you're a successful online student:  

Self-Motivation

  • Select a course load that ensures you can commit enough time to your classes - if you're a new or returning student, starting out part time might be a good idea
  • For optimal time management, determine which time of day you think you will be most focused on your studies
  • Create a schedule and set a routine that you can stick to for the duration of your course
  • Use additional tools to help you stay on track and manage your time so that you can meet assignment and meeting deadlines, such as a Google calendar
  • Be comfortable working independently - although you will have access to an instructor,your coursework, assignments and team meetings will be up to you

Study Environment

  • Make sure you have a private space where you can work and study
  • Make sure your work space is consistent, quiet, and free of outside interference and distractions - don't be afraid to use a "Do Not Disturb" sign
  • Stay organized with a tidy work space so that everything you need is close by

Confirm Technical Requirements

  • Make sure you understand your online classroom's technical requirements for accessing course material, meeting with classmates or sharing information or requests with your instructor
  • If you aren't sure how something works, reach out to your instructor ahead of time so that you are well prepared
  • Speak up if you are having technical difficulties - being proactive will ensure that you don't miss assignment deadlines
  • Do a test run of your computer and the class system (where possible) before you start your course - this will give you ample time to review any updates you might need to make to your computer

Interact

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions! Whether it's to your instructor for clarification via email or to your classmates for discussion via a chat room, there are many opportunities to interact and engage with your class online
  • Be comfortable communicating through email, online forums or chat applications - most communication is done over the internet with little in-person interaction
  • Connect with your instructors early to ensure that you are on the right track and communicating as effectively as possible, and also so that you are fully aware of what is expected of you during your time together
  • Log into your course every day - interaction with the class platform ensures you stay up to date on any important updates that you might need, and to respond to any messages that might be directed at you
  • Participate - your classmates are always valuable for specific topical discussions, but they also have a wide variety of background experiences that will naturally come out during discussions. This is a great way to network!  When it comes to learning online, you get what you give. By ensuring that you are fully engaged with your course, understanding the work expected of you and your classmates, and applying what you learn at every possibly opportunity, you will find that learning online is just as valuable as a traditional classroom setting. It's just a different way of doing it!

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