If you work full time, have childcare commitments or a busy lifestyle, then online learning could be a better fit than traditional classroom learning.
Where there is an option to take a course online, between 50% and 70% of students tend to choose online.
One of the RYA’s most popular online courses is Essential Navigation and Seamanship, which covers tides, charts and basic navigation and can be completed with just 6-10 hours of study time. There are plenty of other course options available too, all you need is access to the internet. Signing up is easy, and with no restrictions on geography or time, as soon as you have your login you are good to go.
But how do you get the most out of your eLearning experience?
Tracey Knubley, 48, has just completed her RYA Day Skipper Theory online with an RYA-recognised Training Centre and passed within the recommended 40 hours. She has the following top eLearning tips:
Tip 1 - Be disciplined with your time.
Allocate set times in the week for study time. This can fit round your life – when the kids are in bed or at school, or at weekends if you work full time. Setting a regular time aside each day helped me to achieve my course within the timeframe I had set.
Tip 2 - Have an end goal
There’s nothing more motivating than a deadline. My partner and I have a yacht. I wanted to be more helpful on board so decided to work towards my Day Skipper Practical course by taking my theory first. I booked my Practical Course at the end of the theory which focused my energy as I had no choice but to complete the course on time.
Tip 3 - Do your homework
There are lots of RYA books designed to help you pass your course or exam. I used the RYA Day Skipper Handbook – Sail, RYA Day Skipper Practical Course Notes and RYA Navigation Exercises, which explained things really simply and helped to reinforce the information I was learning about. eBooks are great too - you can book mark your reading material, write and save notes and search content. Some material includes animations, for example watching a lit buoy flash white three times within a period of five or ten seconds, is much easier to remember when seen than when read about.
Tip 4 - Read all the instructions thoroughly
The instructions are really clear but allow yourself the time to read carefully through the material to avoid wasting time and making mistakes.
Tip 5 - Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The student pack is really good and has all the equipment you need to complete your learning, but there are times when you need a steer. If you are struggling, an instructor would always rather know and give you the help you need to get the end result you are looking for. Even though I didn’t need to ask for help on this occasion it was comforting to know he was there to take my call or chat on Skype. You can email or drop by if you live locally too. Good luck!
To find out more about RYA online courses and how to sign up, visit: www.rya.org.uk/go/take-courses-online