Challenges with an on-line course

A hard and honest look at the challenges associated with taking an on-line course;

 

on-line course

We are all experienced with traditional classroom education, but for most of you, this is probably your first experience with studying and testing an on-line course. Everyone these days is comfortable with a computer. Between emails, social media and YouTube we spend a great deal of our spare time surfing the net. So this should be a walk in the park, right? Yes and no.

Surfing between emails and Facebook requires little mental effort. But studying to become a licensed Texas Insurance Adjuster takes concentration and discipline. For most of us, once we graduated High School or College, we said goodbye to the strenuous mental gymnastics required to pass our classes. And like working out a gym, it is a case of “use it or lose it!”

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All right, don’t panic, getting back into a study routine is like riding a bike. It all comes back to you, but the first study session will likely leave you a bit sore. The main reason, is not so much that you are out of ‘shape,’ it is because of the type of material you are attempting to digest.

Insurance is admittedly tedious, monotonous, repetitious and legalistic in nature, making your ability to comprehend the information challenging. 100 word sentences that seem to go on endlessly are common! We at TXALA have done our best to remove much of the unnecessary jargon, while still maintaining the integrity of the material. Even though we have done a lot of work in this are on your behalf, it is still a somewhat difficult read.

To help you with this, you have to understand that most all of us have developed some very lazy study habits, since there is little we have to study anymore. We tend to scan text for a general sense of its meaning without actually reading it. This style comes in especially handy on Facebook, or forwarded emails. But if you want to pass your Final Exam, get your license and start a new career, you are going to have to actually READ the material! Trust me on this, that which you think is unimportant is likely on the Final Exam.

Let’s digress for a moment for a quick career overview. When you do get your license and you are actually out in the field working claims, you are going to look back and wonder why you had to learn all of this seemingly unrelated information. It would make sense if you are selling insurance, but you’re not, therefore very little of the course material is actually transferable to adjusting. I still remember how thrilled I was once I was working Katrina, that almost none of it was relevant to working my claims. So why then do you have to know all of this stuff?? Good question! My guess is that TDI believes it gives you a more comprehensive understanding of the entire process. (That sounds valid right?!) And since they run the show, you better play the game the way they say!

OK, back to the study grind . . . To help you work your way though this, we have broken the course up into manageable Units that roughly take an hour each. This was by design, because studies show retention of the material is in jeopardy if you don’t take regular breaks. So not wanting you to study harder than need be, we constructed the course so you read through some material, then we test your comprehension before advancing to the next Unit. We recommend that you take an actual break between Units. Again studies suggest that you learn better if you get up from your computer for 15 minutes or more. Resist the urge to ‘power through’ a dozen Units without a break.

A good tip to improve your retention is to read aloud. This helps solidify pathways in your brain. Also, try to review the information within 24 hours, otherwise you will statistically forget 50% – 80% of the information. But if you review it, even for a few minutes, your retention skyrockets! Finally, don’t multitask. I know you think you can watch TV or listen to some music while studying and still learn the info, but research says that dividing your attention interrupts the absorption process in your brain. Bottom line, if you don’t process the text material properly, you probably wont be able to recall it on the Final Exam!

If you practice these tips and make a genuine effort to learn the material, you will work through the on-line course and pass the Final Exam. At that point, Congratulations – you are a licensed Texas Adjuster!

 


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