You’ve been in a traditional classroom setting before. You remember the long days, the heavy backpacks, and the loud bell signaling the end of class. But online classes are new territory.
The benefit to merging education with technology is the freedom that comes from not having a set class schedule. You can attend class from wherever you choose and complete your class work at the time of day most convenient for you. But how can you manage that freedom and still be a successful online student? Below are five important tools that you can use for online learning success:
1. Online Learning Student Portal
The virtual student portal will be one of the most important tools. It enables you to register for and access your classes, view academic information and important deadlines, and communicate with faculty and staff. Set up your portal account as soon as you are able and check in every day to stay on top of your classes, communication, and student information.
2. Online Course or Email Inbox
Ever wonder why you didn’t hear about that new virtual student study group? Was there a last-minute deadline change or an important financial aid announcement that you missed? It sounds obvious, but you can’t succeed in college without checking your inbox, whether it’s a web course inbox or your student email account. It’s one way that faculty and staff can reach out, so be sure to check it at least twice a day.
3. Online Scheduling Apps
You may already have a work schedule, a daycare or grade school schedule to worry about. Now you’re adding class deadlines on top of it. To stay on track, you’ll need a good scheduling app to organize all your daily tasks. Apps that can send you notifications or set off an alarm are especially helpful as they provide an extra reminder of what’s next on your calendar.
4. Note-Taking Software
In an online class, you’ll probably have videos to watch, PowerPoint presentations to flip through, new vocabulary to learn, and quite a bit of reading. To compile all of this, a good note-taking software can help you organize all your notes by topic, module, and class. Pro tip: Find a speech-to-text app that can dictate notes for you. That way, you keep your hands free to fold laundry, feed the baby (or yourself!).
5. Collaboration Apps for Online Students
You may have group assignments. Or you might be part of a study group. Apps that help you collaborate with others and share important documents and files will be invaluable. Apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, allow you to share and edit files. Prezi is an online presentation program that allows multiple users to edit. And apps like Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business allow you to chat with your group members while you work on your projects.
Flashcards, a dictionary and thesaurus, and a spell checker are also great learning tools. But no matter what tools you have, the important thing is to use them. It’s easy to download an app or set up an account. But it’s just as easy to forget to log on, to forget about that next deadline or to study for an upcoming test. Take advantage of the learning tools available to you and you’ll set yourself up for success.
If you’re ready to become an online student, consider enrolling in one of the online programs offered by Charter College. We offer degrees and/or certificates in Business, Health Care, Information Technology, and Applied Technology. To take the next step, call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form for more information.