Online learning is NOT easier than
learning in the traditional classroom.
You will not SEE an instructor who
reminds you to turn your homework in on time.
If you do not have basic computer literacy
skills, you will find yourself learning those when you should be learning the
content of the course.
Spend time before the class begins scoping
out the "lay of the land." Know where each instructor puts
assignments, lectures, readings etc. Each course may be slightly different.
Be very organized. Create a binder and
calendar for each online course. Put all due dates on the calendar.
Don't be afraid to copy some of the materials. We aren't yet a paperless
Currently most communication in an online
course is text based. You will be writing assignments and entries on
the discussion board. Discussion boards are where you get to know other
students in the class, exchange ideas and frequently turn in assignments.
Your writing may be read by other students
as well as the professor. It is often recommended that you create your
documents in a word processing program to take advantage of spell check and save
all your work.
Always proof what you write. Sometimes
it is best to read it out loud.
Polite communication is a must. Humor
is high risk. Without hearing voice inflection and seeing facial
expressions and body language it is easy to be misunderstood.
Be an active participant in all online
discussions. While they may serve the purpose of keeping you connected to
others in the class, the prime purpose is to learn course materials.
Schedule your study sessions and make a
specific goal for each study session.
Don't wait until the last minute to submit
assignments. There is no question that the electricity will go out, the
Internet will be slower than ever before, or you will some other difficulty
submitting your assignment. The dog ate my homework is no longer an
acceptable excuse for turning in assignments late.
Most students find that online courses take
more time than traditional courses. Just think, all that time you save by
not driving to campus and sitting in class, should be devoted to studying.
Getting behind in an online course is the
"kiss of death." Don't do it.
Read and reread the course syllabus.
Don't miss a single paragraph - they are all important.
Keep in touch with your online instructor.
Many will assume that everything is fine unless they hear from you.
Look for ways to apply what you learn to the