Studying interior design online is becoming an increasingly popular way to gain a qualification owing to the many benefits derived from studying at home. The obvious benefit for anyone is that these courses can be done at your own pace and in your own time to suit your own schedule. However, there are things you should know before you start your search for the best online interior design course for you.
In theory, an online study course sounds great. After all, you can work at your leisure when time allows. There things that you may not have considered and this article highlights the essential things you should know before embarking on this road.
Firstly, you need to ask yourself if you are suited to the discipline that an online study course requires. Bear in mind you still need to plan when to fit in your study time and it is easy to become distracted. You will need to treat the study element seriously and allocate your blocks of time so you can devote 100% of your attention to the task in hand. This way you will gain the most benefit from the course.
You will also require patience as often if you have a burning question or are stuck on a project; you may have to wait from a couple of hours or more until your tutors get back to you via email, Skype or telephone.
Your course of choice will recommend a set time for each module you complete and this will be ample to allow you to fit it into your personal schedule.
You will need a computer with a broadband connection and a printer with scanner. A webcam is useful for any interactions with tutors. You must be familiar with using the internet and computer software of different kinds. Many projects will require you to upload photos and video of your finished results so you need to be confident enough to do this.
A camera with a video function is essential so that you can capture different elements of projects to be sent to the tutors for assessment.
The online college will notify you of any specialist equipment you need. This is likely to require some investment in drawing supplies, measuring devices, paper, and so forth. You will also be responsible for sourcing your own samples of fabrics, flooring, wallpaper and colour charts, so be prepared to spend some time doing this. Most reputable colleges will advise where to source these and some may provide samples by post.
Studying interior design online needs focus. Set aside an area or room where you can study in peace and concentrate your efforts on learning. There are times you will need to take part in online lectures or just sit and watch some video material. A home computer set up in a busy part of the house will not be satisfactory if you are trying to learn new topics. Whether you study sitting in bed with a laptop or have a home office space, keep that area quiet and available for when you are studying.
Distractions will not allow you to work to the best of your ability and sometimes when self-motivation is low, it is easy to drift off and watch a movie or do something else instead. Having your special area helps you to switch into study mode.
Good communication skills will always make things easier, especially when studying interior design online as you will need to produce written work as part of your course. Make good use of your word processor spell checker and always review and proof read your work to make sure you send in work for review that is clear and concise. Effective communication whether you choose a visual presentation or explain your ideas in the written word is essential for online courses where you are not face to face with tutors or other course members.
If the course of your choice has a forum for students, take full advantage of this as it is an opportunity to chat with other members and exchange ideas as well as finding some support to help with motivation.
Many interior design online courses have workshops or Interior Design Weeks where you are invited to experience practical hands on tasks and some intense study. If a workshop or Interior Design Week is included in your course, make sure you will be able to attend, as these events are your chance to consolidate what you have learned so far and to meet other students and make contacts.
If you are devoting time and commitment to studying interior design online, then make sure you will obtain a recognised qualification. Many online courses issue various types of diplomas unrecognised in the interior design industry. A recognised qualification will stand you in good stead should you decide to pursue interior design as a career. Here at My Interior Design School, we aim our students toward the prestigious, globally recognised City and Guilds qualifications.