If you’ve never taken an online course before, you likely don’t have a clue what to expect. The online classroom can be a challenge for someone that has never been exposed to its unique format, so here are some tips to ensure that you do not become overwhelmed!

1. Make sure you have access to the Internet.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but since it’s an online course, the baseline requirement is that you have regular and easy access to a computer and the Internet. Additionally, some courses may require that your computer meet certain technical requirements to access particular course materials. Be sure to check for any requirements before the course begins!

2. Manage your time.

One of the great things about online courses is that you may complete them at your own pace. But, this frequently is the downfall for students new to the online format. Make sure you manage and schedule your time appropriately. Make it a priority to complete a portion of the online TEFL course each day, or a certain number of hours each week—and don’t deviate from this plan! If you take too much time away from the course, you’ll just have that much more work to do later. Don’t try to do it all in one sitting, as your eyes will get weary and you may get tired. Schedule yourself a break in between different sections to keep yourself fresh.

3. Ask questions.

If you have questions or issues, make sure you reach out to your personal tutor and TEFL expert. A disadvantage of an online course is that you cannot rely on visual cues when interacting with the material, so make sure that you communicate clearly and ask questions when in doubt!

4. Take advantage of the resources provided to you.

Online courses are not just about reading and writing. Depending on the course you choose, you may have a personal tutor giving you feedback and expecting to see progress in your learning. You may also have videos and tutorials that will exemplify the lessons to provide you more exposure to the content. Take advantage of these resources, they will be very helpful for you in completing the course and in your future teaching job.

5. Remind yourself why you are taking the TEFL certification course!

Finally, if you find yourself lacking motivation to complete the next module or procrastinating to finish your assignment, remind yourself why you originally decided to enroll in the certification course. Likely you want to be a world traveler, to see another country from a different perspective, or simply that you want to help benefit the lives of the people you teach. Your goals will help motivate you to finish your certification and begin your adventure of teaching abroad!