Learning Aids 2020

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The Best Tools to Support Online Learning

When studying online, you have complete control over the way you learn. There are no rules or regulations you have to abide to, as there would be if you were studying in a conventional classroom environment; instead, you’re in control, and can make decisions and find ways to ensure your studying experience is as conducive to success as possible. 

One of the most important of these decisions relates to learning aids. Learning aids can help to boost your performance and make your study experience as straightforward – and hopefully as enjoyable – as it can possibly be. Whether it’s services to improve your writing, such as Grammarly, or aids that are designed to ensure you can achieve maximum focus, such as sound-cancelling headphones, aids can make a significant difference to your studies. In this piece, we’ll look first at the essentials required for online study and, most importantly of all, the learning aids that can help take your studies to the next level. 

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The Basic Necessities For Online Learning

There are a few basic essentials that anyone looking to study an online course will need to have in place. Of these, perhaps the most important is a computer or laptop, as well as a secure internet connection courtesy of a VPN. It’s also likely that you’ll need to store files as part of your course, so investing in a USB drive of a decent capacity (at least 16GB) is likely to stand you in good stead. 

Finally, consider anything you may need that is specific to your course – for example, if you’re taking a photography course, you’ll need to think about your camera and additional equipment such as a tripod. 

When you have all of the above in place, then the essentials are covered and you can consider which learning aids you may want to use to help boost your online studying experience. 

Grammarly: The Ultimate Digital Writing Tool

Of the learning aids that are available to online students, one of the most powerful is Grammarly. For those unfamiliar, Grammarly is akin to a spellcheck with extra abilities; as well as checking spelling and grammar, it also checks flow, sentence structure, and much more besides. Perhaps most usefully of all, Grammarly is also able to spot spelling errors that a standard spellcheck overlooks: for example, writing “tale” instead of “talk” won’t trigger a standard spellcheck – as “tale” is still a word in its own right – but Grammarly will most likely spot it. As a result, Grammarly ensures that all writing relating to your course – from essay submissions to communications with your tutors – will be as crisp and perfect as possible. As the vast majority of online courses contain a written component, Grammarly is a tool you are definitely going to want to consider as you embark on your online course.

What else do you need to help online studies?

In addition to Grammarly, there are a few other learning aids you may find useful. Here are our picks of the best options: 

Noise Management Aids

When sitting to study, you will naturally want to ensure that you are able to make the most of the time you have available, so focus and concentration aids can be incredibly useful. Noise-cancelling headphones can help ensure you are able to create the perfect space for studying, regardless of what is happening around you. Alternatively, if you do not wish to listen to music while studying, earplugs or earmuffs can also be beneficial. 

A Dedicated Diary 

A dedicated study diary should be kept separate from your everyday diary, focusing primarily on all significant dates and information relating to your course. You can also use your diary to keep track of progress, noting down what you have worked on, what still needs to be completed, when you submit work, and all other relevant information. 

A Notepad and Pen

Studying an online course will naturally see you completing most of your work on a laptop or computer, but a notepad and pen still have a role to play in your studies. Often, physically writing things down helps with retention, and you may also find it easier to take notes by hand if you’re watching a course-related video that you wish to set to full-screen on your tech device. 

Screen Overlays 

If you are dyslexic, have been diagnosed with ADHD, or experience a condition called ‘visual stress’, then a screen overlay – which slightly tints the colour of your computer or laptop screen – are incredibly helpful. It’s also worth noting that individuals without the aforementioned conditions also find overlays can help improve concentration and reduce eye strain, so are an option to look into if you feel assistance in these areas would be beneficial.

Grammarly is an incredibly powerful tool that all online students should find beneficial, so you may want to prioritise this as your first choice. After this, consider your own study habits (think back to your school days if it helps) and decide which may be most beneficial to you: for example, if you’re looking to improve your concentration, noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs should be your next focus, and then you can consider other options in time. 

Grammarly is an incredibly powerful tool that all online students should find beneficial, so you may want to prioritise this as your first choice. Aside from Grammarly, consider your own study habits (think back to your school days if it helps) and decide which may be most beneficial to you: for example, if you’re looking to improve your concentration, noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs should be your next focus, and then you can consider other options in time. 

While it may be theoretically possible to study without the assistance of learning aids, the existence of learning aids has proven time and again to offer significant assistance to those studying online courses. Following in the footsteps of students who have used these aids to great results in therefore advisable for anyone enrolling in an online course. 

Ashley Hughes
Ashley Hughes has worked in the affiliate industry since 2016, working for many of the major companies worldwide. Online Classes is his passion project, hoping to help educate the world and donate to good causes at the same time.