Getting the most out of  E-Learning

Taking online courses can be very convenient for many people. However, online learning requires time management skills,self-discipline, willpower and strong motivation. Below are 10 top tips to help you stay motivated and get the most out of your online course.

1. Choose the right programme

This may seem very obvious, but it is important to take the time to research the course you will be doing. You will be investing your time and money into this course so it is important that you know what you are signing up for and what certificate you will have at the end of it. We have a range of CPD courses in SEN, resilience and wellbeing. If you need any help choosing a course that will be right for you, feel free to call us on +353 1 651 0618 and ask to speak to one of the programme directors.

2. Understand online learning practices

The virtual classroom is a lot different to the traditional classroom you may be used to learning in. It is not an easier option of learning, it is simply a more convenient option for many people. You must be willing to dedicate a significant amount of time to online classrooms and study. The ICEP tutors are there to help you through your studies but you must be self-motivated and be able to stick to course work deadlines.

3. Make sure you have reliable internet access

This may seem like an obvious point when talking about online course, but it is so important to have reliable internet access as you will need to make contributions to online learning forums, interactive assignments and upload assignments to be graded. Downloadable PDFs of all modules are available from our courses if you prefer to read off a printed sheet. However, all assignments still need to be submitted online. Technical glitches do happen so make sure to keep a copy of all work you complete in case anything should go wrong while uploading your end of term assignment…nightmare.

4. Have a dedicated study place

Having a dedicated work space will make it easier for you to focus on your studies. Make sure this space is quiet, organised and distraction-free. Ask your friends/family to respect your work space and consider turning off your phone to avoid unnecessary distractions.

5. Build a study plan

Having a study plan is crucial for online learning. During school/college you would have received your timetable of lessons and you would have been expected to attend all classes. Online learning is no different you need to set aside time each week to study, attend online classrooms and participate in online forums/assignments. Plan ahead to allow yourself plenty of time to complete assignments, ensure you allow enough time for each module/assignment and most importantly stick to your schedule. If you do find you are behind on your work and you think you will not complete the assignment on time, contact your course tutor and they will hopefully be able to help you.

6. Incorporate offline study time

Although you may have everything you need online, it is important to use more traditional study methods every so often. All content on the University modules and CPD courses run by ICEP Europe is available to download in PDF version. So you can print off your notes and study them offline and take notes with pen and paper. Sometimes this I exactly what’s needed to fire up the neurons in your brain and get your creativity flowing.

7. Ask for help when you need it

The online tutors, technical support team and programme advisors are there to help you in any way they can. Don’t be afraid to post in the forums or email the team at ICEP Europe if you are having any difficulties throughout the course. If you don’t ask for help you risk falling behind in the class, which will lower self-esteem and may lead to you not being able to finish the course. By posting your questions on the online forums you may also be helping other students who were have the same issues.

8. Take regular study breaks

It is so important to take breaks from your study. You may feel under pressure to complete an assignment or finish a module, but working nonstop will only lead to you getting tired and frustrated. Take a break, make sure to leave your study area, a change of scenery is essential. Go out and take a short walk around the block, this will help maintain balance, renew energy and go back to your studies with a clear mind.

9. Participate in online discussions

Online learning may seem like a solitary experience but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure to engage with your virtual classmates. The online forums in all ICEP Europe courses create a community of learning that both students and tutors benefit from. Your virtual classmates could be from across the globe and their insights into the subject may be intriguing, read other students posts and respond to their questions when you can. The forums are an excellent space for added learning that can be ignored by some students.

10. Say motivated

It can be tough sometimes to remember why you started this course and what you want to achieve. Make sure to stay focused, motivated and remember:

-       You will have good days and bad days

-       To take breaks

-       Treat yourself when you complete your assignment

-       Decorate your workspace so that it inspires you, add inspiring quotes/pictures to you wall.

-       Make sure to take time to yourself every so often

-       Have snacks nearby to keep you energy up

-       If your having a bad day stop, go outside, take a few deep breaths, and remember why you took this course and what you are trying to achieve.

 

For a full list of online professional development courses click on the Programs link at the top of the page.

Train the Trainers Meeting & 3rd Transnational meeting for the HOPEs Project in Cyprus

The Train the Trainers meeting for the HOPEs Erasmus+ project, which centres around the development of a curriculum geared towards the promotion for happiness, optimism and wellbeing of children within the school environment,  was held in the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CPI) in Nicosia, Cyprus between Monday, September 18th & Friday, September 22nd.

This meeting  provided the opportunity for a representative from each partner within  the consortium (Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Institute of Development from Cyprus, GrantXpert Consulting Ltd. of Cyprus, ICEP Europe of Ireland, Panteion University Greece, Malta University and ISPA of Portugal) to present the materials developed by their organisation to the HOPEs team. The training period was hub of productive discussion and fun amongst the partners, and resulted in the provision of valuable feedback for the refinement and revision of the project materials.

Following the Train the Trainers week, the 3rd Transnational Meeting for the project was also hosted in the CPI on Saturday, September 23rd. The meeting was attended by 10 participants from the seven participating project partners and included discussion of the progress made across the duration of the Train the Trainers period, as well as details of the piloting methodology & dissemination and financial management activities to be completed moving forward.

For further information and updates pertaining to the HOPEs Erasmus+ project, visit the project website at http://hopeschools.eu/.

HOPEs News

iTIDE Project final conference took place on 28th June

iTIDE Project final conference to showcase the work of the project team was held at Leeds Beckett University, 28th June 2017.

The day-long conference was held in the Rose Bowl in Leeds Beckett University on 28th June 2017. Presentations included a keynote speech by Dr Jonathan Glazzard, whose interests include special educational needs and disability.

This project is an EU funded initiative under the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships Programme. iTIDE is a three year project (2014-2017) and involves organisations from six European states including Austria, Bulgaria, Spain, Republic of Ireland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Throughout the EU, learners with special educational needs/intellectual disabilities are still not achieving or being included in education at all levels according to their potential. ITIDE aims to address this deficit by making available outstanding open access, practice-leading training materials on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to spread accessible, accredited, vocational learning to these groups within EU states and beyond.

In doing so, we expect to support progress towards the Europe 2020 target of reducing early school leaving. The outcome of the iTIDE Project will include:

  • A suite of SEND Training Materials in each of the five partner languages, based on the existing set of materials athttp://www.complexneeds.org.uk/;
  • Guidance materials for educators and end users on the use of the Training Materials as learning resources;
  • Providing accreditation for the Training Materials through school/ higher education institution training partnerships.

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