Top 10 tips for Success in Online Classes
Manage time wisely. Schedule enough time in your personal calendar to study materials and complete assignments. Treat these blocks of time as seriously as in a face-to-face class. Add assignment due dates to your personal calendar and keep a close eye on them. Set goals for what you will accomplish daily.
Establish a good workplace. Find a quiet place with a good internet connection, access to power, and freedom from distraction. Gather all the equipment you need to complete your class/assignment.
Stay organized. Organize all your files in a way that makes sense to you. It is wise to keep a copy of anything you submit in the event a technology problem requires you to resubmit it. Take good notes while doing your readings or watching online lectures.
Make a study plan. Set out a clear and achievable study plan and stick to it 95% of the time, allowing room for the unexpected. Write out a weekly schedule with dates and times and set a certain amount of hours per day or week into your schedule for studying. Schedule in healthy habits. Healthy eating, exercise and social time are important for your overall health.
Use online resources. Make sure you use all available student resources. Take time to click on each tab on your school's website and D2L to see how to navigate them and what they have to offer. Also, check out your library, writing center and tutoring online resources.
Take notes. Use headphones to listen to textbooks in ebook format. Write down or highlight important points and then put in outline form when finished reading. Keeping notes in a Word document allows you to use “Ctrl” & “F” to quickly find needed information when taking online quizzes and exams.
Make study enjoyable. Use whatever incentives make your learning environment enjoyable for you, i.e. happy or mellow music, coffee, etc. Take frequent, short breaks to rejuvenate your brain. Decide on a task, set a timer for however long you need (ex. 25 min.), and work! Take a break when the timer goes off. Reward yourself when you do well (get an A on a paper or complete a challenging project). It’s easier to stay motivated when something you enjoy is waiting for you at the end.
Connect with others. Online portals, discussion boards and Facebook can help find students in the same course. Interact with your classmates and professor as though you were doing in-class learning. Join a study team, create a team of virtual friends and have regular discussions, help each other with proof-reading, tips and exchange of resources. Meet up periodically to see how each is doing and discuss challenges through WhatsApp or Facebook.
Eliminate distractions. Consider turning off your cell phone to avoid losing focus every time a text or notification pops up. If necessary, try downloading a website blocker like Cold Turkey and Freedom to eliminate distractions that compete for your attention while studying.
Develop and use effective communication skills. Use the tools provided by your school to communicate with your professors, such as email, discussion groups, chat room office hours, cell phones and texting. You may never meet your advisor or professors face-to-face, but they will be your primary resources and first points of contact. Introduce yourself to them and ask questions when you are unsure about anything
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