Alternative education has been booming around the world. From online degrees to distance learning programs, people can now choose to complete a degree while staying at home.
The advantages of distance learning programs and online degrees are that they are flexible and that you can choose when to take a course or do your homework. However, getting good grades and passing examinations can require an amount of discipline that you wouldn’t need in an ordinary college. You need to constantly motivate yourself to learn and understand course content.
In addition to the handbooks and videos that your online university or distance learning program will send you, there are many ways that you can study to understand class materials better. While handbooks and videos can help you learn, there are some points that may be difficult for you to understand, or some aspects of the course that may not be clearly explained by the professor delivering the online or distance lecture. Here are some things that can help you understand class materials better:
“Teaching Company” and “The Modern Scholar” courses
If you find your virtual college’s classes too difficult to understand, you can try borrowing “Teaching Company” or “the Modern Scholar” courses. You can purchase their courses online or borrow them at a library.
Most “Teaching Company” and “The Modern Scholar” courses are both available either in audio or video format. If you think you have an auditory memory, you can listen to the audio lectures at home or in your car. If you think you have a visual memory, you can borrow tapes or DVDs and watch them at home.
“Teaching Company” courses are available in a wide array of college-level disciplines. You can find courses about virtually every academic discipline out there. For “The Modern Scholar” series, some academic disciplines are not covered, but most of them are. Note that the “Teaching Company” often has courses comprised of 24 to 48 lectures, each lasting 30 minutes. The Modern Scholar usually has 14 lectures, each lasting 30 minutes.
For example, if you take a class about psychology and don’t grasp the subject very well, “Teaching Company” has at least three courses on psychology. You will have a course about the evolution of psychology, another one about clinical psychology and finally one about abnormal psychology. Professors usually try to make it easy for listeners and viewers to understand the lectures.
Books, audiobooks and documentaries
If there is an aspect of the online course or distance class that you don’t understand, you can try borrowing a book or a documentary that explains the topic. Some books have very straightforward explanations (such as the “Dummies” series), while others can take more academic approaches to explaining the topic. If you are not accustomed to reading, you can always try audiobooks.
Documentaries can give you visual support if you don’t understand a certain aspect of the course you are taking. They can also give you ideas for potential papers or a thesis you may have to write in the future. Documentaries often give real-world examples of what you may have learned in class.
Private tutoring sessions
If you still don’t understand certain aspects of your course, you can hire a private tutor to explain and elucidate those points. Tutors can be expensive, but you will often be able to grasp the whole content of your course within two or three sessions.
Tutors can be very effective when it comes to language courses. Make sure you have a clear goal of what you want to learn before hiring a tutor. If you go to each tutoring session with a list of questions, your will make the most out of your session.
Finally, if you still don’t understand the content of your course, you can go to YouTube or Google Videos and search for lectures that have been given on the topic. You will be surprised at how many videos there are of professors explaining class materials to students. In the end, you will find a video that will explain the contents of your course clearly.
In the end, getting support from books and lectures can help you obtain better grades and your degree. It may take more time, but if you take the right approach, you can have fun obtaining your degree. You should take advantage of the myriad of ways you can complete your education, and find which approach suits you best. If you have motivation problems, instead of watching television, why not try watching an online lecture?