How to Overcome Online Learning Anxiety (9 tips)

Whether you want to become a trainer by attaining the Certificate IV in training and assessment or considering advancing your education by taking a Diploma of vocational education or training design, going back to studies after a long time away is not always the easiest task, especially if you have to take on online learning.

‘Learning anxiety’ is a common occurrence amongst online and virtual participants. There is a lot of pressure on students to do their best in courses, while still managing other areas of their life, whether it is a part-time job or managing a household. This fear of failure often leads to anxiety.

Learning anxiety is also common amongst adults who decide to take a course after dropping out, being away from a school environment for a long time, or even for a career change. The thought of having to adapt to a new environment and meet new people can often cause anxiety and stress.

Here are timely tips to help overcome online learning anxiety.

1. Familiarise yourself with eLearning

A new online learning experience can be stressful if you have never done it before. Computer anxiety is common amongst students new to online learning, hence the need to familiarise yourself with the concept before your classes.

You can read as much as possible on eLearning to know what to expect in your online classes. You can also download and start using the video platform your teacher will be using for the classes. Familiarising yourself with the online learning environment makes it easier for you to adapt to the system once your classes start.

2. Get a quiet place when taking your classes

As an online learner, you are required to attend your classes away from a regular classroom and mostly from your home, office, or anywhere else as long as you have a computer and stable internet. One of the best ways to overcome learning anxiety is to find a quiet place for your classes. This should be away from distractions and somewhere comfortable.

Most online classes require students to practice active participation through a workshop on Zoom, Teams, or a video call on Skype. This requires concentration, hence the need for a comfortable and quiet space. Not having distractions will ease your anxiety as you focus on the class and make presentations on video.

3. Practice effective time management

Even though most online classes take place at scheduled times throughout the week, you are still required to adopt effective time management skills to make your eLearning easier.

Not having enough time between classes for your project, preparing your presentation, or completing your assignments are common causes of anxiety amongst students. The best way to overcome this issue is through effective time management.

Creating a task calendar for your online classes is an effective way of managing your time. Your calendar should include different times when assignments are due, exam and quiz days, and dedicated time for studying.

Time management also includes organising other areas of your life to ensure they do not derail your eLearning schedule. Having in-class and off-class schedules makes time management easier, ensuring there is no task overlaps and that you are always available for your classes.

4. Connect with your trainers

Learning anxiety is sometimes caused by the fear of having to work with a trainer. The best way to overcome this fear is by taking time to connect with your instructors and assessors. Remember that a trainer is there to offer guidance and assistance for your course.

Connecting with your trainer is the best way to tackle the subjects that cause you anxiety. Your trainer is always willing and ready to offer extra support to make the subject easier to understand.

5. Take time to know your classmates

Getting to know other members of your class is also an ideal way to overcome learning anxiety. When you are familiar with your environment, you become more comfortable, which is good for relieving stress. Also, familiarising yourself with your classmates helps you to overcome your fear of making presentations in class or actively participating in-class activities and discussions.

Getting to know your classmates also makes it easier for you to get study partners or project partners. This kind of support can go a long way in making your learning experience much more pleasant.

6. Prioritise your physical health

The mind is connected to your physical body. If you find yourself overly anxious about class, an assignment, or the eLearning in general, taking time to exercise, plan your meals better, sleep better or relax can help to relieve anxiety.

Regular exercising can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety. Taking complex carbohydrates and a healthy diet ensures you do not suffer a dip in your blood sugar levels, preventing anxiety and improving your concentration.

7. Remember to take breaks

Sitting in the same position and place for hours when attending class or studying can often cause mental and physical fatigue. Taking breaks in between your classes or study sessions is good for your physical and mental well-being. Taking a break is an effective way of managing online learning stress and avoiding mental fatigue, often caused by spending too much time doing the same thing.

8. Get enough sleep

Good sleep is linked to better performance in academic study. When you get enough sleep regularly, your mind is more awake and alert during class, ensuring you retain most of what you learn. By ensuring you are getting enough sleep, anxiety is more easily controlled. It is recommended that you should get at least 7 hours of sleep to be at your best performance level every day.

9. Address the underlying condition

Sometimes, learning anxiety is caused by an underlying condition that affects your ability to concentrate or understand in class. Conditions such as ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and dyslexia can affect the way you learn. By finding out if there is an underlying cause for your learning anxiety, speak to your trainer or our client relationship manager before the course and we will be more than happy to help you with your specific needs in class and when completing your assessments.

The bottom line

Overcoming learning anxiety is a long process that requires patience, courage, and self-discipline. By following the tips highlighted in this post, you will manage and possibly overcome learning anxiety and enhance your eLearning experience.

Author – Raj Paul Trainer & Assessor at SpecTraining