Online Learning on Highway Signpost.Online training courses have become a huge benefit to adult learners. From individual how-to training for a specific task (like Microsoft’s online software tutorials) to massive open online courses (MOOCS) offered by universities to students worldwide, online education brings a vast array of opportunities within reach of learners in every field imaginable — all you need is access to a computer, some time, and the determination to succeed in your chosen topic.

Like every other endeavor in life, success in your online training program depends as much on what you put into it as in the coursework itself. Even the best-designed, most comprehensive online program is only as good as the effort and commitment each student applies to making the most of the experience.

If you are considering or possibly already made the commitment to pursue online schooling, here are a few tips to help guide you through the process. Even if you are considering a career outside of appliance repair training, these tips for online courses are applicable in any industry.

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST — A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, and the same is true of learning appliance repair. (Don’t worry, though: it won’t take a thousand miles.) Like anything else, appliance repair has a number of fundamentals that must be mastered before you go on to more challenging tasks. First, you must thoroughly understand the principles of electricity, electronics, gas, and so on. You need to be able to read schematics and extrapolate those diagrams into the inner workings of a refrigerator or stove or dishwasher before you ever open an instrument panel. And if you already have some experience working with appliances, don’t pooh-pooh the basic courses — chances are there’s a wealth of useful information your seat-of-the-pants experience never gave you. Besides, you don’t know what you don’t know, right?

2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK — You’ve often heard it said that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. If you’ve tried and tried to master a concept on your own but just can’t seem to make it click, ask your instructor or advisor. That’s what they’re there for, and a few back-and-forth emails or perhaps a Skype conference can lead to that Aha! moment that will help you rise to the next level of achievement in your training. (And cordial relationships with your instructors can be advantageous when they are asked to recommend students for any job openings.)

3. DEVELOP DISCIPLINE AND PERSISTENCE — Whether you’re employed or you’re currently out of work, it’s crucial to set aside dedicated times to pursue your online studies. Perhaps you can get up earlier or stay up later to complete your coursework — or less ideally, study at various free times during a day — but it’s important to make your education a priority. Try to find quiet times and places, free of noise and interruptions, where you can really focus on absorbing the complex information you’ll need on the job. And no matter how hard it may seem at times to keep on track with your commitment, don’t give up. Keep your goal in mind and don’t let setbacks keep you from moving forward. You CAN do it!

4. KNOW YOUR LEARNING STYLE — Some of us are visual learners who need to see and interact with how things work, while others grasp concepts more readily through listening to lectures or reading. Your training provider may offer a variety of tools such as videos, manuals, syllabuses, or hands-on practicums geared to learners of every type. Choose your preferred method, but don’t overlook other modes — the more types of input you take advantage of, the more concrete your knowledge base will become.

5. DON’T RUSH — Did you read No. 1 above? Good. Yes, we all want to get out there, roll up our sleeves, and delve into the inner workings of every appliance we have learned about. Your instructor will let you know when you’re ready for hands-on work. When that eagerly awaited time arrives, it’s a good idea to try to find an apprentice or assistant position with an experienced repair technician who can help you develop in a real-world setting the manual skills you need to apply your theoretical knowledge. If you are already working in the field, your employer will be impressed with your new expertise and determination to get ahead and will assign more challenging responsibilities.

Master Samurai Tech allows students to gain a comprehensive foundation of knowledge that students may not receive through basic hands-on training. We teach each student how to think critically through any situation for a deeper understanding of the issue at hand. This prepares our students for anything this industry might throw at them, not just particular topics covered in training.

If a student approaches their online learning with this in mind, whether it is appliance repair training or computer programming, they will be successful in the “classroom” as well as any future career opportunities it leads to.

Good luck!