I've been doing a few e-courses recently and am starting my own, UnEarth your Creative Nature, in just 10 days - whooohoo!
At the moment, I'm working through this one - Creative Goddess ecourse with Leonie Dawson...... (it's lovely, take a look!).
I've been thinking a lot about the pros and cons of e-course study.
A huge pro is that I can study with gorgeous ladies like SARK and Leonie Dawson who live on different continents (they both do face-to-face courses but woaaah Australia & the USA are a long way to go). That's probably the biggest plus for me.
Another is that you can work in your own time and at your own pace, at home - and you can pick and choose which bits of the course to do.
The above is also a big disadvantage, too, of course! Not having set times to be 'in class' and set assignments to turn in can make you super-procrastinaty and unmotivated. At least in my case, it can.
So, here are my top ten tips for getting the most from an e-course.
1) If you can, set aside some specific times to work on the course, just as you would for non-virtual modes of study. If you put times in your diary and stick to them, you are much more likely to get the most out of the course.
2) If this doesn't work, commit to using 'free' chunks of time when you are near a computer. Stop what you are doing and work on some course materials as and when the fancy takes you. Use it as a break or distraction in much the same way you'd treat regular internet browsing.
3) Take your laptop, notebook and some headphones to a local cafe and work there. This gets you away from distractions, kids asking where you put their socks, hungry cats landing on the keyboard and ringing phones.
4) Give yourself as long as you need. If the course takes you twice as long, don't sweat about it.
5) Don't use obstacles as excuses to stop. If you fall behind, or miss a few bits, don't let that be your reason to stop altogether. Whatever you do is better than nothing, innit!
6) Find other people who are doing the course and share with them. This can act as a 'virtual study group' to keep you focussed and it's great to share ideas, too.
7) Use social media - tell your facebook friends you are doing the e-course and post your assignments. Share them with the person who designed the e-course, they will love the feedback and their encouragement will motivate you! This may also inspire somebody else to learn, which is a bonus.
8) Blog or journal your journey through the course. Again, this creates accountability and interest especially if you are sharing it online. You can also often use blogging about a course to get affiliate moneys from people who run courses - bonus!
9) Come back to it. Life gets in the way sometimes. Make sure you've stored all your course materials somewhere easy to access and come back to them when you are ready.
10) Do one at a time! I learnt the hard way that doing several e-courses at the same time gets messy and you end up not finishing any of them. Store up future study and only allow yourself to start one course when you have finished another. It's a good incentive.