How to be a Successful Online Learner
The following suggestions have been provided by students who have been successful in their online classes. You may find these helpful if you choose to take classes online.Participate!
Share ideas, information, and comments with your instructor and the rest of the class and read about your classmates ideas too. Your instructor provides information in your course, but you can get great insight from your peers and they can learn from you too.
Take your education
Develop a support system of friends, family, and co-workers before you start out on your online experience. This support system will help you through those times when you will need to sit at your computer for hours at a time in the evenings and on weekends. In the evenings and on weekends when you are wanting to relax, you may find yourself at your computer doing assignments. It will help you mentally to surround yourself with people who understand, support, and respect what you are doing.
Use your study space on a regular basis, so you and your family know that this is the place where you are to study, not eat, sleep or chat. If possible, your study space should be where you can shut the door and work in peace if necessary. If you share your study space with the living room, dining room or bedroom, other basic needs may take priority over studying.
Log on to your course every day.
You may become eager to see who has commented on your postings and read feedback from your instructor and other students. You may also need to see who has posted something new that requires a response from you. If you wait too long to log on to your course, you will fall behind and find it hard to catch up.
No one can see you, so there are no stereotypes, and you don't have to be worry about rolled eyeballs or people making other non- verbal reactions to your comments. You can take all of the time you need to think about your ideas and write a response before actually posting your comments to the class.
Speak up if you are having problems.
Your instructor cannot read your mind, so you must be clear when needing assistance. If you are having technical difficulties, or problems understanding content in the course, you must let your instructor know. If you are having a difficulty with the course, then chances are that other students are having the same problem. If you post your problem on the discussion board, then another student may be able to help you. Later in the course, you may be able to return the favor by explaining something to your classmates who are in need of help. By doing this, you will not only help them out, you will also reinforce what you have already learned about the subject. Always let your instructor know if you will not be able to meet a deadline. E-mail the instructor as soon as possible to try to make other arrangements.
You learn by doing, so apply everything you learn in your class as you learn it. If you do this, you will remember it more readily. If you can, take the skills, knowledge and information that you learn in your class to the workplace and put them to use. By sharing advice, information and ideas from your work experience, you are internalizing what you learn. You and your classmates can benefit from your experiences.
Read the syllabus the first
time you visit the
You should even print the syllabus to use as a quick and easy reference. Check the course calendar the first week of class. Make sure that you develop a system to remember important course dates (assignment due dates, quiz due dates, etc.) If your course is in WebCT, take the time to navigate around the course the first week of classes, so you can become familiar with the location of important course tools (discussion board, e-mail, assignments, etc.).
Remember to take full advantage of
your learning experience and enjoy yourself!
Learning good communication skills is just a bonus of taking any class, so take advantage of the opportunity and learn how to effectively communicate online. While you are contributing to your class, you may find yourself making some new friends! You may even find yourself having fun and using emoticons by the end of the class! ;- )