Tips For Success in Online Courses
Online courses offer flexibility and convenience, but they also present special challenges. Below are 9 tips for success:
1. Know the Technical Requirements
Online classes can benefit students with busy schedules, but only if they can access the materials. You to need to understand what the technical requirements. Make sure that before the course starts, your computer will work with all the online tools and that you know how to navigate them. That way, you don't have to spend time during the course trying to figure out the technology.
2. Connect with Instructors Early and Frequently
Another key to success establishing and maintaining contact with your instructor. If an assignment hasn’t been graded or you don’t know where to find something, don’t hesitate to message your instructor. Because instructor and student are not physically in the same place does not suggest questions can't be asked. If you don't understand something, ASK. Instructors should respond within 1-2 days.
3. Before you Ask, See if You Can Find it on Your Own
While instructors are available to help throughout the course, don’t ask obvious questions. Read the syllabus, look at the “Begin Class Here” section, explore the class, etc., before asking a question. It is good practice for students to find answers to class questions independently. Help is available but it's not going to be available at the snap of a finger. Your instructors are happy to assist you, but it is an important life skill to have willingness to go out and find things on your own.
4. Establish a Regular Schedule
Use the course calendar or keep a calendar with assignment due dates and test dates clearly marked. Then, look at it every day. If possible, have a dedicated study place with all the needed supplies (computer, textbook, paper, pens, calculator, etc.) available. Pace yourself. Remember, this is a learning experience, not a race. Quality online instructors will create courses that are easy to navigate and have clear expectations. Additionally, good online courses include a schedule for you to follow. However, most class schedules will only list the activities that are expected each week. It is up to you, the student, to decide on how long it will take you to accomplish those activities. We recommend that you spend an average of two-to-three hours working on each activity. Of course, for different students and courses, this time will vary.
5. Be Aware of Deadlines
Every class that you will take in college will have deadlines. Furthermore, deadlines are just a fact of life. So, with this in mind, make a note of your deadlines on the first day of class. Write them in a calendar, put them in your phone, make them easily accessible so that you will remember them throughout the semester. Many instructors will not let you make up assignments once you’ve missed the deadline. Be sure you know what those deadlines are and you complete assignments on time.
Whether you are working alone, or in a group, contribute your ideas, perspective and comments on the subject you are studying, and read comments of your classmates. Your instructor is not the only source of information in your course—you can gain great insight from your peers and they can learn from you as well.
7. Log In To Your Classes Every Day
It is very easy to fall behind in eLearning classes and then it becomes difficult to catch up. You can avoid this by logging on everyday.
8. Stay Organized
Students enrolled in traditional courses usually have a consistent schedule to follow each week, with in-class instruction followed by out-of-class assignments. For online courses, students may have to find their own ways to stay on top of their work. Students really need to be organized from the beginning of an online class to truly be successful. All assignment due dates should be in your calendar, online or paper folders should be created for each week, and your work area should be quiet and clean, and keep all of your coursework materials together.
9. Establish a Workspace
One thing online and in-class courses have in common is that students still need a place to study or complete assignments, whether that's at a coffee shop, the school library, or at home. Wherever students choose to study and complete assignments, they should make it a consistent location that's free of outside interferences. You really need a place to study that's quiet for a time that's set aside where you can focus on your work without distractions.
Lytle, R. (2013, January 14). 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online Course. Retrieved August 14, 2016, from http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/01/14/5-tips-to-succeed-in-an-online-course.
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