We’re only into week one of the “E-learning and Digital Cultures” course but I’ve already seen quite a few posts and blog comments from people who feel a little lost and overwhelmed by the constant stream of communication. Here’s my tips for keeping sanity in the information landslide!
- Prioritize. With numerous platforms (Coursera, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Flickr, blogs etc.) and over 40 000 students who live in multiple time zones you have to be superhuman (or have no life and need no sleep) to follow it all. Choose one or two platforms that you like the best and focus on those, forget about the rest. Just do not forget to make sure that you get the updates from the course teachers!
- Skim. Even if you follow only one or two platforms, it is still likely that you’ll have quite a lot of information coming your way (well, unless you’re on G+ ;)). Don’t try to read everything: skim the contents, locate the topics that interest you and black out the rest.
- Group-up. Communication with coursemates is an important part of online learning, yet trying to have a conversation with thousands of people can make you feel like your voice disappears and can be very demotivating. Try to find (or form) smaller groups to keep engaged and active. And there’s a lot of choice: from language-based groupings to interest or quadblogging groups (which I personally find to be among the most valuable).
- Organize. Find a tool that helps you to keep your course notes in order and easy overview and edit. My favorite is MS OneNote which allows me to paste and sort the course contents, add my own notes and comments, link videos and relevant blog posts, as well as other valuable resources.
- Have fun! Remember that you are doing this course for yourself, it should challenge but not overwhelm you. So be selective, focus on what excites you and don’t fear that you might be missing out on something.