November 27, 2013
Online-Learning

The Yoga of Online Learning

I have been practicing yoga for the last several years, ever since my youngest son was a baby. Going to classes where I’m guided by an experienced instructor and am in the same physical space as other students working towards the same goals is a wonderful treat for me.

Unfortunately, the times when studio classes are offered don’t always work with a more-than-full-time job and two active young boys. If I want to keep learning and growing, I need to set aside time to learn during the times that are available to me – often the early morning, or late evening hours.

Do you run into this same challenge in achieving your educational goals? Here are some tips I’ve learned from yoga, and my own attempts at learning outside of the traditional classroom environment, that I hope will help you succeed in online courses.

Focus

We learn best, and have the richest, most memorable experiences, when we are able to focus on the present moment and let go of worrying about other parts of our lives. This can be difficult when you are taking your class from the middle of a busy kitchen table. Make it easier to focus by setting aside specific chunks of time throughout the week when you can focus on your class without being interrupted. Set aside times to take care of other responsibilities, too, that way you don’t need to worry about them when you are studying. Setting up a special study space or ritual can also help you get you in the mindset for your class.

Discipline

Online classes give you lots of freedom, but you are responsible for making sure you have all the materials you need and put in at least as much time and effort as you would attending the equivalent classroom course and studying the material. Fortunately, FRCC’s online instructors are here to help you. Not only by sharing their expertise, but by creating a regular schedule of learning activities along with the feedback necessary to help you stay on track. Sit down with your course syllabus and a calendar and commit to investing the time you need to be successful. Reward yourself for following through.

Community

Even though you may never see your instructor or other students face-to-face, you will still get to know each other in cyberspace and will benefit greatly by motivating and supporting each other. Participate frequently in online discussions and other activities, and email your instructor right away if you have any questions or concerns you would rather discuss privately. Prefer to talk with your instructor by phone or even meet on campus? Just make an appointment. As an FRCC student, you are also welcome to take advantage of the many services and events available to students at all of our campuses along the front range.

Compassion

Achieving your educational goals is not easy, so have some compassion for yourself. We are all learners-in-progress, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. FRCC has dedicated Online Student Retention Specialists available at each of our campuses and by phone or email to talk you through challenging situations and connect you with a variety of college resources (advising, tutoring, scholarships, etc.):

  • Alex Geist –Alex.Geist@frontrange.edu
  • Kim Moore – Kimberly.Moore@frontrange.edu
  • Andy Ornberg – Andrew.Ornberg@frontrange.edu

 

Good luck with your classes! Namaste.

 

 

About the author:

Tammy Vercauteren is a lifelong learner and the Dean of Online Learning at Front Range Community College. She enjoys reading, cooking, art and yoga.