Online learning is the new normal. Four new skills graduates should list in their CVs post-COVID-19

virtual learning skills
Have you already acquired these virtual learning skills since transitioning to online courses or webinars? Source: Mauro Pimentel/ AFP

Now that most of us are studying and working online as countries go into lockdown, it’s never been more important for us to be the best virtual versions of ourselves.

As the University of Surrey’s People, Culture and Inclusion Manager Matthew Maclachlan said, onilne -learning and working is more than just a matter of moving from a physical space to a virtual one. 

“The evolution of office work is simple. From slate and scroll to pen and paper, to typewriter, to the desktop computer, to hyper-connectivity,” says Maclachlan.

“However, it has become apparent that virtual working is not as simple as changing your office location – organisations have discovered an urgent need for virtual skills.”

COVID-19 or not, the world is heading into a hyper-connected digital future. This then leads us to the question: Which virtual learning skills should university students be sharpening to prepare for this?

1. Open communication

virtual learning skills

Virtual learning skills will prove to be an asset in your future workplace. Source: Stephen Maturen/ AFP

While working online, you could get distracted by tidal waves of information hitting your inbox.

But to stop yourself from drowning in data, you’ll need to adopt open communication skills which equate to instant responses and follow up emails.

By adopting this vital virtual learning skill early on, you’ll also deepen your understanding of virtual communication etiquette.

It’ll come in mighty useful as we head into a hyper-connected future world of work.

2. Time management

virtual learning skills

You can work on your virtual learning skills from anywhere in the world. Source: Yamil Lage/ AFP

Without a lecture timetable to follow, you may be left wandering the house, avoiding your daily list of study tasks. 

And with no strict schedule to lean on, your academic progress could falter. 

That’s why time management is another essential virtual learning skill that you must master before entering the world of work.

If you can’t manage your time effectively, how long will it be before your future employer warns you about your slow workflow?

And what will your employees think of you if you forget to turn up to Zoom meetings?

Now is the time to master your self-motivation techniques so that these scenarios never happen.

3. Relationship building

virtual learning skills

Virtual learning skills are useful when you’re trying to learn a new language or need to refine your online communication styles. Source: Mauro Pimentel/AFP.

Building relationships with peers via online study sessions means that you’ll have team members to lean on for help.

This will also prove useful in your future workplace as you’ll learn how to become an integral and reliable member of your department.

There may also be moments in your future career when you need to collaborate with other members for an important project. 

So now’s not the time to be shy. Call up your fellow online learners and reach out for advice when you need it.

4. Tech proficiency

virtual learning skills

Knowing which tech tool works best is a valuable for the future! Source : Josh Edelson/ AFP

If you don’t know which tech works best for working at home, then you’re going to be facing a lot of hardships in the future workplace!

Now is the time to invest in your tech knowledge. For instance, is Zoom the best app for video conferences?

Does Microsoft Teams really bring the team together?

And is Trello the best device for daily scheduling?

These are all examples of questions that you can figure out while studying from home.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know about travelling safely during a pandemic

Universities shutdown: What are the online learning tools students need to know?