As students re-enter university systems, they will more than likely take a mixture of on campus and online courses. An online class is defined in this survey as a course where more than 80 percent of all content is delivered online, and there are typically no face-to-face meetings with instructors. Online learning offers a different set of challenges to students, but can be just as effective as on campus courses. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make the most of your online classroom experience.
Read the Syllabus
Online instructors offer in depth syllabi which should explain the course in detail. Make sure to read the syllabus, and send your instructor any questions you may have as soon as the course begins. Knowing what to expect for the semester will help you plan your workflow and give you a method for time management.
Introduce Yourself to Your Professor
Faculty are overwhelmed in a sea of names when it comes to online courses. Put a face to your name by sending your professor a personalized greeting, either in email or through the online course. Add a profile picture to your signature so the professor has a face behind the name. New online classrooms are turning towards a social media style content systems, but as this transition takes place, you can be ahead of the game.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
So much computer technology is at our disposal. Use this technology to your advantage by scheduling tasks or calendar events in your email or through an online workspace. If your university’s education management system has tools or enhancements, take advantage of them. Due dates are important for online classes, and knowing when assignments or assessments are due will help you prepare in advance. Often times, you will be able to finish course work at your own pace. Set aside specific times during the work for specific classes, just as you would if you were going to class on campus.
Make Yourself Available
One of the challenges of online learning is not having as much collaboration with other students. You can alleviate this by making yourself available to your peers. Post in discussion forums that you are willing to have online study times with other students, or are available for questions. If you are stuck on a lesson or assignment, those peers will reciprocate and be available for you as well. Set the example by being a leader and go the extra mile. Not only does this help you get more out of your online courses, it will also make the difference if you are in between a grade level. Professors will look at this extra effort on your part, and give you the higher grade.
Interested in online learning? Check out Dickinson State University Extended Learning Programs at dsublue.com.