Published 20th October 2021

A man and a woman are looking at the laptop and reading a book

COVID 19 has influenced many of us to turn to online education. What else can we do while being locked up with relatives with no chance of escape? Completing online courses, however, has proven to be a hard task. Lack of organization, motivation and external situations lead to missed deadlines, failed quizzes, and eventually giving up on the course you paid for. We don’t want that to happen to you! Our TEFL course can flip your life around IF you finish it, so we want to help you to do exactly that. Below are 7 tips we have gathered to help students ease into online learning and make sure that they complete anything they pay for. 

1. Clean up your workspace

If your fingers stick to the keyboard, the computer mouse has been exploring the floor, and you have forgotten what colour your desk is, these are signals to clean up. Taking a course already requires a lot of self-discipline, so you need to feel comfortable in your workspace. Get rid of any trash and random papers. Assign boxes to important documents, and free up the desk so that you only have the necessities there. If you don’t have a dedicated space to study, then you need to find one. It is easier for our brain to get into working mode if it is set in a specific space. Sadly, that’s the reason it is easier to study in the classroom and not in bed!

2. Understand how much time you are willing to spend on an online course 

We all have gone through optimistic patches when, unfortunately, we are unrealistic about our productivity. The utopian thought that you are going to study right after work until midnight leads to sleep deprivation, tiredness, and leaving something for tomorrow. Paints a pretty depressing picture, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, we want you to learn from our mistakes. Instead of blindly deciding on an arbitrary number of hours you are going to study, instead, you should look at the overview of the course you want to take; chances are, it already says how much total time is required. From there, you can decide how quickly you can complete the course and how much free time you have per day/week. Somewhere in between your wants and real possibilities you will find the time you are willing to dedicate to your studies. 

Let’s consider our 168-hour course as an example. To complete it, you are given 6 months. If you are in no rush, you can spend 60 minutes a day studying, and complete it by the deadline. Others who are determined to get a certificate as fast as they can and are not occupied by any other job may do 6 hours a day and will finish the course in one month. Both approaches are great, but only if they are realistic and comfortable for you.

Read more: How Long Does a 168-Hour Course Take with a Fulltime Job?

A woman is sitting on the stairs and working on tasks for online course using her computer

3. Schedule time slots for studying in your weekly calendar

After deciding how much time you are willing to spend studying, prioritize it. Studying should be as important as any other commitment in your life. Don’t take it to extremes, but show your dedication. Schedule a time slot in your calendar to study. One of the main reasons people never complete online courses is that there is always something else more important to be done. It can be cleaning the house, binge-watching a Netflix show, or browsing social media. We don’t suggest sacrificing all of these to study, but it might be necessary to cut back in order to keep up with the coursework. It’s better to know that after 1 hour of hitting the books, you’ll be able to watch your favourite show for 1 hour, instead of panicking that you won’t be able to do either.

4. Participate if you can

Participating makes it easier to stick to the course. The TEFL Academy course gives you a great opportunity to connect with your tutor while learning the material. Make sure you communicate with your tutor and ask if you have any problems. Don’t be shy – they are there to help you!

5. Take notes

I know in this digital time, we all like to use Ctrl-C and move on, and while it saves time, popular opinion is that creating handwritten notes improves your understanding of the material. While writing we incorporate physical memory and focus our attention on each word we are writing. Even better, this method works if you use an Ipad and pen to write, instead of a traditional notebook.

Two women are looking at the laptop and one of them is presenting something

6. Tell others about what you have learnt

As a teacher yourself, I am sure you understand that telling somebody else the material that you have just learnt improves your understanding. While presenting it, you organize your newly acquired knowledge and an interlocutor’s questions make you dig deeper into your understanding of the subject matter. As a bonus, you’ll get practice teaching.

7. Have fun

Regardless of how strange it may sound to some people, it is important to enjoy yourself in the process. Indeed, the fact that a TEFL certificate will provide you with an opportunity to study abroad or online is a great motivation to finish a course. Nevertheless, while you are working towards your goal, remember to take stock every once in a while and look at how much you have learnt, and the fun you have had learning it. 

These are a couple of tips that have helped us to complete online courses. Remember, if you have any problems during your online course, make sure to reach out and ask for help – we want you to have a TEFL certificate as much as you do!

Read more: 5 Ways to Prepare for a TEFL Course

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