What if nothing goes right with your new online course?

What if you don’t like the tutor, struggle with the technology and find the course material too hard? There are a million worst-case scenarios you could conjure up.

When e-learning is still new and strange to you, it’s easy to get a bit dramatic.

Before you know it, you’re expecting nothing less than total disaster. You keep checking the sky to see if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are about to come galloping through the clouds.

But expecting the worst to happen just increases your stress. You’ve probably already spotted that.

So how do you stop yourself doing it? How do you study without drama?

E-learning without drama

One way to turn down the drama levels is to clearly define some worst case scenarios. Give the potential disasters a shape, get them out into the daylight, and see if they’re really that bad.

What would actually happen if nothing goes right? How would the end of the world look?

Let’s see:

• You might miss a deadline

It’s true, it could happen. If it does, learn how to ask for an extension, and get more time to finish your assignment. The process is slightly embarrassing, but not disastrous.

• You might look stupid in front of your online peers

When you learn online, you’ll probably never meet your fellow students, or your tutor. What does it matter if you look a little foolish now and then? They don’t know you.

• You might have to ask for help

In fact, you should ask for help if you need it – that’s common, and expected. Asking for help has only one major consequence – you’ll probably get the help you need!

• You might fail an assignment

Failing an assignment can be a useful wake-up call that you either need to do more work or plan your time better. That’s useful information. If this happens, you can take action now to improve your future work.

And in the short term, talk to your tutor, and find out whether your institution will let you resubmit the assignment. That just might be possible.

• You might fail a whole unit or paper

When this happens, it tells you one of two things. Either:

(1) You didn’t study enough, or
(2) You might’ve enrolled in the wrong course for you.

This is an opportunity to re-assess your path and change course if necessary. Or, if Life just got in the way of you doing enough study, you can probably re-enrol in the unit and try again. Contact your tutor, and find out how to do that.

When you study online, it’s true that some things won’t go to plan. You’ll probably make a mistake or two as you find your feet. That’s pretty normal. It doesn’t mean Judgement Day’s here.

None of the above events will change your life. With most of them, you probably won’t even have to drop out of the course. And if you can recover from the possible consequences, the risk can’t be that huge.

When you can keep things in perspective, you realise that you can learn online without drama.

You don’t need to worry about the end of the world arriving any minute. Just keep taking those calm steps towards your learning goals.

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.