Learning from home: How to succeed at Cybrary’s online learning

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Learning from home: How to succeed at Cybrary’s online learning

Published: June 11, 2015 | By: Tatianna | Views: 836
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When taking classes to prepare for exams, there are important factors to consider. With Cybrary’s courses, much – if not all – of the class material is based on watching videos. While this may be great for some people, for others it is not enough to fully grasp the discussed concepts. Below are some tips on how to prepare yourself for learning in an online environment, and how to effectively study the information to help pass your exams. Keep in mind that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to study, but there are effective and non-effective ways to study based on how each individual learns.

Setup –

Step 1: Make a Schedule

If you already know what you want to study, the first step in preparing for an online course is to make a schedule.   Note when you are busy with work or other responsibilities, and when you have free time (It is always good to write this down, but it is not necessary). When you know how much ‘free’ time you have in a week after other obligations, figure out when that time is.

Next, assess how much time you want to dedicate to learning and studying course material. Divide that time between the days of the week that you have the most available time. What you’re left with is a nice schedule. Of course this can always be altered or rearranged, but the main point is to know when you have time.

Step 2: Prepare for your Courses

Find out what materials (programs, software, etc.) you will need to do the course work, and then get them. You can’t expect to properly do a task if you don’t have all the necessary materials –this isn’t middle school where you can cheat off your friend or share their textbook in class. You need your own materials – borrowed or purchased – to do the expected tasks.

Step 3: Find your ‘Happy Place’

Depending on your preference, your study place could be a quite library or café, on the subway during your daily commute, or at your house with kids, a barking dog, and noisy neighbors. Whatever YOUR place is, find it, and make sure you can think clearly.   When it comes to preparing for certification exams, you need to have a place where you won’t be constantly interrupted, and you can focus solely on the subject matter.

Step 4: Get Comfortable

Posture is extremely important when it involves sitting in front of a computer for more than 30 minutes. While getting cozy on the bed with a laptop or tablet is a preferred way of doing casual internet browsing, it is not recommended for doing productive work. Sitting upright at a desk with the monitor or tablet at least an arm’s length away from your face and level with your eyes is the optimal seating arrangement for using the computer. It reduces eye strain and neck pain.

ALSO, if you wouldn’t do or bring something into a classroom at school (ie. Watch TV, eat pancakes, or fall asleep) then don’t do it while “attending” online classes. You should be comfortable but focused on the work at hand.

Step 5: Get Plenty of Rest

Busy individuals might skip this crucial step, but it is probably one of the most important. When you are tired, your brain does not function at full capacity – even when stimulated with sugar or caffeine – thus making it hard to concentrate. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep to feel rested, so figure out what works for you, and go with that.

Attending a Course –

Step 1: Always Have a Pen/Keyboard Handy

TAKE NOTES! While many people may feel it hinders their ability to fully focus on what is said, taking notes is a proven way to help retain information. With online courses, there is no good excuse not to take notes because audio and video can always be paused or rewound.  Even when reading books/articles, take notes. Why re-read 10 pages of information when you could read 2 pages of notes with all the highlights.

In short, notes may seem like a waste of time, but they help you to retain important information and they’ll save you time later when needing to remember key points.

  • Optional part for tutorial videos and labs:

If an instructor is working through a process, it is often helpful to follow along simultaneously. If you watched a video on how to set up a virtual lab, follow step by step on your own computer – it saves valuable time and you can do everything without forgetting steps.

Step 2: Get up and Stretch every 20-30 minutes

We’ve all been there: getting tired, stressed, and cramped while studying for certifications. So how do you mitigate these issues? Increase circulation and blood flow to the brain by getting up and stretching for a few minutes. Stretching helps relieve muscle tension and allows your brain to get what it needs to focus. All in all, moving helps to relax you and increase your ability to concentrate.

Step 3: Make Flash Cards

Flash cards are useful no matter what. Even the process of writing them helps you study. They are great for times when you can’t sit down to study for hours, when you don’t have your computer, or when you need to review what you’ve learned. In any case, make flash cards.   >> Here are some places that you can use or create your own on your desktop or mobile device >> https://www.studyblue.com/online-flashcards; http://www.flashcardmachine.com/; http://www.cram.com/

Step 4: Use Other (free) Resources

While there are a lot of resources available online, many of them cost money. Of course Cybrary has the “Recommended Additional Study Material” sections on nearly every course page, but what it we don’t have what you’re looking for? Go to the forums or scroll through the comments to find others who often offer information/links to free resources pertaining to that class. You don’t need to be a “Google Master” to find free quality resources, you just need to be patient and know what you are looking for.

Google Scholar is another great place if you need peer reviewed / scholarly information.   ‘Normal’ Google searching can also be great as long as you know how to search for what you need. For more information on how to enhance your searches, Google or YouTube search “Boolean Operators”.

Step 5: Test your Knowledge

Practice tests and quizzes are perfect for testing your knowledge and lessening anxiety before you take an exam. There are many places that offer free and paid practice tests for certification exams. Usually paid practice tests are higher quality and more reliable; however, that is not always the case. Exam Compass and Skillset are just two of the many other places that offer free practice questions for several CompTIA courses, ethical hacking, PMP, and others.

Lastly, Step 6: Teach what you know to someone else

After taking practice tests, try to teach or explain the information to others. You can teach your friend, parent, children, or fish. Even if you are “not good at explaining”, this exercise helps you to figure out what you know well and what you need to practice more.

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5 Comments
  1. I’m about to begin my first course at Cybrary’s on line
    I find the comments of this blog quite useful and motivating
    Thanks you all!

  2. Step 6 is huge for me. This is the best way to reinforce what I’ve learned and I often discover that I understand more than I thought I did before I actually tried to explain it to someone else. Think of it as learning a foreign language; If you don’t use it you will lose it.

  3. thanks, I would add reviewing the material every now and then, because details can get forgotten over the time!

  4. These tips will definitely come in handy.

  5. excellent tips

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