Taking a course online has lots of advantages over taking it face-to-face in a classroom. The most significant advantage is its convenience.
When you learn online, you can train whenever you want and pretty much wherever you choose, including at home. This is perfect for when you have a busy schedule and can't to commit to class times that work for the instructor but not for you.
There are trade offs, however, when you swap in-class training for online learning.
Even though it’s very flexible, learning online presents some challenges that can be confusing to some students, especially new ones. This includes the initial uncertainty people often have about how to use an online course’s learning platform and how to get the most out of all its features.
At the Global Martial Arts University (GMAU), we understand that our full (i.e., paid account) students can get confused about all that's available to them on our online training platform, especially at first.
To help full GMAU students better understand how to access their courses’ features and train with us, our founder and director, Sensei Michael Hodge, created the How to Train in the GMAU (Full Student) video.
In this video, he gives you a tour of the GMAU Student Dashboard (i.e., online user interface) to explain everything you can take advantage of to be super successful on your path to black belt and beyond.
Here’s a summary of what Sensei Michael explains in the video plus a few extra tips for you about how to train in the GMAU…
- As a full (paid) GMAU student, you get access to all the training content (lessons and classes) at all course levels and all the extra features available on the Student Dashboard.
- You train in your course by selecting the Training link on the main menu and watching/doing the various lessons and classes.
- You can use the Guided Training feature to play and follow-along to the lessons and classes in their recommended order at the various levels.
- Lessons are relatively short because they’re designed for you to learn the techniques/material in a relatively quick and easy way.
- Doing the classes is like being in in-person classes in a real dojo or gym. They include follow-along warm ups, lessons, drills, conditioning, and sometimes cool downs. It’s important to do classes multiple times to get more reps and training-time in.
- It’s also a good idea to practice on your own without watching the videos. This forces you to focus on yourself even more. Be sure to include exercises, techniques, and any drills you need to get better at.
- When you watch lessons and classes, the video time gets automatically added to your Progress Tracker and personal Journal. You can and should manually log your offline-training time to your Journal.
- Each course has assignments and tests at each level for you to have your skills reviewed for feedback and graded for ranking up. Assignments and tests aren’t mandatory, but we highly recommend you do them to get instructor feedback, perfect your technique, and and earn ranks.
- Assignments come in different forms -- some ask you to make GMAU discussion-board posts to reflect on your training and interact with fellow students, while others require you to post videos of yourself doing techniques. Your instructor will review your videos and give you personalized feedback on your progress.
- You can only submit a test to rank up when you've logged enough training time in your Journal and you've completed all the assignments at a course level. You'll post a video of yourself running through all the test requirements, and your instructor will review it and give you direct feedback. You'll either pass the test and move to the next level or be asked to make corrections and resubmit the test. The feedback you get will always be personal, positive, supportive, and encouraging.
- You can use the GMAU email system to contact your course instructor for motivation and support.
- On the Community page you can see what other students in your course are doing in the Student Activity and Student Victories sections, give others High Fives for their accomplishments, see who’s training the most on the weekly Leader Board, and view what’s being talked about on the course forum.
- On the Discussion Board you can post and interact with other students in various GMAU courses as much as you like (you'll also get access to the private GMAU Facebook Community).
- As long as you enter your address in the Settings area of your student dashboard, you can use the Student Locator to see other GMAU students who live near you. This gives you the opportunity to contact them to become possible training partners.
- You can use the Shop tab on the main menu to access the online GMAU Store, where you can buy branded t-shirts and other items.
- If you encounter a bug on the website or need technical support or billing help, select the Support tab in the main menu to access the GMAU student-support portal and create a new support ticket. Before you create a ticket, please check out the FAQs and other helpful articles on the portal for solutions to common student concerns.
- Use the My Courses tab on the drop-down menu (top-right corner of the dashboard) to make changes to your payment information, enroll in extra courses, and link family members to your account.
We hope this “Getting Started” video and article helps you understand what’s available in your course so you can get going faster and more smoothly with your training!
We look forward to supporting you on your path to black belt and beyond!