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6 Tips on How to Complete an Online Course

Alison’s free online courses offer numerous benefits in terms of accessibility, flexibility and convenience. Because they’re self-paced, they also require commitment on the part of our learners. Here are six tips to help you successfully complete an online course.

#1 Understand Course Requirements

First and possibly the most important tip for completing an online course, understand the course requirements.

When enrolling in an online course:

  • Take the time to fully review information and materials provided by the instructor.
  • Familiarize yourself with the structure of the course, including the number of required assessments.

As you progress through a course, stay on top of things by:

  • Checking the course page regularly for additional information.
  • Tracking your progress on the learner dashboard.
  • Reaching out to the course instructor or the Alison support team with questions or concerns.

Understanding what is required provides the foundation for successful completion of your online course.

#2: Set Goals

Your ultimate goal, of course, is to gain new knowledge and skills through the completion of an online course. Accomplishing this goal is much easier when you break it down into concrete, manageable tasks.

Look at each learning module and give yourself a set amount of time in which to complete it. Establish daily and weekly goals, then review them regularly to ensure you are on track.

Keep motivation high by giving yourself a healthy reward when you meet each goal, and take pride in checking items off your list one by one.

#3: Outline a Timetable for Completion

Review your calendar and determine a reasonable and realistic timetable to complete the course requirements. Outline the timetable in writing and plan to review it regularly.

Make sure you take into account the ebb and flow of life. If you have a time deficit one week and a time surplus the next, that should be reflected in your timetable.

Establish your own deadlines for each task. Sticking to these deadlines can require a lot of self-discipline, so don’t be afraid to ask a loved one or friend to serve as your accountability partner and check in on your progress.

#4 Manage Your Time

Alison’s online courses are designed to be completed on your time, but you still need to find that time in your schedule and manage it wisely.

Look at your daily activities and carve out blocks of time where studying doesn’t interfere with your professional and personal obligations. Consider whether you’re most alert early in the morning or get your second wind as others are going to bed.

Using that knowledge, set fixed times to study each week, and then stick to that schedule.

#5 Minimize Distractions

With so many people spending more time at home, it’s important to create a dedicated study space with minimal outside distractions.

Consider if there’s a room with a door or a small corner where you can set up all of your materials. Work at a time when you can minimize interruptions from others in your household. Silence your phone and email.

Give yourself the physical and mental space to concentrate on the material. The more efficiently you are able to use your study time, the more efficiently you can move through your course and complete your learning.

#6 Be Honest About Your Style of Learning

Taking an online course requires commitment and honesty about your preferred style of learning and ability to self-motivate. Successful learners turn studying into a habit by setting up a structure that reduces friction - the amount of effort to complete a task - and making it as easy as possible to complete reach their goals.

You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re an early riser who retains information by taking notes long-hand, set your alarm, pour a cup of coffee, pop on your headphones and grab your notebook before anyone else is up.

Find the time and place where you learn best, and you’ll be well on your way to completing your online courses. Ready to get started?

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