Distance Learning: Tips from the Experts at Speexx
This is part one of a two-part blog series by Speexx aimed at providing best practices for coaches and professional learners around the world.
If there was one thing that was confirmed to us in the last few months, it is that distance learning is not only possible, but it is also just as effective as traditional learning methods. With technology, adapting to digital content and learning new skills on the go is completely possible, and available to us at our leisure.
However, excelling in a subject in a virtual learning environment doesn’t come natural to everyone. Similar to working remotely, learning from home requires discipline, motivation, and structure in order to be effective.
In this blog post, we hear from four Speexx language coaches from around the world who specialize in remote coaching.
Check out their tips below for creating the most comfortable environment to learn from home as effectively as possible, and stay tuned for part two of our Tips from the Experts at Speexx series!
1. Removing the distance in distance learning
The idea of “remote learning” can be daunting to some, given that the whole premise of being remote is based on distance – being far away while you do something. Learners can become discouraged from completing their lessons as they adjust to this new approach. Speexx language coach Frank Hubber tells us that as a learner, remote learning can still be as impactful as any other learning or training method: He says that if both the coach and learner agree to remain fully engaged in the remote learning process, and stay flexible and agile, the feeling of distance can be effectively removed, and learning remains effective and even becomes fun.
We recommend staying engaged through:
- 1:1 Training
- Phone training
- Writing assignments
- Interacting with other users who are also learning remotely
It’s important to choose a topic that you enjoy and make it fun for you! Find projects that you will be passionate about to demonstrate your skills. This will keep you motivated and not feel like such an extra effort. Most importantly, you need to remain proactive in your remote learning experience. Take control of the path that you want to follow.
Remember, your coaches are there to guide you, but all success depends on your commitment to the process.
2. Make the best use of your time while learning from a distance
There are many benefits that come with studying and learning remotely. One of the biggest? Having more time. Speexx language coach Katie Short reminds us in this video how much time we retain for other everyday tasks when working or learning from home. No more time spent commuting, finding parking, or looking for spare change for the parking meter. And on top of this, finding the motivation to go to your class in the first place!
Being remote means you can plan your working or learning schedule as you wish. All you need to do is to organize your time properly.
If this is new for you, try to start with five or ten minutes a day. You can gradually add more time as you get more confident with the remote plan.
Also, don’t forget to set up your goals first. What do you hope to achieve by studying? Are you working towards a promotion, or sharpening your language skills for your business? Whatever your goals are, write them down and discuss them with your virtual coach, if you have one.
One final tip from Katie – be yourself! Don’t’ think of the computer screen as a barrier between you and your peers. Think of the screen as a window to outside. Although it may seem unusual to occasionally see and hear yourself on the screen, turn your focus to your coach or your peers and give them your full attention.
3. Distance learning requires you to set up boundaries
Working from home doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Speexx coach Liesje Sandler knows this from experience. One of her tips on effective learning from home is establishing a clear division between work time and home.
One easy way to do this is to get yourself in a “work mindset.” Running through your normal morning routine such as getting dressed, putting some makeup on, or any other activity that gets you up and moving and signals it is time to work is a great place to get started.
According to Liesje, you might consider literal boundaries: Find a separate space in your home that is designed for work only. Arrange the space to achieve maximum productivity, whether it’s adding plants, comfortable furniture, or other touches to help with motivation.
4. Organize your time to fight procrastination with online classes
Although remote work and learning has many advantages, there are still some drawbacks. Speexx language coach Sarah Kon tells us that the additional time we accrue being in our homes can lead to procrastination.
She suggests the following tips:
- Organize how much time you will work beforehand
- Stay in contact with your peers and coaches
By following these tips, you can build more positive habits that support your learning goals.
The future for distance learning
Distance learning is no longer strictly reserved for universities and specific industries. You can learn and maintain the necessary skills for your job no matter what your specific situation is. Using our expert tips combined with the right technology, you will be able to quickly reap the benefits of distance learning practices.
If you are interested in learning more tips on distance learning, please visit Speexx for more information.