Start learning new skills with our online courses

Following recent events, many of us are now using Zoom and other video conferencing platforms to stay connected with friends and colleagues. We too have adapted our training to run virtually. This is quite a contrast to our normal classroom based approach, so to help you we’ve put together this handy guide on preparing for your online training at home.

Things you will need to consider include:

  • Do you have the right equipment to work remotely?
  • Can you set up a dedicated workspace?
  • How will you manage your distractions while working from home?
  • What can you do to make the most of your virtual training?
  • Could you spend some time learning useful keyboard shortcuts to help you work efficiently?
  • What are the best ways to learn effectively online?

Reliable Internet Connection

Our first tip to help you in preparing for your online training is to make sure you have a stable and reliable internet connection. This can be achieved by limiting the number of devices you connect to your internet connection. If you imagine you’re driving down a road with multiple cars, you would agree that in this scenario the road is much more likely to be congested. Well, your internet connection works in a similar way. The less devices you have connected, the more room you have for your internet traffic. Therefore, make sure to only connect appliances which are really important. This will help to increase the likelihood of a smooth uninterrupted WiFi stream.

Dual Monitors

Another great tip is to set up two or more computer monitors. We recommend this so that you can keep one monitor for the instructor stream and the second for materials or other resources in the course. Throughout your training you will be jumping back and forth between Excel spreadsheets, PDFs and external web links. Having a second monitor is a great way to spread the visual workload and keep on top of all the materials. If you don’t have a monitor then either a tablet or mobile device should work just as well.

Find a Quiet Workstation

Our training incorporates many visual elements to help you understand key topics but nothing beats having an instructor explain and breakdown complex topics to you. It is essential you can understand all instructions and explanations during your training, and we think investing in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones will pay dividends. If you do have a pair of noise cancelling headphones, then find a quiet work place with minimal distractions. External noise can really disrupt your concentration and workflow so be sure to pick a spot carefully and do your best to limit the chance of distraction.

Be Early

You wouldn’t be late to a meeting in real life, so make sure you follow this rule when it comes to virtual training as well. Do one better and spend a few minutes ahead of the video call to check your settings and make sure your WiFi is working.

Understand your Training Schedule

Online programs can be as short as an hour or as long as a full day! Whatever length your training is, make sure to review the schedule ahead of time. We often split learning up into different topics, group work, breaks and self study. It is really useful to know how your day ahead will pan out so that you can be sure to know what to expect from us.

A Clear Workspace Equals a Clear Mind

Having a cluttered or small work area can make it really difficult to keep on top of everything. You may wish to make notes, have a drink on standby or a separate laptop to hand. All of these will need their own space so make sure to have a good-sized desk area with everything you need at the ready.

Use All of the Resources Available to You

During the training, you will be presented with lots of different materials and resources. Our instructors are on standby to help answer any questions you may have so don’t be afraid to send them a message if you need more clarification. Make sure to use any videos, textbooks and our dedicated teaching assistants to boost your knowledge and understanding.

Speak with Fellow Participants

Lastly, have fun with the training and get speaking with your classmates. We understand it can be difficult to network with people virtually but it will also be in your benefit. Where possible, we like to split our learning into group work and this is a great opportunity to get to know one another and work within a team.

We hope you enjoyed our guide. Make sure to keep checking our site for the latest updates and helpful tips!

Free Course – Excel Efficiency Essentials