Resource Material for Courses
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR LEARNING
To make sure that you get the most out of the time, effort and money that you invest in learning, we have some tips for you to think about and act on.
Share these tips! Whether you are learning through the on-line programming developed by us at Digital Distance, or through some other means, these tips can be valuable to you and your company. Please feel free to share them with others.
Of course, when you do pass them on, we will appreciate it if you credit this source by identifying that you got them from our web site! It is http://www.digitaldistance.com
Your decision to improve your knowledge and competencies represents a valuable investment in your future.
You already know that people who are in highest demand in the workplace are those committed to lifelong learning. They are the people who are prepared to adapt and learn new things as their environment changes.
Digital Distance was created to develop and provide online learning that will help you expand your knowledge and skills in your career. That is why we are offering these tips to help you make the most of your learning experience before, during and after you take specific courses.
Before Your Course
Learn about the course from former or current students.
Meet with your manager.
Usually you will find that if you consult with you manage r in this way, you are more likely have your manager's interest and support throughout the course. In effect, while learning from your manager, you also will be doing a bit of internal marketing of your self within the company!
Get Enough Rest.
Within your busy pace in your workplace plus your commitments as a part-time learner, part of the solution can be to set specific study times. After a short while, that will become part of your routine. The pace associated with a routine often helps reduce the effects of fatigue.
But . . . you still need to get enough rest!
Prepare for the start of the course.
During your course ...
Focus on learning rather than marks.
Real learning involves stretching yourself, taking risks, attempting those tasks that you are not best at, and constantly exploring how new knowledge can be applied to your life and your job. If you achieve those things, the good grades are almost a certainty!
Learn from others.
To get the most out of a course, work with other students on group assignments, seek out other students' perspectives on content and experiences, and learn about different kinds of work performed by people from other departments and other organizations.
This can work out even better online that in traditional classrooms. Online, you don't have to schedule a time and place; you can communicate with others asynchronously - each at a time that suits you best.
Get to know as many people as possible.
Ask a lot of questions.
Keep a log or journal.
When you return to work after studying, you might find it difficult to remember all of the most significant experiences, observations and insights you gained during the learning sessions. You'll find it easier to remember and apply new knowledge if you keep a log of the KLPs you have absorbed during a course.
After your course ...
Make time to meet with your manager.
Share KLPs, insights and anecdotes you gained during the course. If you have any post?course assignments, make sure your manager knows what they are so that he or she can help ensure that your assignments can make a difference at your workplace.
Dive into post-course assignments.
Although you may be tempted to postpone your post?course assignments when you return to work, you will find that applying what you've learned is easier and more meaningful if you tackle your tasks when course ideas and concepts are fresh in your mind.
Network with other course graduates.
Relationship building does not have to end when the course ends; messages and ideas can continue to circulate long after a course has concluded. This is a natural extension of online courses, because the ways that you can communicate with each other do not change!
Share your new ideas and enthusiasm strategically.
Research suggests that, when listeners feel pressured to accept new ideas, they often choose to reject them rather than give into the pressure. The best way to share new thoughts is through two-way, open-ended dialogue, not as a street-corner preacher!
Keep pushing yourself to use your new ideas and you will ensure that what you learned is valuable to you and your employer.
These tips utilize the product of two initiatives.
First, much of the content is the product of work completed by teams from Eaton's and Canada Post who attended an Eaton School of Retailing workshop, The Next Steps, held in London, Ontario, in 1996.
Second, results from Getting the Most Out of Learning: A Qualitative Evaluation of the Eaton School of Retailing (conducted in 1995-96 by The Ryerson Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning) were drawn upon to provide a research perspective on the suggestions made here.