Online courses are becoming more popular, not necessarily because the learning is better, but rather due to convenience. When it comes to most highly desired ends, Americans put convenience high on the list. The question is, “How to succeed in an online aviation course”?
Consider the following conversation that occurred. About half a dozen years ago my cousin began working on his masters degree in education. I asked him where he was attending school (he was in a major metropolitan area with lots of educational opportunities).
“I’m going online”.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because it is convenient,” was his answer.
“Do you think you are getting a better education this way?” I asked.
“Not really”. He went on to say that that did not matter, what was important was the convenience. He just wanted to get the degree done and to move on.
My nephew is not alone in his attitude. I suspect that is the driving force behind thousands of online students. I must admit that given a choice, I would prefer traditional face to face instruction. However, that is not possible in some cases. In some parts of the world, access to qualified expertise in a chosen field of study in not readily available. That is one reason that I developed Doctor Aviation.
So whether one is taking an online course for convenience or out of necessity due to needed access to material, an important question remains.
“How do I get the most out of my online course”, more specifically, “How do I get the most out of my online aviation course”?
Doctor Aviation has several tips that he has consolidated from various sources. Below is what Doctor Aviation terms, “The Big Five Success Factors to Online Aviation Courses”.
- Know your why!
Before I went off to the Air Force Academy, I wrote myself a two page letter. It outlined all the reasons that I was going to the Academy and what I hoped to gain from the experience. When times got rough (and there were such times) I could pull out the letter and remind myself of those reasons I began. I recommend the same for an online course. Write down why you are taking the course and put it in a place that makes sense. For example, on the cover of your class notebook. That way, when you don’t feel like studying, you can pull it out and be reminded of your why.
- Establish a good learning environment.
The bedroom is for sleeping, the kitchen is for cooking. One needs to have a space for online learning. While some claim to learn at Panera Bread, I have my doubts. I recommend selecting a quiet place that becomes associated with the online learning session. Entering that space begins to condition the student for learning. You will also need to ensure that good internet connections are available and there is electrical power to plug into.
3. Be organized / use your resources.
Most courses, including Doctor Aviation, are enhanced through note taking. Maintain a notebook binder or other system in which to organize your notes and other materials. Even if you take only electronic notes, organize them into e-folders. For example, the downloadable notes for Doctor Aviation should be organized in separate sections for each examination. Each is labeled with the needed objectives and notes that will help with retention.
Many times there are resources at the library that will help with the online course. Realize all that is available. With Doctor Aviation there are many materials outside of the videos and notes. These additional resources, such as YouTube videos and online articles, enhance the learning experience.
- Communicate Your Boundaries
If you are married, let your spouse and any kids know when study time is and what your expectations are. For example, “You will not disturb me, unless your arm is a bloody stump”. The same goes for roommates, etc. If someone sees us on a tablet or computer, they may assume that we are on Face Book. In that case, interruptions are no big deal. However, they would never think to come into a classroom and interrupt you. Those around you need to realize that your study times are your classroom times. Guard this time carefully.
- Schedule and stick to a specific time to work on the course.
This is probably the biggest trap with online learning, “Hey I have flexibility when I can do the class”, turns into, “I can’t seem to find time to do the class”. Just as you would have a standard class time, so you should have a standard online time. For Doctor Aviation it is helpful to schedule when you will view each session (e.g. every Friday at 1:00pm). One should also schedule additional study time (e.g. every Tuesday at 2:00pm I review the notes and do additional reading).
Ideally this would be inside a week long plan. Schedule out the entire week. Schedule: eating, commuting to work, work, exercise time, worship time, rest and relaxation time, “fun” time, study time. When one maps out the entire week and one sees only four hours for a course, one realizes that on online aviation course, such as Doctor Aviation, is not a drain on one’s life. It is actually rewarding to say for the next two hours, I am going to study and then move onto X”
Doctor Aviation wants those enrolled to complete an online course, not for convenience, but for learning. Following “The Big Five” can help with any online aviation course. https://www.doctoraviation.com/register/