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The first and foremost thing you need to remember is that taking an online course is not the same as attending classroom training. While the course outline might be the same, the online course might weave it in several smaller duration content pieces or a certain number of longer sessions. Rather than having any pre-defined expectations, be prepared for a different experience.

Some online courses may require you to have the knowledge of certain technologies or websites. You might need to access some external resources. It is highly recommended that you read through the course requirements before you start the course and keep all the information ready. You don’t want to reach half-way through the course and get stuck due to technical issues.

Keep all your course material, presentations, and submissions neatly in a folder on your system. This will prove to be handy for you during assessment tasks and also for reference purposes. Don’t forget to take regular backups so that you don’t lose this valuable material.

The kind of environment you study in deeply affects your concentration and performance. Find a quiet place with good internet connection and freedom from distractions. This will help you focus to study well.

Taking an online course does not mean that you are completely out of touch from your trainers. Regular communication with your trainers will help you gain an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. A good rapport with them will also help you clear your doubts and have your queries answered.

If there is a way that you can get in touch with other students pursuing the same course, then you should do it since this will give you an idea about the approach they are taking, share your notes, exchange ideas, and also brainstorm. This will also help you make new friends, share study habits and help each other during challenging assignments.

Technology can stop working for reasons unknown to you – your computer might refuse to boot up or your Internet connection may decide to act up. Always have a backup system in place so that your training and schedule do not get hampered.

While an online course offers you the flexibility of completing it at your own convenience, setting aside specific hours in the day for study and following a schedule helps time manage to achieve course completion.

Try and convince a partner to take the course with you. This will prove to be very helpful in terms of motivation and moral support. You can discuss topics together, study together, and give each other tips.

Online courses typically share the course schedule well in advance. The schedule can give you an idea about the topics and their complexity. Prepare a calendar accordingly for each topic so that your time is planned and you don’t end up panicking last minute.

There is no one to monitor you when you are taking an online course so the best thing to do is to figure out your distractions and stay away from them. Keep your phone away, avoid checking social networking sites, stay away from the television, and give a prior heads-up to your family members about your study hours.

A lot of courses start out light and require more commitment with every passing week. If you are finishing your work quickly, go through the study materials for the later sessions. This will keep you well prepared and will make it easier for you to absorb the information.

If there is any part of the course where you get stuck, do not hesitate to ask for help. You can get in touch with a trainer or contact the support offered by your college. Also try and look for information online, participate in forums and communities, and do your own research.

Students completing these online courses, unless they are part of an Accredited government recognised Qualification, are not required to register a USI.
From 1 January 2015 onward any person in Australia or with an Australian visa who enrolls in any in any government recognised course or unit will need to obtain and provide a Unique Student Identifier (USI).

If you are in Australia when you do your course or unit then you will need to get a USI.