Tips for Getting Started as an Online Learner

Embark on your learning journey your way at ATU…

To help you get started as an Online Learner at ATU Sligo, we have collated a list of top tips and advice from past students, our online student advisors, and lecturers that you may find useful before you commence your studies with us:

1 – Come along to Induction

Every year we organise a dedicated induction programme for our online learners. It takes place a week before teaching commences and the feedback from students shows that it does help get ready for the road ahead. Whether it is logging into Moodle for the first time, or learning about Academic Integrity, each student can take small learnings away from the experience. Our programme usually includes a selection of live virtual events, where you get the chance to meet the programme co-ordinator.

2 – Take others on the journey with you

When enrolling on an online course, it is important to make sure you share the experience with friends, family, and colleagues. They will be an important part of your support network, offering encouragement and helping to keep you motivated along the way. It can also help to ensure you are given the space in your work or home life to dedicate time to your studies.

3 – Stay connected with the weekly work

It may not always be possible, but our lecturers consistently recommend that students stay up to date with the weekly workload – be that independent reading or watching the lecture material. If you dedicate time on a weekly basis, then you can stay on top of things and it may not seem as daunting when it comes to assignments or exam time.

4 – Tune into the live lectures (when you can)

We understand many of our part-time students are juggling work and family commitments, in between online learning. Many students report that partaking in the live lectures, ensures a sense of schedule to the learning, thereby committing time every week to join in. Other students encourage attending as it does give the opportunity to interact with the lecturer and peer learners – often with breakout sessions and practical activities that help to bring the subject to life. But also, we know that live attendance isn’t always possible, so our sessions are recorded and made available in the virtual learning environment. Many students find this very useful when it comes to revising for final exams.

5 – Group work can make the journey easier

The online learning experience can sometimes feel a little isolating, however students always comment on how group projects helped to instil a greater sense of community and shared experience. Students get to meet and engage with learners for different industries and experiences, making it a great networking and learning opportunity. Our online learning community is a global one and this diverse mix of student can really enhance the learning experience.

6 – Use the supports that are out there – even for online learners!

Whether it is your first-time studying Maths in 10 years or you are unsure about how to write up an assignment, we know that students face these challenges every day. Our lecturers can see the value in recommending Maths Support from one of the tutors – students gain a little bit of confidence and direction.

7 – Don’t lose sight of the end goal

Studying remotely, it can sometimes be hard to prioritise assignments, reading or revision. Always remember the motivation that drove you to apply for your course and what you hope to achieve when you graduate. Write it on a wall, sticky note or schedule a regular reminder in your calendar. It can be tough to keep juggling everything, but when you look back, it will be worth it.

8 – Life Goes On…

Everyone starts out with a clear roadmap to get to the end goal. We understand that sometimes life can get in the way of things and events can happen that can throw students off course. As an Institute, we have been helping students succeed for over 50 years, so we’ve encountered most of what life can throw at students. If something happens that might impact your ability to complete an assignment, a practical, a module etc, then we recommend getting in contact, the sooner the better. Life’s bumps in the road can cause setbacks, but we’ll be there to support you, if you need help getting to that end goal

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To find out more about any of our courses, please contact our admissions team:

T: 353 (0) 71 931 8511

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