The suggestions below have been compiled from successful online learners. Click each one to read more.
- Whether working alone or in a group, be an active contributor. You can gain great insight from your peers and they can learn from you as well.
Log on to your course every day.
- Once you get into your course, you will be eager to see who has commented on your postings and read the feedback. You will also be curious to see who has posted something new that you can comment on. If you let too many days go by without logging on to your course discussion board, you will get behind and find it very difficult to catch up.
Find a study space.
- It's important to have your own space - where you can shut the door, leave papers everywhere, and work in peace.
Take the program - and yourself - seriously.
- Elicit the support of your colleagues, family, and friends before you start your online adventure. The time when most people are through with work for the day and want to relax is likely when you will be bearing down on your course work.
Speak up if you have problems
- Your professor can't see you, so you must be explicit with your comments and requests. If you have technical difficulties, or problems understanding something about the course, you MUST speak up - otherwise there is no way anyone will know something is wrong. If you know that you will not be able to meet a deadline, e-mail the instructor as soon as possible to find out if it's possible to make other arrangements.
Apply what you learn.
- Whenever possible, take the things you learn in your online course today and use them in your workplace tomorrow. Try to make connections between what you are learning and what you do or will do in your job. Contributing advice or ideas about the real world as it applies to the subject matter you are studying helps you internalize what you are learning. It also gives valuable insight to your classmates who will benefit from your experience.
Read the syllabus right away.
- You may even want to print the syllabus for quick and easy reference. You should also print, write, or set a reminder for the course's major calendar dates. You don't want to miss quizzes, exams, or project due dates. Finally, take the time to complete the orientation course (available prior to the start of your online course) as it will allow you to familiarize yourself with the layout of the course to make it easier to navigate throughout the site and practice key skills.
Take advantage of your anonymity.
- One of the biggest advantages of the online format is that you can pursue your studies without the judgments typical in a traditional classroom.
Don’t panic when the technology doesn’t work.
- Try again and if the system still doesn’t work, contact the Help Desk. Make sure to cc your instructor so he/she is aware of the issue.