How to Make the Most out of a Udemy Online Course
Online classes can be a great way to learn valuable information that is hard to find at a very good price and with an easy to follow format. Online learning itself is very effective for learning, whereas learning platforms like Udemy can help this out a great deal.
How to make the most out of a Udemy online course? There are 24 helpful steps to follow that will maximize your learning out of Udemy classes:
Understand online learning expectations and learning practices
Take notes on newly learned points and topics
Drill down each key point
Keep a course structure
Watch videos at the right speed
Save lectures to be viewed anywhere and anytime
Make sure you always have reliable internet access
Maintain regular contact with the instructor
Keep necessary resources stocked
Appreciate the flexibility
Treat your Udemy class like it’s an in-person class
Be accountable to yourself
Examine your learning process
Start out part-time
Write out what you want to accomplish
Get a dedicated study space
Keep track of your learning objectives and goals
Build a study plan
Always ask for help when it’s needed
Review, revise, and repeat
Take regular study breaks
Take part in online discussions
Keep yourself motivated
While there are a lot of methods and techniques to help you get the most out of your Udemy course, at the very core it comes down to you wanting to get the most out of it. Losing focus and only committing a little bit will limit all your learning potential. Make the most out of your learning with these steps.
The Best Way to Learn from Udemy
Going through these courses of valuable information can be a tough thing to do, but it is very much worth it if you come out on the other side with this knowledge that will stay with you a lifetime.
1. Understand Online Learning Expectations and Learning Practices
The first thing you should know when taking an online class is that it isn’t necessarily an easier way to learn; it is, however, much more convenient. If you’re going to learn successfully online, then you will need to set aside a large amount of time to put towards the program.
This time requires you to be focused so that you retain the information and remain committed to the learning process instead of wasting time. Some courses will require you to:
Be or open to becoming tech-savvy
Fully commit to yourself and participate in a virtual classroom.
Work with others with efficiency
Complete all learning assignments and tasks on time
If you have a hard time doing some of the above steps, then it may be harder for you to be an online learner.
2. Take Notes on Newly Learned Points and Topics
Many teachers will provide notes for you and even PowerPoint slides. Even if this is the case, it is still important for you to take your own notes during these classes.
Writing out your own notes will help you tremendously in remembering the topics since your brain is putting all these topics together. All this writing helps the key points, and even other subtle details stick in your mind much better.
The lecture notes that the teacher provides might not even help you because it focuses on concepts you have no trouble remembering. If you use a Maxthon5 browser, you can even listen to your class while bringing out ”maxnote” with ctrl+g to take notes on the fly.
You can learn more about Maxathon5 browsers here.
3. Drill down Each Key Point
Listening to your classes gives you the ability to pause the recording as many times as you want as well as rewinding. Make sure to use this special feature if you are having trouble understanding a certain topic.
Maxthon5 also offers a split-screen option that can be used for Googling while you’re watching the video. This works even better if you’re running a dual monitor set-up, but it isn’t required.
4. Keep a Course Structure
While writing notes is important, it's also key that they have some structure to them and make sense when you read them later. Keep all your thoughts clear and follow the outline of the lecture that the teacher gives at the beginning of a lecture.
Store this outline within your notes so that everything as their place in your structure.
5. Watch Videos at the Right Speed
There may be some times where you can speed up or slow down a video to make your learning more efficient. Some teachers will talk really slow so you can speed the video up to 1.25x or 1.5x and still comprehend everything as well as the original speed.
Not all videos may have the ability to change their speed. You need to have the HTML5 player setup within your browser. Fortunately, if you’re using Maxthon5, the browser has an HTML5 player built-in.
To do this all you have to do is hover your cursor over the “Playback Rate” icon with “1x” displayed. You will then be able to see the available speed rate; typically, you can choose 0.5x to 2x.
6. Save Lectures to Be Viewed Anywhere and Anytime
For those that have used Udemy for a long time, you may know that you can buy as many courses as you want, but the courses cannot be downloaded to a Mac or PC. You can only save courses on the mobile Udemy app.
Knowing all of this, how exactly are you supposed to look at the lecture you bought when you’re offline? The Maxthon5 browser website says you can save all the videos you purchased by simply clicking them. You don’t need to use third-party software or register for anything.
One function provided is known as a “Resource Sniffer,” this will initiate a pop-up window that will ask you if you want to download the video.
After selecting the download option, you then click save and choose the path you want the downloaded video to go down. After you confirm the location the downloading will start.
Note: Some courses just can’t be downloaded because the course authors have rejected this option. Make sure you are careful and respect all the wishes of course authors before downloading.
7. Make Sure You Always Have Reliable Internet Access
One of the first things that can happen to somebody on the computer is when their computer crashes, or they lose their internet access and all their work and progress.
Make sure whatever you’re working on is saved constantly to cloud storage such as Google documents or Dropbox.
This will ensure that all your previous work will be saved and ready to be worked whenever you need it. In addition, make sure that you have backups of all your assignments and course materials.
Having a reliable internet connection will give you the opportunity to stay current with your learning on Udemy and the ability to adapt to any schedule changes.
8. Maintain Regular Contact with the Instructor
The course instructor will often make themselves available at all times to answer your questions because they rely on your reviews and payments to make their money. If you’re stuck on a problem or topic, just send a message out to your trainer.
Based on your learning experience the instructor will then be able to make changes to their course to make things clearer. You will also increase your understanding of the course and its effectiveness. Your instructor will never know there's a problem with their course if nobody speaks up, they will assume you’re learning just fine.
9. Keep Necessary Resources Stocked
This goes along with organizing, make sure that you have whatever you need on hand to make notes on everything you learn about. Regular “old-school’ supplies like notebooks and pencils, highlighters and sticky notes, all come in handy when you need to get organized.
Keep all your software that you’re using up to date and just have test runs so that you’re ready for class and you don’t have to waste your time and lose focus by fixing technical issues. Make sure you have storage resources available, too.
10. Appreciate the Flexibility
Remember that these classes offer flexibility, you can literally learn whenever you want for as long as you want. You can develop more while also focusing on individual activities and events in your life.
The pace you move at is entirely up to you if you want to completely master each section before moving on, then you can do that. Take advantage of the availability of resources and the open timeline.
You can take additional time to master concepts, use the internet for extracurricular research and take supplementary quizzes on material, just to analyze your own learning and advance your learning to a level you feel comfortable with.
11. Treat Your Udemy Class like It Is an In-Person Class
It may be hard to take an online class seriously because of all the flexibility it offers and all the distractions available on your computer. This requires a lot more discipline than you would think.
Every time you sit down to study and “attend class,” you have to remember that you are focusing on the task at hand. You can determine where and when you want to learn whatever you’re learning, but you shouldn’t just put off.
Remember that you’re paying for this course and you need to show up and put in the work just like a real class. If you want to step up your game, you can even imagine that your class is some sort of job and you’ll have a killer mindset in no time.
12. Be Accountable to Yourself
The only one that can make you learn something is yourself. You should never lie to yourself or fall short of your own expectations. Set realistic goals at the start of every class and make sure you accomplish these.
Many times, you’ll be given a visual or verbal reminder in traditional classes to remind you of group studies, assignments, and tests. Without a teacher to do this for you, you have to do it yourself.
Make sure you have a good schedule so that you aren’t falling behind and forgetting everything you learned. Not making any progress can cause easy frustration, so make sure you are always making progress.
13. Eliminate Distractions
Social media, Netflix, housework, friends, family, work, there can be many physical and mental distractions in your way, making learning much harder than usual.
There’s no surprise that the most successful students always know how to minimize these distractions and allot more time to focus completely.
The extent to which these types of factors distract you will vary from person to person. Here are some tips, depending on which type of learner you are:
For those that have noisy houses or environments, it's a good idea to use some headphones and listen to some music in the background to block it out.
For those who are tempted to multitask at home, you may need to study while in a library.
For those who need to be away from home, but can’t take the quiet, a coffee shop may be just the perfect place.
Need something to help you stay on-course online? Surfing the web is such a big problem that applications have been developed to make sure you stay in full concentrate. Freedom and Cold Turkey are just two of the applications that block websites and apps that will sap your attention and derail you.
Once you figure out the best strategy for yourself in eliminating these distractions you will have a much more efficient time learning.
Tip: No matter where you end up studying, it can be a good idea to turn off your phone notifications because we all know that those little bings and buzzes can completely throw us out of the zone.
14. Examine Your Learning Process
Now that you know where you’ll learn and what mindset to be in to stay focused, it's crucial to look at the other aspects of the learning process. Say you’re a morning person or a night owl, it would make sense to study first thing in the morning or late at night since you’re awake at this time anyways.
If you stay home and have kids, it would make sense to study while they’re away at school and you’re home by yourself. Make some coffee get a playlist ready and get yourself in the zone so you can be as effective as possible.
Everybody learns differently, so it's also important that you know exactly how you learn so you can make your learning as easy, fast and effective as possible. For example: if you’re a visual learner then you may want to print out video lecture transcripts or draw pictures of grand concepts.
15. Start out Part-Time
It can be very easy to jump into an online course way to fast and spend many hours going through the lessons on the first day. However, oftentimes you burn yourself on the content mentally, and you lose interest in the topic you wanted to learn.
Some people try to take several Udemy classes at once and become burned out on all of them this way. Start off with studying about half the time you would expect to, so that you can gauge your mental energy at the end and keep yourself engaged and active.
16. Write out Everything You Want to Accomplish
Instead of looking at what the course wants to teach you, consider writing out what you expect and want to learn. This gives you control over your learning and puts all the learning processes within your framework.
17. Get a Dedicated Study Space
A nice quiet space that is dedicated to learning is very important for allowing you to produce concentrated work and study without distraction and wasted time. Keeping this area readily available also helps eliminate any excuses for skipping your class time.
Since this space is where you will learn at all times, it is very important that this is one of your main concerns. If this space doesn’t enhance your learning, then it needs more work.
It's also a good idea to ask all your friends, relatives, and colleagues to respect your “working time” as well as the room itself so that you and your room remains undisturbed.
To help yourself while enrolled it’s another good idea to turn off your phone and log off of any social media networks you’re currently on while studying to keep you focused.
18. Keep Track of Your Learning Objectives and Goals
It's always helpful to know what exactly you’re striving for and what should be accomplished at the end of each session to make sure you’re on the right track. Luckily, just about every course on Udemy will have learning objectives and goals at the start so that you know what to expect.
While you’re going through these courses and learning, you can use these objectives as a road map to keep you on task, make sure you read through your online course requirements. Make notes that are closely related to your objectives and review them before and after each session to keep you focused.
It may be a good idea to consider starting with the most difficult tasks and objectives to improve your effectiveness and performance during studying.
However, if this proves too time-consuming and frustrating, then you should probably try tackling something easier to give yourself the psychological advantage.
19. Build a Study Plan
As it is crucial to have a study plan in place, here are some tips to help you develop it:
- Plan Ahead
Never procrastinate and wait until the day before the assignment is due to start working on it. This will give you more stress, and the stress will make your work a much lower quality than if you had given yourself ample time.
This also means you have to know when all of your assignments are due so that you can set effective time management schedules. If you’re going on vacation or out of town for a while, you can study ahead, so you don’t fall behind.
- Have a Working Calendar System
Online learning requires you to build your own structure. The good idea is to make a study calendar that will help you remember all the important dates like deadlines and exams for when you submit your assignments.
Nowadays, you can even save your calendar on your mobile device or computer so you can remind yourself often. Some people even make a wall planner which they mark up every time they accomplish something or study.
- Create To-Do Lists
Make a to-do list at the start of the week of tasks that you need to complete by the end of the week to stay on track. This is a great way to prioritize your study plan and keep your studying on track.
- Set Time Limits
Before you even start studying, you can consider estimating how long each assignment will take you so that you stick to time limits and increase your self-discipline. With this limit, it will help you stay focused to accomplish it.
However, if you realize that you cannot concentrate despite all your efforts, it may be a good idea to take a break for an hour or two to refresh. It's better to start when you’re fresh than to waste a bunch of time trying to focus.
- Stick to Your Schedule
Most importantly, you need to stick to this plan. It will be useless if you can’t stick to it and use it. The worst enemy of all online learners is procrastination, so if you can master this temptation then you’ll be in good shape.
20. Always Ask for Help When You Need It
In some cases, it can be helpful to look for some answers independently of your instructor or peers, but you shouldn't be scared to ask others that are taking or have taken your class for help as well as the instructor themselves.
You may fall behind and become frustrated if you are unable to figure something out. This can ultimately cause you to just drop out of the class and forget about it, which wastes your time and money.
Being engaged in an e-discussion board can also help your classmates that may be dealing with the same problem. With this being said, many Udemy classes will have open message boards for each section where previous students post questions and answers.
21. Review, Revise, and Repeat
Regularly revising and editing things that you have already studies and learn will not only increase your understanding of the material but your memory as well.
Make your own flashcards for keynotes and quizzes on key concepts of your course. One thing to consider if possible is to get somebody to take the course with you so you can study together and challenge each other’s understanding.
Having multiple members in a study group offers different views of the concept and increased motivation to achieve better results due to a factor of competition. You can share your study habits and notes with all your virtual or real-life classmates as you support each other through the class.
22. Take Regular Study Breaks
If you start to feel tired or frustrated while you're studying, then it would be very beneficial to integrate some more time into personal things such as meditation or exercise to refresh yourself.
Take a break and get your eyes off the computer with a change of scenery. Step outdoors or have cup of tea by a sunny window – and away from your computer!
Get a little exercise. Something as simple as a walk around the block is all you need to renew your energy and maintain your balance.
Stand up and do some stretches. Sitting at a computer screen fatigues your neck and back muscles. Get reinvigorated with some yoga-like moves between study hours.
Once you have renewed vigor, it will be much easier to achieve your online goals. Keep this in mind when you undoubtedly get a little burnt out.
23. Take Part in Online Discussions
Just because your class is online doesn’t mean you have to learn all by yourself. Connecting with a forum on your course or the message boards with your virtual classmates will help your learning experience a great deal.
This is amplified to those of you that are usually introverts and are hindered by visual barriers. Online discussions typically feature neat tricks, group activities which can also let you express your new ideas and input on the course.
If you disagree with somebody's opinion, make sure you always keep a respectful tone if you choose to call them out. Also, keep your writing in clear sentences and make your ideas clearly so that there is little misunderstanding.
24. Keep Yourself Motivated
Never underestimate the amount of effort you need to put into the course to succeed. Keep yourself engaged and motivated by following these tips:
Don’t forget the reason you took this course.
Keep around healthy snacks to boost your energy
Keep inspirational pictures and quotes around your study space.
Create your study routine at a pace comfortable to you.
Give yourself a reward every time you accomplish something difficult
Make some time for yourself occasionally
Stay positive throughout the course and keep your head up
By following these tips, you will have a fun, fulfilling learning experience that boosts your overall knowledge and breaks through challenges that allow you to try more challenging learning topics and ventures.
Committing to yourself and dedicating time and energy to focus on your learning is the surest way to succeed on Udemy.
Interested in trying out a Udemy course? Check our lists of most-recommended Udemy courses by category.