How to Stay Engaged During Online Training & Classes 

Online training and classes are one of the best things to ever happen to job mobility. With access to the right training material, you can learn many sets of new skills. You can train to move up in your current career, take a lateral move, specialize, or completely change careers all by studying with an online course at your own pace.  However, it can also be challenging to maintain your focus with an entirely self-driven program. Online training and summer classes can often lead to drifting off without absorbing the details. How can you stay engaged with online training to gain the greatest benefit from self-driven learning? 
  1. Create a Studying Space & Headspace for Online Training & Classes
The first step is to help yourself focus on where and how you study. Create a focusing study space and build studying into a schedule. This will help you approach each study session in the right headspace and maintain your focus during each lesson. Whether you have fifteen minutes to do a few more pages of your self-guided course or are about to sit down for a two-hour webinar, the right study space matters.  Create a quiet space where your view is organized and not distracting. Set this space up the same way every day to help create a mental routine of studying and focusing. 
  1. Take Notes Like a Live Lecture
Take notes. The mental and physical act of writing down what you learn helps to ingrain the knowledge deeper into your memory. This is the first time you are re-processing what you learn and conveying it through your own understanding. Simply taking notes is good for your memory, and having notes on the most important facts of each lesson will help you quickly review and refresh your knowledge of the lesson later on.  Everyone has their own way of taking notes. You can type out your notes in a document as you scroll through the lesson or you can hand-wright them for the added tactile memory enhancement. You can write in short-hand so that only you will understand or carefully explain and outline each concept.  Many people re-write their notes from shorthand to full summaries as a way of studying later. 
  1. Engage in Live Discussions, if Possible
If your online training is led by a live instructor presenting webinars; get involved! Open your camera and show your face with your classmates. “Raise your hand” to ask or answer questions. When you participate in the lesson, your brain engages more fully than passively listening or reading facts off the page.  When you roll new information around through discussion, projects, and questions, you create a more complete understanding and context to remember the knowledge. You also stay engaged by becoming a part of the lesson; connecting with your teacher and classmates. 
  1. Do the Practice Exercises for Online Training & Classes
Reading through a lesson can cause your eyes to glaze, which can waste valuable study time. If you find that raw facts are tough to handle with online learning, then dive into the practice exercises. You can even get free practice books in almost any subject or skill training course to apply your knowledge at each stage of the lesson. Quizzes, diagrams, puzzles, word problems, and other practice content can help you use the information you are learning and make it your own.  This is why many chapters have a quiz at the end, and you can spice it up further by doing a practice exercise each time you learn something new. 
  1. Exercise When You Start to Drift Off
The other kind of exercise is also extremely helpful. If you find yourself dozing off, chin in your hand, while trying to focus on your online training, you’re not alone. Your metabolism may decide that sitting still is time for a nap, but you can overcome this and reclaim your study time with a little physical exercise.  If your eyes start to droop, get up and work up a sweat. Do squats, jumping jacks, pushups, and/or other exercises that push a lot of blood through your body. Increasing your heart rate will help you stay awake, and increase blood in your brain to help you focus. 
  1. Use Study Tools and Apps
Many people benefit from using one or two studying apps to enhance their focus, note-taking, and methodical approach to learning. A study app can provide color-coded goals, easy notes, and organization. You might track your assignments, chapter progress, and learning pace through one of these apps. There are many free or paid study applications available and it’s often worth your time to explore until you find the apps that enhance your ability to focus and learn through online training courses. 
  1. Write Down and Research Your Questions
Everyone thinks of questions when they learn something new. “How does that work?” and “Could I use this in a specific way?” are valid questions that you should be asking – even if the lesson doesn’t immediately provide the answer. Stay engaged by writing down your questions as you go along. Then research the answers as part of your studying time to learn how your current online training can apply to other skills and project capabilities.  If you have a class that sometimes has group lessons and time with an instructor, save your questions (and researched answers) to share with the class and enhance everyone’s learning experience by sharing your perspective on the subject and its uses. 
  1. Connect With a Virtual Study Group
Speaking of meeting with a group, you don’t need lesson webinars to meet fellow online students taking the same course. Connect and build a virtual study group – or many virtual study groups  – in order to share what you’ve learned, review together, and make the learning process more interesting. Having a group of fellow trainees or students to compare notes with can enhance your learning pace and your enjoyment of the course itself. You can each share what you learned, how you think about the problems and the real-world applications you’ve thought of since reading the online lesson. 
  1. Apply What You Learn
Find ways to apply what you are learning in your personal or professional environments. By learning IT, you may begin managing your own home network or improving your personal security on your work computers. Learning technical skills, you might begin maintaining, repairing, or just realizing everything you know about the machines and systems around you.  Applying what you have learned is the final way to take new information and make it your own. 

Learn More About Staying Engaged During Online Training & Classes 

Staying engaged with online training can be challenging, but with the right techniques, it’s also easy to do. Take notes, compare notes with fellow students, and apply what you’ve learned to make the knowledge your own. You’ll soon have no trouble staying alert and focused during your online training sessions and coursework lessons.  Apprentice Now is a great online opportunity to pursue a career in tech when you’re not sure where to start. You can meet and learn from current tech professionals while taking online courses on your time in the comfort of your home. To discover your next career path through online learning, mentorship, and apprenticed skill training, contact us.  When you’re ready to begin the journey and new career in tech, Apprentice Now is here to help you build your skills and quickly connect with employers. With many different opportunities to match with, you can start your journey to a career in tech today! 
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