If e-learning leaves you feeling vulnerable, there’s nothing wrong with you.

E-learning’s confronting on several levels. Some of them are bound to set off a bit of anxious clucking.

Let’s look at why you might be feeling vulnerable when you learn online – and what you can do about it.

1. Are you chicken about trying new things?

Whenever you try something new, it’s bound to be a challenge. You’re not sure what to expect, or what it’s going to be like.

You can make the new stuff less terrifying by:

• Giving yourself some time to adjust. It might take a while to get your head around a topic that’s strange to you.

• Asking for help when you need it. Don’t worry on your own.

• Finding out what the course requirements are – what are the assignment due dates, where’s the reading material? That way, you feel more prepared for what’s to come. The new territory becomes a little more familiar.

2. Are you chicken about the possibility of failure?

What if it all turns to custard? What if you’re not up to the challenge?
What if you actually fail?

You can take practical steps to make failure very unlikely. Such as:

• Creating a study schedule so you make regular progress through the course.

• Planning your time, so you submit all assessment material by the deadlines.

• Acting on the feedback you receive from your tutor, and fine-tuning your work.

• Asking for the help you need: further clarification, an extension on an assignment, or general advice.

3. Are you chicken about returning to study?

When you’re out of the study habit, going back to any learning environment is pretty scary. But consider this: now that you’re actually ready to study, it’ll be a lot easier than last time.

Next time you’re feeling vulnerable, remember that:

• There’s a wealth of material out there which can help you with the technical aspects of things – from how to write an essay, to how to take good notes. Visit the library, or download some useful student guides from the internet.

• This time around, you’re in the right state of mind to learn! The learning process is a whole lot easier when you’re ready for it, and it’s actually relevant to your life.

4. Are you chicken about history repeating itself?

Maybe a teacher called you stupid way back in school, a whole lifetime ago. Maybe you dropped out of a course and still feel bad about it. But that’s history. It doesn’t have to define who you are now.

This is the present. These days:

• You’re a different person. This could be your chance to reinvent yourself.

• You have life experience to draw on. You probably have skills that you can apply directly to your online learning.

• You’re a grown-up, with goals. You’re not a 17 year old who’d rather be at a party.

5. Are you chicken about finding the moral support you need?

All kinds of learning are made easier when you have someone in your corner. E-learning is no exception.

You can gather the support you need by:

• Developing your own support network online.

• Explaining to family and friends about your learning goals – and asking them for support.

• Reading about the struggles and triumphs of people you admire. This can help inspire your own success.

E-learning may leave you feeling vulnerable, at least at the beginning.
But there are lots of practical ways of overcoming those feelings, and facing the challenges ahead with a lot less fear.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Liz Hardy is the owner of ElearningTrainer.com and the author of E-learning 101, the friendliest online study guide around. Dr Hardy takes a unique approach to online learning. Blending simple e-learning strategies with a little humour and pictures of friendly dogs, she presents accessible e-learning advice that works.