Whoever thinks it’s easy to be an online student has probably never actually taken any online courses.
Sure, studying online has its perks — you can watch lectures from the comfort of your living room sofa and participate in class discussions at 2 a.m., if that’s what’s convenient for you. But without the day-to-day structure of going to campus and seeing peers and professors, it can be difficult to stay engaged with courses. Online students may find the need to be more self disciplined and proactive than their on-campus counterparts.
What are the best ways to ensure online student success? There’s a lot of advice out there. “Stay organized,” they say. “Don’t procrastinate,” they so callously advise. Yes, those things are important, and in an ideal world we all would have neatly organized desks and we’d turn in our assignments days ahead of time. But it doesn’t always happen that way. So, let’s look at some practical online learning tips that can make a world of difference for your academic performance.
Connect with Fellow Students
In an online environment, it can be easy to remain a spectator rather than an active participant. In order to make the most of your class experience, however, it’s important to involve yourself in the learning community. A study about how students develop online learning skills found that students benefited from frequent discussion threads and email interactions with their peers. So make an effort to communicate, and post more than what’s required by your instructors. Applying class content to discussions is an effective way to help retain knowledge.
Check in Every Day
Even if there’s nothing due for a few days, take some time every day to check for course updates, skim class discussions, and remind yourself about upcoming assignments. This, according to an article from USNews.com, not only helps you stay up to date with your courses, but also helps you get into a rhythm and make school a daily routine.
Carry a Notepad
Some of the best ideas arise when you’re doing something other than sitting at a computer. Write them down in your notepad as soon as you think of them, so when you sit down to actually write for class, you’ll have a bank of ideas to draw from. Look at what you’ve jotted down as often as possible; elearners.com recommends referencing your notes every day.
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