The saying ‘Experience is the best teacher’ couldn’t make more sense. Learning first hand from the horse’s mouth, that is my experiences, has shown me vividly the immense growth one can achieve from effective online communication in the business world. I was first skeptical of the online learning concept and partly chose this approach due to the many challenges facing the other conventional (face to face) methods of work and learning (Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Sampson, J., 2014). I now find that learning and working online has several advantages such as having the convenience of working from the comfort of my house combined the huge array of programs and courses to choose from. I also find that contrary to popular belief, there’s a huge audience out there and a greater interaction circle as opposed to the traditional face to face alternatives and in my opinion this has helped me take in more and significantly broaden my knowledge of the business environment (Xu, D., & Jaggars, S., 2013).
How my areas of expertise have changed
- Workplace composure
One cannot put a price on the value of keeping calm when situations get stressful. I have also acquired the valuable skill of maintaining positive body language even when things get tense, and this goes a long way in avoiding sending the wrong messages to my superiors and my colleagues (Iacono, 2017).
- Problem-solving and resolution skills
In my experience, one has to know how to exactly go around a problem and be prepared as they happen all the time. The most crucial part is analyzing the situation both logically and critically to determine and identify the problem before going to the next step which is listing the possible solutions and assess the options on the table (Garcia, 2015).
- Leadership skills
In my opinion, self-awareness plays a critical role in the pursuit of becoming a good leader. When one is aware of themselves, it is possible to exercise self-discipline which is pivotal to keeping at a particular thing one might be working (Colbert, A., Yee, N., & George, G., 2016). This is key to persisting so as to achieve organizational goals.
Understanding other people’s feelings and relating to their experiences plays a vital role in fashioning strong and fruitful relationships which are key to tip-top performance in achieving set goals (MacDonald, 2015).
How my knowledge of the online environment has changed
- Computer skills
I find it imperative to be up to date with the trends in Information Communication Technologies. There are countless advantages to developing my computer skills, and this has been evident in my online work. There are countless sources of information online and thanks to the advancement of technology there are multiple ways to store my data regardless of the size (Anderson, L., & Bolt, S., 2015).
Teamwork has always been paramount to success in any workspace, and the online field is not an exception (Gandini, 2016). I find online collaboration to have several advantages over other traditional workspaces as team members can be anywhere in the world and not to forget the fact the content is also as diverse. I also have to mention that it is easy to make reports on a project as one does not have to physically submit it (Faraj, S., Kudaravalli, S., & Wasko, M., 2015).
- Time management
Keeping time is of utmost essence in any line of work. I always make a plan for the day’s activities so as to ensure all my work is done and submitted it time to avoid penalties and to ensure customer satisfaction. It is also principal that I manage my time appropriately so as to create time for my personal life.
- Digital communication
In the online field, communication plays a crucial role in passing information and getting feedback. It has become quite easy to get feedback on a particular issue as the world has become a global village thanks to the advancement of technology, however, due to lack of physical gestures information might be misinterpreted and or misunderstood.
How my unit goals changed
- Explore, use and evaluate information online to develop research and communication skills.
It is easy to waste precious time online as there are loads of information over the internet. For best results, an online learner should take an objective approach and have an explicit and comprehensible list of targets to achieve effective research. Next thing to do is taper down the broad information on the relevant topics.
- Construct and publish knowledge in the online environment
Realizing that there is a tremendously wide online audience looking for online knowledge has made me take crucial measures to ensure that the content I publish is relevant, accurate and that it entrenches unerring information gathered from well-conducted research (Hars, 2013). It is my goal to ensure I publish reliable and error free content which puts a good name for my work out there. To stay afloat in the online business, one has to ensure that they go the extra mile to guarantee competency regarding the content published online.
- Reflect on self as a learner
One should take the time to appraise themselves and probe their work and skills to determine what direction they are headed career-wise and to know if there are improvements and or changes that need to be made. I take my time to scrutinize myself on things that I need to work on so that I can develop my skills in online work. One should check on their strengths as well as their weaknesses and determine possible solutions or changes that need to be made.
How my course goals changed
- Generating and evaluating evidence
Unlike from other traditional sources, information obtained from the internet has unfortunately been associated with inaccuracy and in most cases not taken seriously. This could partly be because it is easily edited and distorted in the process. One has to be aware of this scenario and ensure that gathering of evidence online is taken seriously, and I ensure that my research is done thoroughly to guarantee factual and truthful information (Durose, C., Needham, C., Mangan, C., & Rees, J., 2017). I am always learning to check and counter-check the evidence obtained online for credibility.
- Making reasonable arguments and ethical judgments
I was once tasked with presenting an idea in front of a panel of well-established people in the theatrical arts industry and ended up failing to convince them to invest in my idea. I can attribute my failure to the fact that I hadn’t understood that knowledge is the true key to winning an argument. That being said I now always ensure I have my facts right and that I’ve thoroughly done my homework so as to entrench making a reasonable argument. One's character also plays a fundamental role in their overall ethics and is revealed when making ethical judgments.
- Critical thinking
Information on the internet is altered rather easily, and one doesn't have anyone to guide you through as a tutor would in say a classroom setting. Therefore, one needs to acquire and enhance their critical thinking skills to enable them to analyze, interpret, evaluate and understand the usable online content (Facione, P., & Gittens, C., 2015).
- Analyzing and interpreting data
Analyzing and interpreting online content goes hand in hand with critical thinking. I have learned to dissect and decode information presented online to set aside useful and actionable information that is relevant to my work (Metz, 2014).
How the lessons learned in this course will impact my future studies and career
The skills I have acquired while working online will do me a great deal of good regarding furthering my studies. Thanks to the abundant sources of information online I can feel free to call the internet knowledge and information super-highway. I have had a great deal of growth both in my studies and in my career as well as in personal development. Due to a lot of research in how to relate to my online colleagues as well as other people in my life, I can say that I have learned valuable lessons that will go a long way in ensuring peaceful and productive co-existence in both schools and at the workplace.
Online content has also helped broaden and deepen my knowledge in all aspects of school to work, and it's evident in the quality of my assignments and the quality of the work that I produce for my clients. However, the internet can prove unsafe sometimes such as in cases of hacking, but thanks to learning the use of appropriate tools I can ensure the safety of my work and my privacy. I have also learned not to trust all the information available online, and hence I take stern precautions to guarantee the credibility of the sources of the content I use in both my studies and my online work.
We now live in a digitally advanced world, and it's hard to ignore that the impact that working online is having. The internet has made it possible to achieve goals that would have been quite back-breaking if one was using traditional methods of learning and communicating. In my online work, I have had the pleasure and rare experience of working with people from almost all corners of the globe with the help of online translating tools found online. Having been born into the digital age, I am much more comfortable doing my studies and my work online as opposed to libraries and other physical alternatives. I'm certain that learning and communicating online will go a long way in furthering my studies and my career.
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