Completing an online college degree is not for the timid or easily distracted. Taking online courses comes with its own set of challenges. Below are recommendations on how to succeed and get the most of your college classes online.
1. Hit the Ground Running
Don’t ease into your online classes; jump right in. The early days of online school set the tone for your entire semester. Begin by making a serious effort to hit the books from day one.
2. Create a Dedicated Study Space
A classroom is designed for learning. Elements such as adequate lighting, good sound insulation, comfortable room temperature, etc. all create an ideal learning environment. Make sure you set aside a dedicated study space in your house with all the elements of a favorable learning environment.
3. Master Online Tools
The Internet has placed a world of information literally at your fingertips. Learn to use online tools such as Google Books and Google Scholar to help you with your research and studies.
4. Make a Realistic Schedule
Only you know what else is going on in your life in addition to your online courses. Be sure the schedule you design takes the other important elements of your life into account. Once you have made a schedule however, stick to it.
Online class chats and discussions can be excellent sources of support as well as knowledge. Don’t be a passive student; voice your opinion, ask questions, volunteer answers. The more you take part in any online class activity, the more you will get out of your online learning experience.
6. Ask for Help
Don’t be shy about soliciting help either from your teacher or classmates. Learning is a collaborative endeavor and an ongoing process. Questions, clarifications and problems are as important as answers, explanations and solutions.
7. Stay Motivated
It’s easy to get distracted when taking online courses. Know that there will be days when you might not be able to concentrate fully (such as the first nice day of spring after a long, cold winter). Instead of dwelling on how difficult it is to stay on course, cut yourself some slack and try harder the next day. You are on a journey so treat setbacks and delays as part of your adventure and do not let them completely derail your online learning experience.
8. Plan Ahead
Put in an extra weekend of study and research when you’re expecting an unavoidable commitment in the middle of your online studies. This way, you will still be on track (or even ahead) when you return to your books.
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