If you have been out of school for a while / practicing real estate for years, or if you’re new to online learning, you might not know what to expect in your eLearning real estate course. Some courses are purely online where others are known as Blended Learning, a mix of online and face to face classes.
There are some tips and tricks that can help you stay organised and focused while taking your online real estate classes. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourites.
Create your own workspace for online real estate classes
If you’re doing your online real estate classes from home, make sure you set aside a dedicated working area. Even if you have a small apartment, you can still create an area to do your work. This will not only help you stay focused but using a genuine home office could possibly qualify you for the home office deduction come tax time.
Having a separate working area could also help you to balance your online real estate classes with your other time commitments.
If you have set up your workspace in the office to study and take part in eLearning classes, then make sure that this area is quiet, away from interruptions. Ensure that staff know to keep away from your area whilst your online course is taking place. A set of head phones is always best when interacting online. You must be comfortable so make sure you have nourishment close at hand as well as a pen and pad to make notes.
A good idea is to always check your network connections and keep that Wi-Fi line clear whilst the webinar is in progress. Go even further and de-activate other sources that share the Wi-Fi connection such as Skype, Facebook and definitely stop downloads. If in the office, ask other staff members that share the Wi-Fi in the office environment to close their downloads for the period of the webinar. Have a backup plan in case your internet goes down. You don’t want to run into a scenario where you have a test or assignment due and can’t complete it because of your internet access.
A brilliant plan is to ensure that you have downloaded and saved your Portfolio Guide that relates to the webinar course and minimise it to 50% of your screen, so that you can easily make notes under each question during the webinar. You may also want to have your Learner Guide on hand so that you can flip to the pages that the facilitator is discussing and mark where to read up on the answers at a later stage.
A timer is a great tool to have as it keeps you focussed on the task at hand. And remember when the webinar breaks to go into a further task, use that time to stretch your limbs and get the blood flowing again! Regular exercise improves memory and thinking skills. A good idea is having a stress ball on your desk to keep your blood pumping while you listen.
There are online backup tools that must be used when completing your course such as iCloud, Google Documents and Dropbox. If your work is saved on Google Documents or Dropbox it’s a lot easier to run back to the office or a nearby cafe to finish your assignment. Despite all your best efforts, sometimes technology stops working for inexplicable reasons.
Ergonomics in your work space
When setting your work station up, whether it will be a standing or sitting station, you want to be as comfortable as possible, but still in a position that will keep you from dosing off. Long use of a computer, especially with the wrong posture can lead to muscle aches and fatigue. The below tips will help you avoid this:
- Avoid unnecessary reaching. Your keyboard, mouse, note pad, files and head phones should be within easy reach;
- Position your laptop screen in the centre of your view, directly in front of you. The top of the screen should be slightly below the top of your head, so that you are looking at it with a slightly downward gaze;
- Position your laptop screen to eliminate any reflections coming from windows and lighting;
- Utilise a chair with back support;
- Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest when you work to reduce pressure on your lower back. If you don’t have a footrest use a box or an old file;
- Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides;
- Your wrists should be in a neutral or straight position when typing;
- Keep your fingers and knuckles relaxed when working at the keyboard;
- Avoid holding your mouse tightly. Your hand should be relaxed; and
- Rest your eyes by refocusing on distant objects intermittently when working.
Enjoy your new eLearning!
Congratulate yourself on taking the steps to learn something new and don’t forget to enjoy this time of your life. You’re embarking on a journey that will take you to new places and that’s something to be excited about.
If you have any questions on how to prepare for your online courses or you have any other tricks that work well for you, please feel free to share them in the comments below.